This past week, RU observed National Hazing Prevention Week. Hazing comes in many forms and has been used by fraternities in sororities alike to make “pledges” feel inferior and force them to earn the title of “brother” or “sister.”
Hazing has, unfortunately, been going on for centuries. As well as in fraternities and sororities, hazing has been used in the military, in honors clubs and even sports teams. It’s thought that by making someone submit to tasks and making them feel inferior, their spirits will be broken and they can be turned into “better” members of the organization.
Hazing can be both mental and physical. Some organizations haze members through forcing them to complete tasks, basically being treated like a slave. Some organizations force pledges to drink copious amounts of alcohol, which is obviously very dangerous. Here at RU, deaths have occurred because of hazing in the past.
Luckily, in the past few years, there’s been a movement against hazing. More and more organizations are putting into place “zero tolerance” policies against hazing. Hazing is punishable by law and can have very dire consequences. Organizations that are caught hazing are almost immediately removed from campus.
In my organization, we’re very anti-hazing. When a bid is extended to someone, it’s because we see our values in them. Hazing is used to make people “earn” their letters, but we have to be choosy and look for people who embody our values and will represent us well.
Last year, a representative from our national organization said, “if you give someone a bid, that’s saying you would initiate them that day if you could.” And it’s true, why would we give a bid to someone who doesn’t share our values?
I’ve felt very fortunate in my sorority to have sisters who love me and have never made me feel uncomfortable, and that’s how sisters should be! I can’t imagine being in an organization that made me feel like I had to do things that I wasn’t comfortable with. I don’t understand why anyone would want to be put through that.
My sisters chose to give me a bid because they saw something in me that I never saw in myself. I still wonder sometimes what I know I am loved and accepted. I can’t imagine feeling that way if I were being hazed and made to do things that I didn’t like. I’ve had nothing but a positive experience in my sorority and it breaks my heart to know there are people who have had negative experiences that involved hazing.
Hazing is completely unnecessary. In my opinion, hazing is old-fashioned and barbaric. We should be evolved enough that we can treat each other with dignity. Hazing goes against the values that Greek life teaches us, and those who haze are only feeding the bad reputation that Greek life already has.