BY JAKE HOLMES
Published September 4, 2007
The University's Greek system has a new tool in the fight against hazing.
Cincinnati-based law firm Manley Burke has set up a hotline in conjunction with the national chapters of 21 fraternities and sororities. People who have seen or experienced hazing can call 1-888-NOTHAZE to file a report.
The firm has received one hazing complaint since launching the hotline last week, Manley Burke associate Dan McCarthy said.
The 21 founding organizations represent about 35 percent of all students in fraternities and sororities nationwide.
Two attorneys from the firm listen to messages left on the hotline and forward reports to the national offices of the Greek organizations in question. In Michigan and most other states, the report ends there, but in six states, the firm must also contact state law enforcement agencies because state law requires it. The law firm will look into hazing allegations if the Greek organization asks for help in the investigation.
The idea for a national hazing hotline was first discussed at a January conference of fraternities and sororities, McCarthy said. The fraternities chose to run the hotline through Manley Burke, which has 26 years of experience providing legal counsel to national Greek organizations and publishes a monthly newsletter called Fraternal Law.
"It was kind of a natural selection," McCarthy said.
The University's Greek system already runs a similar service, called the Hazing Task Force. Students with concerns or tips can anonymously e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. In February 2005, the task force found three campus fraternities and one sorority guilty of hazing after receiving e-mail tips.
The Michigan Greek community welcomes extra help in responding to reports of hazing, said Evan Waters, a spokesman for the University's Interfraternity Council, in an e-mail.
Several Greek organizations that weren't among the founders of the program have expressed interest in being associated with the hotline.
Sigma Alpha Mu is investigating becoming a user of the hotline, said Andy Huston, risk awareness director for the fraternity's national chapter.
"All the national fraternities and sororities have the same goal - that's to eliminate hazing completely," McCarthy said.
The University plans to publicize the new hotline to fraternity and sorority members during National Hazing Prevention Week, which runs from Oct. 22 to Oct. 28, said Chris Haughee, assistant director of the University's Office Greek Life.
The national chapters of these University fraternities and sororities are sponsors of a new hazing hotline:
Alpha Epsilon Pi
Alpha Sigma Phi
Delta Sigma Phi
Delta Tau Delta
Phi Gamma Delta
Phi Kappa Psi
Alpha Chi Omega
Alpha Delta Pi
Alpha Sigma Tau
Kappa Kappa Gamma