Western Illinois Sig Steps Up To Stop Hazing

Anderson wins national award for his passion for a cause

Not even winning a national award could satisfy Mike Anderson, WESTERN ILLINOIS 2014, from continuing his fight against hazing.

After winning hazingprevention.org's Hank Nuwer Anti-Hazing Hero Award in mid February, Anderson aims to bring a National Hazing Prevention Week to the Western Illinois University campus next year.

Anderson was nominated for the award by the university’s graduate advisor for Greek life programs, Koryna Felt, for helping organize a day devoted to halting the spread of hazing. Originally, university officials expected the anti-hazing program to be a small affair of maybe 50 participants. Anderson, who is chapter Kustos, spread the word on campus so much that almost 250 people attended the seminar on campus on Oct. 20, 2012.

“No one really put an emphasis on hazing awareness at Western [Illinois University],” Anderson said. “I really wanted to promote people going Greek, and going to events like [Sigma Chi’s] Balfour Leadership Training Workshop and Grand Chapter. I wanted to show people that joining the Greek system isn’t about hazing and that there are other opportunities to [joining a Greek-letter organization].”

Now, Anderson is teaming his chapter up with Greeks Advocating Mature Management for Alcohol (GAMMA) to possibly set up an entire week devoted to hazing prevention next fall. Sigma Chi and GAMMA are currently raising money to achieve the $1,000 needed to host the week on campus.

National Hazing Prevention Week will be Sept. 23–27, 2013. Anderson is hoping that celebrating this week at Western Illinois through an expanded message to stop hazing will satisfy his aspirations. “A couple chapters on our campus last semester got in trouble for hazing. Then people see that and think that every Greek organization [on campus] hazes,” Anderson said. “I really wanted to combat that as quick as possible so [our chapters] wouldn't suffer so much in [recruitment] numbers [because of everyone thinking the Greek system hazes].”