All new members of sororities and fraternities are required to attend NMU’s annual Risk-Management seminar to learn about the ways they can live a healthier and safer lifestyle while still enjoying Greek life.
This workshop will inform students of the issues that have been previously known to impact student organization effectiveness.
The key topics that will be discussed at the seminar are the dangers of hazing, sexual assault, sexual health and drinking.
Although it is only required for new students who are just joining sororities and fraternities, it is open to any NMU student organization, according to Dave Bonsall, director of the Center for Student Enrichment.
“It will be beneficial for any student from any organization to attend,” Bonsall said. “They will have more knowledge on the responsible use of alcohol and to know how important it is to practice safe sex.”
Though hazing isn’t a huge problem here at Northern, it is definitely an issue at other colleges nationwide and should still be addressed, Bonsall said.
Speakers at the seminar include Bonsall, health specialist Lenny Shible, associate professor in the department of Health and Physical Education and Recreation Barb Coleman, and Crime Prevention and policing specialist for Public Safety at NMU Don Peterman.
Shible will present information about the role alcohol can play in student organizations.
“It is in our best interest to do everything that we can to keep our students safer and healthier so that we can minimize any distractions and support the pursuit of their academic and career goals to be successful and productive Wildcat alumni,” Shible said.
He wants the students to leave the seminar feeling well informed about how alcohol can affect themselves and others.
“It is our intent that information is power, and when applied to great social support systems like our student organizations, it creates an environment where individuals, fellow members and organizations can become healthier, safer and even more successful than they already are,” Shible said.
Coleman, who will be covering sexual health, wants students to be more informed of the resources available for information, protection and help when needed.
“Our goal is to empower members of student organizations, and all interested individuals, with information and resources to help them make choices that will avoid serious consequences,” Coleman said.
Syndey D’Andrea, a sophomore and new pledge for Phi Sigma Sigma, agrees with the fact that she is required to attend this workshop.
“The topics being discussed at the seminar, whether people like it or not, happen at college. It’s better to be informed about these issues then to just ignore them,” D’Andrea said. “I do think that all students should have to take this and not just the students involved Greek life.”
Jenny Albrecht, a junior and member of the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority for three years, is glad these workshops are required for new members.
“I found the seminar to be very informative when I went last year. A lot of the information I already knew but it doesn’t hurt to hear it again,” Albrecht said. “I feel as though more organizations should require their members to attend them.”
The workshops will be held from 5:15 to 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 24 and from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Friday, Nov. 2 in the Back Room of the University Center. Members of all student organizations are encouraged to attend.