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Fall is a busy time of year: academics are in full swing, weekends are filled with sporting events and extracurricular activities, and planning for Halloween ramps up as the calendar turns to October. Halloween safety is important, especially in a new environment (like a college campus) where you can be surrounded by people you don't know well. Some tips for having a safe, fun Halloween include:
  • Use the buddy system. Stick with your friends the whole night, and never walk anywhere alone.
  • Have your phone fully charged and accessible while you are out. Keep your phone at the ready, and load emergency numbers (such as friends, a cab company, and campus security) into your contact list before you head out.
  • Be extremely cautious when meeting new people. Costumes, especially ones that cover the face, create an added layer of anonymity. Be cautious when encountering unknown masked or heavily made-up revelers.
  • Never accept a beverage from someone you do not know. On Halloween (and all the time), watch your drink from the time it is poured until you finish it, and do not accept already-poured cups from people you have just met or do not know.
  • Consider your costume. Avoid wearing a costume that does not allow you to see and move freely. Stop and make sure motorists see you before you cross the street.
Hazing Warning Signs

Students across the country are starting to get involved in new groups and activities as the school year kicks into gear. Knowing the difference between healthy and unhealthy membership needs to be a part of the conversations you have with your friends and family members, and knowing the warning signs that hazing might be occurring is helpful. Our partners at HazingPrevention.Org offer some warning signs of hazing:
  • Sudden change in behavior or attitude after joining the organization or team
  • Wanting to leave the organization or team with no real explanation
  • Sudden decrease in communication with friends and family
  • Physical or psychological exhaustion
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Unexplained injuries or illness
  • Change in sleeping or eating habits
  • Withdrawal from normal activities
  • Expressed feeling of sadness or feeling of worthlessness
  • Increase in secrecy and unwillingness to share details
If you notice any of these signs in your friends or family members, talk to them to learn more about what they are experiencing. If they are unwilling to discuss what they are going through and you still have suspicions that hazing is involved, step up and report your concerns to the organization, university, advisor, or coach. Your report is enough to start an investigation, and you can remain anonymous. You can even contact the Gordie Center if you are unsure of the next step, and we will help you research and report.  Together, we can be a voice for someone who feels they can't speak up against hazing.
Gordie Center News and Updates
Gordie Center staff member Aditya Narayan with HAZE audience members at the University of Virginia
NHPW and National GORDIEday

National Hazing Prevention Week (NHPW) was September 24th-28th, with National GORDIEday on September 27th. The Gordie Center documentary HAZE was shown on campuses across the country during NHPW, including at our University of Virginia home. Did you show HAZE during NHPW? We'd love to hear how your showing went!

New Gordie Center staff member Aditya Narayan facilitated a showing of HAZE for members of UVA's Multicultural Greek Council on National GORDIEday. Aditya is a recent UVA graduate, and is passionate about education, entrepreneurship, substance misuse and hazing prevention at a personal and population level, research, and coffee. We are so excited to welcome him to our team!
Until next month,

Susie Bruce, Director
Jill Maurer, National Development & Program Coordinator

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