Guest Author: National Panhellenic Conference
NEW YORK—In an unprecedented partnership, four families who have lost their sons to hazing are coming together with fraternities and sororities to fight it.
Jim and Evelyn Piazza, parents of Tim Piazza; Stephen and Rae Ann Gruver, parents of Max Gruver; Rich and Maille Braham, parents of Marquise Braham; and Lianne and Brian Kowiak, parents of Harrison Kowiak, have joined the North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) and National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) to form a partnership that will focus on pursuing and strengthening state hazing laws and significantly expanding education and training for high school and college-aged students. Other organizations within the fraternal community—HazingPrevention.Org, the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors (AFA) and Association of Fraternal Leadership & Values (AFLV)—have committed their support to these efforts.
“After meeting with Jud and some of his colleagues, the other parents and I saw a sincerity to make change and a real interest to work with us. We collectively agreed forming this alliance made sense,” said Jim Piazza. “While we may seem like strange bedfellows, we all want the same thing—to end hazing, so other parents don’t have to experience what we have.”
When students arrive at college, nearly half have already experienced hazing. This Coalition seeks to address the problem earlier through education, while also strengthening accountability and transparency through new model state legislation.
“The best way to inspire change in college students is to touch their hearts,” said Judson Horras, President & CEO of the North American Interfraternity Conference. “In working with these families, we have seen how deeply their personal stories resonate, and I’ve witnessed first-hand the powerful impact these parents have in helping young men.”
“We can do more together than we can alone to address this societal problem,” said Carole Jones, Chairman of the National Panhellenic Conference.
“The fight against hazing requires that an entire community step up, including sorority women, who can and must do our part to create safer campus cultures where students advocate for one another.”