The week of Sept. 21 is National Anti-Hazing Week, and USF’s Greek Council has created their own spin-off event to promote awareness of the topic. Living Our Values Week was created to tie in USF Jesuit values to the Anti-Hazing awareness efforts made nationwide. This year, students interested in learning about these values will be able to attend the Risk Management Workshop, which will be held Thursday, Sept. 24 in the McLaren Complex at 7:30 p.m. There also will be regular tabling every day on UC 2nd floor from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Sophomore Hailey Desprez, VP of Standards on the Greek Council and a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority, was responsible for this year’s events. According to Desprez, this year’s values are promoting social justice, diversity, personal excellence, and perseverance. Each Greek organization also has its own individual values. For example, Theta is promoting scholarship, sisterhood, service, personal excellence, among others.
Thursday night’s event is open to the entire USF community, and will include speeches from guest speakers Chase Adam and Anna Bartkowski. Adam is co-founder of the crowdsource-funding app Watsi, which allows individual donors to fund healthcare costs for patients in underdeveloped countries. Bartkowski, the new Title IX Coordinator at USF, works with students who have been affected by sexual assault. According to Desprez, Bartkowski will be speaking “in a fun and meaningful way” about the importance of anti-hazing. Adam will speak about running a business based upholding his values throughout his organization.
This year’s Living Our Values Week coincidentally occurred during the same week as Greek Bid Week. Desprez thinks this is a convenient happenstance. “All of the new members who received their bids [Monday] will also get to be a part of the event on Thursday, and really get a feel for what Greek life is really about,” she said.
Although USF has participated in Anti-Hazing week in the past, Living Our Values Week intends to create more buzz than it did in previous years. “Two years ago, Living Our Values wasn’t as big, and it wasn’t schoolwide. This year I hope that a lot of people know about it and get excited about it,” said Desprez.
“Since this is open to all students, I’m hoping they realize how amazing our Greek life really is and how we really put an emphasis on our values, which is really special for USF’s Greek life. I hope to get people excited about living through their values and showing their values at the University,” said Desprez.
“We want more support for Greek life, and I think that if people understand what we’re about then they’ll get involved. So many people have benefited from Greek life. My organization has really encouraged me, and made me comfortable to be myself. I want everyone to have that opportunity,” said Desprez.
Photo courtesy of Colleen Barrett/Foghorn