AHA! Movement vows to bring awareness of the dangers of hazing

The AHA! Movement was established in Pleasant Hill, California on January 29, 2015, to bring awareness to the dangers of hazing, and to prevent injury and death by changing the culture of those organizations who participate in the humiliating, degrading, torturous and potentially deadly acts of hazing.

The mission of the AHA! Movement is to increase awareness, accountability and responsibility towards eradicating hazing, by empowering our youth through education to be our agents of change.



Hazing has been around for centuries. It is a sadistic, degrading, torturous ritual used to initiate membership in a club or organization under the illusion that it is a rite of passage.

The goal of the AHA! Movement is to not only educate students on the dangers of hazing but also help them to recognize what hazing looks like, as well as to understand the penalties that come with any type of participation. We want to bring awareness that hazing is not harmless fun.

The AHA Movement

The AHA Movement was created in the memory of Matthew Carrington, who was killed due to water hazing while pledging a fraternity at Cal State University, Chico, California on February 2, 2005.


  • 47% of High School students are hazed before they go to college.
  • 67% college students joining any type of organization that involves any type of initiation will be hazed.
  • Hazing deaths have been documented every year since 1969, and date back to the early 1800’s.
  • Hazing can start as early as elementary school.

We can say that hazing is wrong and that it will not be accepted but until we can change the culture of the college campus Greek system (fraternities/sororities), nothing is going to change. Change starts with awareness and education. That’s where the AHA! Movement comes in.
We need to change the mindset, culture, perception, and practice of fraternities, sororities, sports teams, drama clubs, band, cheerleading squads, scouting…any initiation into clubs or organizations. It can no longer be about torture and humiliation. It needs to be about respect—respect for yourself and others.

We have created a presentation with emotional impact that is shown in high schools and colleges. As part of this program we share statistics about hazing, explain the difference between hazing and bullying, discuss “Matt’s Law”, have interactive activities, explore alternatives to hazing, discuss personal development, offer a Q&A session, as well as, provide resources for further information and help.

Our vision for the future includes setting up age appropriate programs for younger students, expanding our Ambassadorship program in schools, colleges, fraternities, sororities, et cetera as a continuation of our training, as well as, a Victim’s Advocate program, and establishing a hot line for reporting incidents.

AHA! can also be found at colleges on move-in day sharing literature with parents and students as they arrive, as well as, at parent events. We are at local events, Rotary clubs and other organizations sharing our message and bringing awareness as well.

The dangerous practice of hazing continues is because it takes place in secret. Nobody talks about it because, at first, they don’t even realize it’s happening. By the time they do, they are sworn to secrecy; when it’s over they are often too humiliated to let anyone know it has taken place. So it is crucial to help young people recognize hazing and understand the associated risks when it first begins!

The purpose of the AHA! Movement is to end the senseless humiliation, physical injury and tragic deaths resulting from hazing by reaching out, empowering and educating young people.

I hope you will join the AHA! Movement by helping us share information about hazing in schools, by making a donation, helping us find funding, and/or speaking out against hazing.