In a Daily Tar Heel analysis of 112 hazing reports made between September 2005 and April 2016, only 19 resulted in sanctions such as social probation, a fine, mandatory community service or mandatory education. Sixty-two resulted in no punishment or action, often due to insufficient evidence surrounding the report.
Aaron Bachenheimer, director of the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life and Community Involvement, said anonymity in reporting hinders the University’s ability to investigate incidences of hazing.
“A lot of times we run the information into the ground, but unfortunately without corroborating information, without a name behind it, without other information, many times that information is all we get,” he said.
Kim Novak, a national expert on student risk management, said that a lot of times people do not report hazing because they are fearful of what will happen.
“They believe that when you say the word ‘hazing,’ everyone automatically assumes, ‘Oh my gosh, they’re going to get kicked off campus,’” she said. “Let a community know that not all hazing is going to result in the closing of a chapter.”
Gentry McCreary, a consultant with the National Center for Higher Education Risk Management, said the issue does not lie in reporting, but rather in that campuses are not well suited to investigate anonymous reports with vague information.
“They are the most difficult investigations that a campus administrator will have to do, much more difficult than a Title IX even,” he said.
McCreary said the biggest mistake he sees administrators make is that they begin investigations focusing too much on specific allegations, which tips off the organization and allows members to create a uniform story.