A Reflection on Hazing for National Hazing Prevention Week…

I do not understand hazing.

No one will ever be able to convince that it is a viable way to treat a person.  I can confidently say that I was never hazed to join my organization.  I was never forced to drink any amount of alcohol.  I was never forced to clean something.  I was never hit, beaten, or forced to work out.  There were never any late-night lineups or uniforms to wear.  I was never asked to do anything demeaning.

So my question is why do others feel that they need to do these things?

I still learned about the history of my organization and chapter.  I still know my organization’s creed and open mottoes.  I can vividly remember initiation.  And through all of that, absolutely no hazing.

We had weekly education sessions with our Big Brothers and New Member Educator.  Our Ritual Chair held educational sessions with us during I-Week in preparation for initiation.  We had conversations about the fraternity, our open mottoes, our crest, and our creed.  There were no tests or quizzes.  We had a leadership training workshop from our Educational Leadership Consultant when he came to town.  We had a constructive process that made us better people and ultimately better members.

We did not have to interview every member of the chapter.  We were provided with plenty of events and opportunities to get to know them.  A lot of this came through service events and activities.  Most of it was just from hanging out on campus in a centralized apartment.  We held weekly brotherhood dinners.  We would follow these by having a riveting game of dodgeball, where 50-75 people would come out and play, many of whom had nothing to do with our chapter (and how we recruited quite a few members).

We still did silly things.  We drank.  We got into mischief.  We played pranks on each other.  We were still able to have fun.

However, at no point was any of this forced on me, or any other Associate Member.  My actions were my own decisions.  I never felt I had to do something.  I never felt I would be treated differently or judged for not being at a party.  I was never in a position where I felt my action or inaction would prevent me from being initiated.

Let’s factor in that I am part of an organization where there is a second vote before initiating our members.

I was always allowed to attend chapter meetings.  I could wear letters as soon as I was made an Associate Member.  I was able to hold office right away.

My organization was the first (inter)national fraternity to adopt a universal non-hazing policy.  My specific chapter helped to introduce anti-hazing legislation in our state.  Hazing was never a part of the culture of our chapter.  We did not tolerate it within our chapter or in other chapters.  We took this seriously.

You will never convince me hazing is necessary, it is important, and/or it creates better members.  These statements have been proven false time and time again by professionals and researchers.

I can confidently tell you that I am a better person because of my new member education process and being a member of my organization.  There was no hazing involved.  It can be done.  I suggest you try.

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About Justin Sipes

Learner Input Strategic Achiever Analytical
This entry was posted in F/S Life, Personal and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to A Reflection on Hazing for National Hazing Prevention Week…

  1. One of the biggest issues with hazing that I saw as a student was that things that I didn’t think were hazing or forced (like you mention above), the administration had a completely different view of it. Now that I’m working with Greek students, I am constantly reminding them to think of how others will view their actions.

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