Organization reinstated after suspension

CommUNHiversity returns after incident

By Katie Gardner
On October 29, 2012

After a yearlong suspension, CommUNHiversity has officially been reinstated as a student organization at UNH. The group is known for bringing together the UNH community, but in Spring 2011, it lost recognition after a hazing incident.

The incident occurred at an event that was intended to bring the organization closer together and to create a stronger bond between new members, but what occurred was considered hazing by the university.

"It was terribly unfortunate," said CommUNHiversity member Kelsie Stevens. She went on to say that the event actually did work to bring the organization closer together, but its members do understand why there was a problem.

"We have learned so much from this and now have a better understanding of what hazing actually is," she said.

The organization is moving forward and it has now finished the reinstatement process.

"They came back as essentially a brand new organization," said Nate Hastings, the coordinator of student organization and leadership. The group had to go through the same process as a new organization and was treated no different from anyone else trying to start a group. However, CommUNHiversity is on a two-year probation.

The group had to have at least seven group members, with two being full-time officers, which was no problem for this group, since it has approximately 15-20 members. It also had to draft a constitution and have a recognition meeting. Stevens also mentioned that the group had to educate all of its members on what is considered to be hazing.

In the past, CommUNHiversity has brought many events to UNH, all of which were intended to bring the university closer together. A major event it is known for starting is the Homecoming bonfire, which is held each year after the Homecoming parade.

CommUNHiversity also started the flash dance, as well as the primal scream, which is held in Dimond Library during finals week.

Looking to the future, the organization is currently brainstorming ideas for events. It has been collaborating with the group that took over UNH's Best Dance Crew, which CommUNHiversity originally started. It is also looking to have the primal scream start again this year. Stevens spoke of trying to bring more fun events to campus now that the organization is up and running once again.

The university has high hopes for the group as well. "I think they're going to contribute a lot of community spirit to UNH," Hastings said.

That is what the group is known for and is also what Stevens hopes that students realize. Stevens said she hopes that the group's setback won't alter students' view of the group.

"Our organization is all about community and bringing the university together and getting more traditions on campus," she said.

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