University News

Western Student Wins National Anti-Hazing Award

February 18, 2013

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MACOMB, IL – A Western Illinois University student has been honored with a national anti-hazing award for his work with a campus fraternity.

Michael W. Anderson, a junior elementary education major from Colfax, IL, was presented with the Hank Nuwer Anti-Hazing Hero Award from The award was one of two presented during the recent Association of Fraternal Leadership and Values annual conference, Feb. 7-10, in Indianapolis, IN.

Fourteen WIU students were among the more than 2,800 attending this year's conference, representing 115 fraternity and sorority affiliations.

Anderson is the "kustos" of the Sigma Chi fraternity at WIU, meaning he is in charge of house rituals. He is also serving his second term on the Interfraternity Council's e-board at Western, where he is the vice president of recruitment.

Anderson was nominated for the award because he initiated Hazing Awareness Week at Western and has hosted anti-hazing speakers on campus.

This week, Anderson said he was surprised and honored to represent the University when he learned he had been selected.

"This summer, I really started to think about what I could do to leave an imprint at WIU; how could I better my school so Greeks are more honored and respected around the nation," said Anderson of why he implemented the Hazing Awareness Week. "Nationally, hazing is a big issue and receives a lot of attention from the media. I began trying to come up with ideas on what I, as an individual, could do to get us going in the right direction."

According to the website, the award is given each year to someone "who has been heroic enough to expose hazing, speak out against this problem" or is in some way working to combat the practice. The award is named for Associate Professor Hank Nuwer, an anti-hazing journalist and author of four books on the topic.

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