AHA! seeks to end the senseless and tragic cycle of deaths from hazing by reaching out, empowering and educating our young people.
Our outreach includes partnering with middle schools, high schools, fraternities, sororities, community colleges, and four-year universities. We also interface with those who attend houses of worship, serve on military bases, and are members of service organizations. Additionally, we speak at other locations where pre-teens, teenagers and young adults can hear our message.
Only by becoming aware of what hazing is, as well as its dangers, can we permanently break this degrading, tortuous and sometimes deadly practice.
Created in 2015, the AHA! (Anti-Hazing Awareness) Movement seeks to end the practice of hazing by educating our young people about the degrading, tortuous and potentially fatal dangers associated with hazing.
AHA! was founded by Debbie Smith to honor the memory of her son Matthew Carrington, a 21-year-old student who was killed during a hazing ritual while attending California State University, Chico.
In the early morning hours of February 2, 2005, Matt was left to die on the floor of a dark, dirty and sewage infested basement of the Chi Tau fraternity house located a few blocks from campus. There, on Matt’s final day, and as part of a days-long, tortuous hazing (‘pledging’) ritual, he was forced to drink from a five-gallon jug of water that was filled more than five times throughout the night, was required to pour enough water on himself to ensure he stayed wet at all times, and was made to vigorously exercise while cold fans blew near-freezing temperatures on his body. This heinous hazing continued until Matt’s death.
Scribbled on the wall was the phrase, “in the basement, no one can hear you scream.”
After Matt’s passing, Debbie Smith became a tireless and vocal advocate against hazing. In 2006, she and thousands of other supporters celebrated the passage of Matt’s Law in the State of California, which makes it a felony to actively participate in hazing when someone is gravely injured or killed.
Today, Smith believes that the AHA! Movement can play a key role in stopping the tortuous practice of hazing.
The AHA! Movement is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
The AHA! Movement is a family-oriented organization. When you become a member, you become part of our family. By extension, your entire family becomes aware, empowered, and propelled to take action, which supports our mission. We are all stronger when we work together! You can help us increase the voice of hazing victims who have lived through the horrors or died at the hands of ignorance.
His Legacy. The AHA! Movement was created in the memory of Matt Carrington, who was killed during a water hazing ritual in Chico, CA, while pledging a fraternity.