Let's eliminate hazing.
Common Sense Foundation
The state of the art risk management code for Greek Letter Organizations. This is the bible that the Greeks are supposed to follow.
To empower people to prevent hazing. Our Vision By developing our own programs and harnessing external resources HazingPrevention.org will diminish society’s tolerance of hazing and inspire everyone’s belief in their own ability to prevent and stand up to hazing. Our Values Human Dignity We believe in the unequivocal value of human life and the basic dignity each person should enjoy. Advocacy We offer our own efforts while supporting and encouraging the efforts of others to eradicate the occurrence of these ultimate acts of disrespect. Collaboration & Partnership We bring our strengths to the table with other like-minded individuals and organizations to collaborate on finding successful strategies for hazing prevention. Facilitation We gather disparate resources focused on hazing prevention and intervention and assemble them in way that makes them accessible to all who seek them. Education We pledge to educate people about all facets of hazing and to support the efforts of other individuals and organizations which also seek to invalidate the traditions of hazing and debunk its myths through knowledge. Fostering & Mentoring We foster ideas and mentor individuals and organizations in their efforts to clarify the definition of hazing, to change the minds of those who actively or passively accept it, to elicit action to stop it and in doing so, positively impact human life. Justice We seek justice for those who have fallen victim to hazing by supporting policies, regulations and laws designed to prohibit hazing and appropriate punishment of those who perpetrate it. Science & Research We engage in and support the efforts of others in the research of hazing and the science of its prevention.
I have been a member of a premiere American Fraternity since 1966 when I was initiated into DKE at the University of Michigan. I have run the local alumni association, been the general partner on the chapter house, served on the International Board, Founded the Foundation, and ran the Fraternity for over 25 years. Inter-fraternally, I am a life member of the Fraternity Executives Association, led the inter-fraternal movement against the Northeastern Private Colleges attempt to co-edify the movement, and shepherded a freedom of association sense of Congress through both Houses of Congress. I am still an affiliate member of the North American Inter-Fraternity Conference and a nonprofit member of NASPA. I left Deke in 2009, as a result of, among other things, a dispute about the prevalence of hazing in the Canadian Chapters. Since then off and on, I have been advocating against hazing, binge drinking, Title IX violations, and other risk management violations. To that extent I publish a facebook page showing daily risk management violations and chair Common Sense Foundation, a 501(c)(3) dedicated to educating against fraternity hazing. A year ago February, at the suggestion of Doug Fierberg, noted anti-hazing plaintiff's counsel and fellow Michigan alum, I took on the job of becoming an Expert Witness in Fraternity related Risk Management cases. I had no idea what a commotion it would raise. I soon found out that I was unique in a very limited field having had 30 some years of experience in managing a fraternity at all levels. My experience as a fraternity executive was to try to enforce the industry risk management code, known as FIPG, and make certain that you had enough insurance. On any given weekend, I knew as I went to bed, that on 50 or more campuses, parties were taking place, any one of which could end the existence of my Fraternity, and one or two nearly did. In 1986, a collective with a risk management code, FIPG (Fraternity Insurance Purchasing Group), was formed to try to enforce a code on the young men in the chapters. Several fraternities joined. This was a membership corporation. Since the summer of 2016, FIPG is now part of the Fraternity Executives Association trade group which has as its membership the Executive Directors of all the Fraternities and the Sororities. Click link for full article.
I noticed an article in my Google feed today about fraternity hazing cases concerning Tim Bream, entitled "Questions swirl about live-in adult adviser's role in Piazza death" which can be found here. Tom Kline, the Piazza's attorney, is quoted as “It has always been the belief of the Piazzas that Tim Bream is a culpable party and shares responsibility for the death of their son. Our knowledge of his role continues to evolve as questions are asked.” While Doug Fierberg, noted hazing litigation attorney, had this to say: “Having undertaken those types of responsibilities, it’s too cute by half to stick your head in the sand and say over such an extensive period of time when misconduct was taking place I neither knew of the circumstances nor had a reasonable opportunity to inform myself about what was going on, such that I could have intervened and saved this young person’s life,” Fierberg said. “Otherwise, it’s pathetic for a 56-year-old to be living in a fraternity house.” As a current Hazing Expert Witness, and former Executive Director of a National Fraternity for more than 25 years, let me add my 2 cents worth. The presence of Tim Bream as a paid for resident in the Beta Theta Pi house at Penn State is evidence on behalf of the alumni corporation that owned the house that they were aware of certain risk factors in the operation of a fraternity house and were taking some steps to avoid potential liability such as will occur with the Piazza case when civil actions start to be filed. Click on link for full article.
August 21, 2017 With the Piazza case at Penn State dominating the news, and opinion leaders from all sides checking in and editorializing, I thought I might update a few thoughts of my own. I was involved in fraternity management from 1973 until 2013. I have held almost every leadership function in a national fraternity from the local alumni association to the national and to the foundation. I currently am an Expert Witness in Greek Life Hazing and Risk Management cases and am presently appearing in a number of cases ranging from hazing to sexual abuse. One major problem is academia itself. College lawyers seeking to rid themselves of liability have spent decades ridding themselves of the doctrine of in loco parentis which required the college to assume the role of the parent and insure the safety of its students. In so doing, they reversed over a century of a symbiotic relationship with the fraternities providing substantial housing on the campus and pretty much the entire social life. Penn State's president is currently in the lead in reversing this trend and putting the disciplinary power back where it belongs, with the school. Without in loco parentis, the fraternities were cut free. The North American Inter-fraternity Conference initially through its Interchange program sought to replace the now missing authority with the Inter Fraternity Council, a self management arrangement with local undergraduate representatives from each fraternity on campus. This entity would have limited ability to punish wrongdoing, establish risk management programs and assume a level of governance over the local chapters. Click on link for full article.
As a result of the unfortunate recent bevy of fraternity hazing cases, I am coming out of Semi-Retirement to full time activity as an Expert Witness in Fraternity Litigation, primarily hazing suits. I am currently working on 6 active cases, with two additional settled. I am the only expert witness with extensive management experience in running a National Fraternity of more than 30 years. As the Executive Director of Delta Kappa Epsilon, I was present and a participant in the development and implementation of the current risk management standards of the Fraternity Industry. I am eminently familiar with the best practices in the Greek World as well as understanding the various intertwining associations and risk management codes, having been a long time participant. While my services are primarily in demand for plaintiffs attorneys, I have worked on behalf of a defendant fraternity in one case that has settled. I provide open honest opinions, documented, and supported by my 30 plus years in the Fraternal World, uncolored by any particular biases. My guiding principle however, is to help eliminate hazing and other out of control behavior in the world of Greek Life. Because of the increasing volume of activity, I have teamed up as a Senior Consultant with Humatec, a recognized leader in providing quality consultants for Expert Witness Services. Humatec has been providing excellent services to attorneys and business nationwide for over 30 years. Services include research, pre-litigation support, reports, depositions, expert witness trial experience, exhibit preparation, as well as technical support.Humatec is one of the most extensively staffed consulting firms nationwide to provide the legal community with expert witness support and expert consulting. The distinct advantage is that all expertise is on-staff; meaning searching for cross-disciplinary experts isn’t necessary and the experts understand the fully integrated approach Humatec brings to the table. Click on link for full article.
A legal team that represents people and families who have had their educational opportunity, and their lives, destroyed by hazing, sexual assault and other misconduct in schools.