Beginning this academic year, Oklahoma Baptist University will implement changes in the lives of their social clubs on campus. Greek life is a familiar concept that is commonly portrayed in movies and TV shows and seen usually on college campuses. There can be challenges with having male and female social clubs that are reminiscent of sororities and fraternities on campus. One challenge can be potential openings and opportunities for hazing activity.
American Journal of Emergency Medicine contributor Michelle Finkel M.D. comments on the nature of hazing.
“Hazing involves committing acts against an individual or forcing an individual into committing an act that creates a risk for harm in order for the individual to be initiated into or affiliated with an organization” Finkel said.
Although hazing has existed for decades, in recent years states have taken initiative in order to stop these harmful behaviors on college campuses. Stewart, Tilghman, Fox, Bianchi and Cain is a law firm that often deals with hazing cases. Their website shares statistics regarding hazing laws in the United States.
“As of 2019, there are 44 states that have passed laws prohibiting hazing.”
In the wake of these times, OBU has chosen to take a stand and create policies that prevent hazing from happening on campus especially in the life of its social clubs. Junior business finance major and president of the Omega Chi Delta social club, James Stout, shares some of the changes intended to better the clubs.
“These policies prevent disorganization and error by requiring approval in detail about the major events occurring within Greek Life. The rules instituted by the Student Life Department have sharpened our organizations in effort to be safer, more organized and better prepared to be successful” Stout said.
Senior early childhood education and elementary education major and president of the Kappa Phi Beta social club, Mackayla Wright, shares how these policies were a clear statement that challenges the women in social clubs to live to the high standard that OBU expects its students to live.
“Melissa Stroud has made it very clear that our job is to be a light on campus and encourage our girls to do the same” Wright said.
James Stout continues sharing how he believes these policies create an environment in which potential new members will be drawn to join and grow in the club.
“These policy changes provide comfort for the potential new members, ensure that each person is safe, and accommodated for socially, spiritually and physically. These changes ultimately allow each new member to feel comfortable. This fosters an environment in which these individuals can grow in any way they choose. This comfortable environment allows these students to use the resources each club offers through its members academically, socially, and spiritually,” Stout said.
Mackayla Wright shares how these changes will better the potential new members of the women social clubs on campus as well.
“I think that possible new members can be influenced in such a positive way because we are building a group to support one another,” Wright said.
James Stout shares how he has complete faith in the Greek Life leadership and how these policies will be upheld by genuine and caring individuals to create a long-lasting Greek Life community on campus.
“I can genuinely say that the leaders of each Greek Life Club are some of the most honorable, diligent and kind people I have ever had the honor of meeting. That being said, I am confident in the success of Greek Life due to the necessary guidelines given to us by Student Life and the strong leadership currently inhabiting Bison Hill” Stout said.
Mackayla Wright continues sharing that she believes that these new policies grasp at the heart of what students at OBU should always remember and be focused on while being students at OBU.
“Overall, I think our desire to focus more on the spiritual aspect is the best way to reach our campus and impact the world, and nothing, including COVID, can stop the amazing things the Lord wants to use us for,” Wright said.