Woman’s stand against hazing elevates her to ‘hero’

A Florida State University alumna has received a national award for taking a stand against hazing.

Amanda Singh has received one of five Hank Nuwer Anti-Hazing Hero Awards for 2011 from HazingPrevention.org. The award, sponsored by the Phi Delta Theta fraternity, recognizes college students who confront hazing in organizations they are affiliated with.

“Hazing no longer has to be something that is accepted for initiation,” said Singh, who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biological science from Florida State in 2011. “I took a stand alone, and I think anyone else can, too.

“I never would have thought that being hazed and going through a student conduct hearing would have impacted my life in such a positive way, but I truly feel like I now have a cause I want to fight for,” Singh said.

After experiencing physical and psychological trauma while pledging the Florida State chapter of the Sigma Sigma Rho sorority, Singh reported her experiences through the university’s hazing website. She was then contacted by Associate Dean of Students Adam Goldstein, who arranged a meeting with her to explain Florida State’s zero-tolerance policy toward hazing.

“Amanda was not interested in seeing anyone get in trouble, yet she believed strongly that no student should have to have the same experience when pursuing involvement in campus life,” said Goldstein, who recommended Singh for the award. “Amanda has chosen to be a person of character and integrity who made a difference at Florida State University.”

As a result of Singh’s testimony during a student conduct hearing through the Dean of Students Department, the Florida State chapter of the Sigma Sigma Rho sorority was found to be guilty of hazing and dismissed from campus.

The award is named for anti-hazing journalist and author Hank Nuwer, who also serves as a member of the board of directors of HazingPrevention.org.