HazingPrevention.Org has named UNC Charlotte’s Michelle Guobadia as one of the recipients of its Hank Nuwer Anti-hazing Hero Award.
Guobadia, associate dean of students and director for fraternity and sorority life, and her staff oversee more than 40 Greek organizations.
In recognizing her, HazingPrevention.Org noted Guobadia “has the courage to one-by-one debunk hazing practices that some may deem ‘traditions’ of new member recruitment and education, and she challenges students to hold a critical view of why hazing doesn’t work and why it needs to end.”
Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Christine Reed Davis said, “As a result of her own experience with hazing in college, Michelle is able to speak about hazing from personal knowledge and connect with students in a way that is genuine, honest and insightful. She has a gift of motivating students to think critically about the lack of value hazing brings to organizations that pride themselves in values such as brotherhood, sisterhood, teamwork and integrity.”
A graduate of the University of Delaware, Guobadia completed a Master of Higher Education Administration from N.C. State University.
Since joining UNC Charlotte in June 2008, Guobadia has instituted proactive education and training initiatives aimed at eliminating hazing.
“We want to change the narrative of what it means to be Greek and a Niner as soon as we meet students and parents during summer orientation,” said Guobadia. “Movies, TV shows, media and even experiences in middle and high schools paint a picture that hazing is a norm and a standard part of being Greek. It is not — it (hazing) erodes the values-based foundation on which our groups are founded upon, and we simply have zero tolerance for it.”
Currently, fraternity/sorority chapters and councils participate in National Hazing Prevention Week and submit new member education materials to the University’s Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life. All fraternity/sorority presidents, advisors and new member educators sign an anti-hazing compliance form, and members of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life meet with advisors to discuss chapter activities.
The Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life maintains an open-door policy, and staff members are available to meet with students and employees to discuss hazing. Throughout the academic year, the office conducts workshops, trainings and other activities designed to educate and inform the campus community on the subject.
HazingPrevention.Org is a national organization dedicated to empowering people to prevent hazing, by providing education and resources and building partnerships with others. Hank Nuwer is an associate professor of journalism at Franklin College and the author of multiple books and articles about hazing.