Published: September 24, 2020

National Hazing Prevention Week 2020
Day 4 - Addressing Bystander Behavior

On Day 4 of National Hazing Prevention Week 2020, we share some thoughts about bystander behavior.

Bystander behavior is what people demonstrate when they watch hazing (or other dangerous activities) occur without intervening.

Theta Chi Fraternity expects that bystanders take responsibility and step up and speak out against hazing practices:

The best way to eliminate hazing is to activate the bystanders – those who are standing idly by while hazing takes place. Even students who don’t actively take part in hazing, allow it to continue by not standing up against it. You may feel you are the only one who is opposed to hazing, but that is probably not the case – you are probably in the silent majority, but no one wants to be the first to speak up.

The five-step model for encouraging bystanders to intervene is:

  1. Notice the Event - Who is in a position to see hazing take place or the effects of it?
  2. Recognize the behavior as a problem - Many people witness hazing, but think it is harmless fun or silly pranks.
  3. Feel responsibility to solve the problem - If you see it and think it's wrong, do you feel it's your place to act? Why not?
  4. Know what to do - You may want to act, but don't know where to turn for help or what to do.
  5. Possess the capacity for action - Even if you know what to do, do you have the courage to do it.

We highly encourage you to check out this resource for more information on how to combat bystander behavior.

Theta Chi expects all of its members to live out our Sacred Purpose and that if they see something going on that doesn't quite seem right (whether during The Resolute Journey and pledge education or some other chapter activity) - to be a leader and speak up or tell someone about it. Don't be part of the problem by becoming a bystander - be part of the solution through leadership and the Assisting Hand. Team up with others in your chapter that will help make positive changes. As Margaret Mead said - "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

Though 2020's National Hazing Prevention Week is September 21-25, Theta Chi Fraternity's commitment against hazing remains in place each and every day. If you are being hazed or are aware of others being hazed, call our anti-hazing hotline at 1-855-824-4840.