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University of Florida hosts state’s anti-hazing summit

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Nearly 100 officials and faculty members from college campuses across the state met at the University of Florida today with one thing in mind: anti-hazing.

UF hosted the State of Florida’s Anti-Hazing Summit, a professional development event focused on ending hazing. The keynote speaker for the summit, CEO of Limberlost Consulting Incorporation Dave Westol, said hazing is a big issue on campuses, but it doesn’t always start in college.

“We’re seeing more focus at the high school level and in professional sports and some other high profile areas, and that’s bringing more attention to hazing, which I think is a good thing,” Westol said.

The summit described hazing as any activity meant to ridicule, embarrass or cause harm to another person or a group of people. Westol said Greek organizations are the most common example used, but hazing takes place in other organizations like clubs and athletics.

“With fraternities, especially men’s fraternities that are hazing, their pledge program may be three or four months in length and their hazing every day, all the way through that,” Westol said.

Audience members included Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, which had a hazing case earlier this year. Westol said he hopes attendees take the things discussed and apply them to their college campuses.

The summit was hosted by the Council of Student Affairs and the Student Affairs Administrators for Higher Education. The next summit will be held at Florida Atlantic University on Thursday.

Erin Rauch edited this story online.

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