A film directed by an Indiana University alum tackles the dark side of Greek life. Fraternity members discussed the controversial tradition of hazing and its place in Greek life during a screening of the film on campus Monday.
The movie, HAZE, is fictional, but director and IU alum, David Burkman says he based it on his own personal experience in Greek life as an undergrad at the university. The film is centered around the aftermath of a death caused by fraternity hazing and two brothers caught up on opposite sides of the issue.
Several IU fraternities and Indiana Hillel, a Jewish campus organization, sponsored the screening and visit by Burkman.
Privileged to introduce IU alumni, David Burkman, Director of the movie, Haze. Important topic for all students. Thanks to chapters who sponsored the movie. pic.twitter.com/psxwMeD4WX
— Lori Reesor (@LoriReesor) January 29, 2018
The university is no stranger to hazing controversies.
In 2011, a former member of Phi Sigma Kappa died after being found unresponsive in the fraternity’s on-campus house. Since then, 4 fraternities have been suspended due to violations related to hazing and alcohol.
According to data gathered by Franklin College professor, Hank Nuwer, 4 students died in hazing-related incidents across the country in 2017. Burkman says his film is about opening a dialogue about hazing.
“The hope is that people will watch the film and start to talk more openly and honestly with each other about the problem of hazing which is a really growing problem in this country,” he says.
The university’s Interfraternity Council voted to suspend all social activities through the end of February last November, as part of a growing national movement in response to hazing incidents.