Statement on Hazing Prevention

December 04, 2013

Statement from Vice Provost and Dean of Student Affairs Peter Konwerski

Unfortunately, like many universities, GW experiences incidents of hazing.  We take any accusations of hazing very seriously by thoroughly investigating each complaint. If a group or organization is found in violation of the university's anti-hazing policy, we will issue sanctions against them and make those sanctions public.   We have no such announcements to make at this time.   It also is important to note that every year there are reports of hazing that prove to be unfounded.  Currently, we are looking into allegations against several Greek chapters.

Hazing can occur in any student organization, not just within Greek student organizations. Every time there is a report of hazing at GW, we contact the organization's president, advisor, and in some cases, the national office to make them aware of the report, and we look into the allegations.  Some investigations take only hours while others may take weeks, depending on the breadth of the concern and the number of people involved.

This year, we have not seen an increase in confirmed incidents of hazing; rather, we are seeing an increase in people's willingness to report hazing.  We believe that our proactive and ongoing education and prevention efforts have been effective in communicating to the GW community ways to detect, prevent, and increase awareness of hazing. For the past three years, the Center for Student Engagement has hosted events in conjunction with National Hazing Prevention Week to educate students, staff, faculty, and parents about hazing and how to prevent and report hazing incidents. This is the centerpiece to GW’s year-round hazing prevention education, which also includes presentations and discussions at several chapter meetings, Greek leadership conferences and New Member Educator meetings.

We are glad that individuals are coming forward to protect members of our community from these types of activities. Reports are received from a range of sources including students, university faculty, staff, parents, and national organizations.  We have found that the online hazing form has been the best way for people to report these concerns.  

Anyone who becomes aware of a possible hazing incident should contact the Center for Student Engagement either through email ([email protected]), by phone (202-994-6555), or through the confidential, online form