The efforts of a coalition of William & Mary faculty, staff and students to prevent hazing on campus have been recognized on a national scale.
In an announcement released today, HazingPrevention.Org named William & Mary the 2013 recipient of the Zeta Tau Alpha Award for Innovation in Campus Hazing Prevention and Education. The award comes with a $10,000 cash prize that will enable the coalition to further campus hazing prevention efforts.
“Our entire Hazing Prevention Coalition and our champions across campus are thrilled to have been recognized by HazingPrevention.org with this award,” Anne Arseneau, director of student leadership development at William & Mary, said in a press release.
“The support and educational initiatives of HPO have been instrumental in helping our campus more effectively implement a hazing prevention plan, and the award has made our hazing prevention efforts more visible to an even wider audience on and off campus,” she added.
The award will be conferred next week at the 2013 NASPA Annual Conference at Orlando, Fla., where Vice President of Student Affairs Ginger Ambler will accept the award on behalf of the university.
The announcement comes on the heels of the coalition’s “My Tribe, My Responsibility: A Home Without Hazing” anti-hazing messaging campaign launched as a part of the College’s 2012 recognition of National Hazing Prevention Week.
According to the HPO release, the Zeta Tau Alpha Award recognizes one innovative campus program each year that has been created through institution-wide collaboration, focuses on internal and external audiences, is supported by senior administration that has committed resources to the long-term success of the program, is grounded in research and proven hazing prevention practices, is assessed for continuous improvement, includes short- and long-term planning initiatives for wellness and community safety, and offers a strategy for using the award money to further their efforts.
“I believe this speaks to the confidence and appreciation that HPO has for the work William & Mary is doing in the area of hazing prevention, said Linda Knight, director of campus recreation and a member of the hazing prevention coalition.
The process of applying for the award helped the coalition focus their efforts on hazing prevention.
“The award application has helped William & Mary better articulate the problems we are trying to solve and work to ensure that our efforts are prevention-focused and comprehensive," Arseneau said. "I think receiving the award indicates that we are not just addressing hazing on campus but that our efforts are comprehensive and prevention focused.”
The HPO judges agreed with Aresneau’s assessment.
“The judges were impressed with the breadth and depth of commitment to William & Mary’s campus hazing prevention program,” Joe Gilman, HazingPrevention.Org Board president, said in the press release.
“Their program demonstrated buy-in from the most senior level of administration to student leaders in organizations and athletic teams, and that’s precisely what needs to happen for prevention programs to be successful,” he said.
The award funds will enable William & Mary to augment its Comprehensive Hazing Prevention Plan with a number of new initiatives and improvements to existing resources.
“We will use the award money for a variety of activities and initiatives that will help us forward our overall message of ‘My Tribe, My Responsibility: A Home Without Hazing,’” Arseneau said.
“Some specifics include implementation of a campus-wide bystander behavior program, creation of dialogue opportunities for students about hazing and hazing prevention, creation of a parental outreach strategy and the creation of a database with student generated ideas that provide realistic alternatives to hazing,” she added.
According to the release, HazingPrevention.org is a national organization dedicated to its mission to empower people to prevent hazing in college and university student groups.