Tag Archives: hazing

When hazing is taken too far

Hazing is outdated and dangerous. Why do it? Graphic from theodysseyonline.com

I’m sure you’ve heard by now that a Radford University fraternity, Pi Kappa Phi, has been suspended under allegations of a member of the fraternity entering the hospital after a hazing incident. Although a specific name hasn’t been released, the university as well as the Radford police have been taking this incident very seriously and intend on discovering exactly what happened and how to prevent it from happening again.

Hazing has been a rite of passage into Greek life for many years now, although it has been made illegal. I’m not sure where the idea has originated from or why it was created in the first place, but I honestly don’t see the point. Why would abusing and pranking upcoming members of Greek life be a good idea? What’s the point? Is it suppose to prove that they’re worthy of joining the house? Or is it just for fun? Whatever the reason is, it’s not good enough to justify putting people in danger, so much that their life is at risk.

Some people justify hazing by saying that it’s tradition, that it’s been around for years and it’s simply part of greek culture. However, if that’s the logic you like to use than why don’t we bring back slavery or segregation? It’s a part of American history and was tradition for many years, but that, obviously, doesn’t make it morally correct. Hazing is outdated. People understand that hazing is dangerous and messed up. It takes advantage of people who want to desperately to fit in, to belong. It’s an experience that can truly scare someone for the rest of their life and they’re made to think that it’s normal, that it just a part of becoming a part of greek life. It can damage a person forever, and I don’t think people take it as seriously as they need to.

Some people might say that this event was a one time thing, that the boys just got carried away and it was an accident. However, this specific frat house has had a long record of hazing that has ended badly. In 1996 the chapter was suspended because of a death caused by a party gone too far. In 2010, they were once again suspended for reasons unknown. Pi Kappa Phi has a long history of irresponsible members and maybe even advisors. Something needs to be changed in order to ensure that all of Radford University students are safe and taken care of.

Real sisters don’t haze

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.

sorority girls
“Some organizations haze members through forcing them to complete tasks, basically being treated like a slave.”

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.  Continue reading Real sisters don’t haze

The dangers of hazing

Starting college, adjusting to a new living situation, peer group and advanced classes can be a stressful time. With a strong desire to “fit in,” students may opt to join Greek Life , an athletic team or a club at their school. However, the initiation process for many of these groups often only adds to the stress of navigating college. In recent years, disturbing news stories have highlighted the increasingly violent, aggressive, and even deadly hazing tactics some groups use. Continue reading The dangers of hazing

Breaking News: Where is Greek life’s moral compass?

The fraternity and sorority coalition assessment project released a final report on their March 2012 visit to Radford University. The report details Greek life’s areas of strength, areas of improvement and recommendations to be utilized by the Blue Ribbon Committee, a group designed to improve Greek life at RU. Continue reading Breaking News: Where is Greek life’s moral compass?

From our perspective: Is hazing being prevented?

Hazing, a noun, is defined as a subjection to harassment or ridicule. Do you want to know what else is a noun? RESPECT. Respect is defined as a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered a manifestation of a personal quality or ability. How can we use these two words, that are completely opposite, in the same sentence? Simple, we can all prevent hazing by having respect for each other! Continue reading From our perspective: Is hazing being prevented?

Is hazing still an issue?

Is hazing a big deal? Photo from Creative Commons.

On college campuses around the nation, hazing is still prevalent, but is it as bad as it once was? Every year since 1970, there has been a reported death due to hazing according to the University of Connecticut’s Greek Life website. There are a lot of hazing cases that don’t get reported but are still harmful, causing physical and psychological damage.

What is hazing? According to Virginia law 18.2-56, hazing is defined as, “an abusive, often humiliating form of initiation into or affiliation with a group.”

According to the University of Michigan, 55% of college students involved in clubs, teams and organizations experience hazing.

If someone were considered a pledge brother or sister, why would they be hazed? That’s the question Sigma Nu fraternity asked in “40 Answers To Common Excuses for Hazingwhich took place on Twitter.

According to Tracy Maxwell, the executive director of HazingPrevention.org, it was huge success. There were 5,000 tweets in 40 days. Some popular excuses for hazing were “pledges have to pay their dues to become a brother or sister,” and “hazing weeds out those that who don’t really want to be there.” All 40 answers can be found here.

Photo from Creative Commons.

The most popular reason was that hazing is a tradition.

If fraternities and sororities think it’s OK, can it be stopped? Hazing expert and self-proclaimed international watchdog of hazing Hank Nuwer believes the way to stop hazing is for the underclassmen to snub thought of it. If students stood up and said that hazing isn’t acceptable and dangerous, it would stop itself.

Dr. Tracy Maxwell believes that to stop hazing, schools need to do something at the campus-wide level for every organization, until people really take a hard look at hazing.

According to the National Study of Student Hazing done by Dr. Elizabeth Allen and Dr. Mary Madden in 2006, 40% of Greek Life organization members admit knowledge of hazing activities. Allen believes hazing has become a social norm in social Greek Life organizations. Hazing is glorified in movies like Dazed and Confused, where the upcoming freshmen in high school get chased and hit with wooden paddles.

On many of the Greek Life organization’s websites, they explicitly state that hazing is not allowed and will not be tolerated. Is this a rule they stick to? Many students say no.

Sam Mason was a sophomore at Radford University in 2010 when he died because of ethanol poisoning. He was pledging Tau Kappa Epsilon and lost his life. Seven TKE brothers were later indicted and charged with hazing and supplying alcohol to an underage person.

“I feel a lot has ended due to the death of Sam Mason, but I believe hazing will never truly end,” said Senior Becca Barteau. “It is a tradition in most of Greek Life and I highly doubt it will ever end.”

Dr. Tod Burke, a Radford University professor of Criminal Justice, spoke about the dangers and effects of hazing on WSLS TV and National Public Radio in Roanoke, Va. in July 2011. He touched on the fact that anti-hazing laws tend to be relaxed until something tragic happens, and that’s when action is too late.

“Hazing can be prevented, but everyone involved has to take the right steps to make it stop,” he said. “It won’t just stop on it’s own.”