the culture of hazing

Recently, the University of Alabama suspended “pledgeship” (NOT A REAL WORD) due to a report of hazing. This article from the campus newspaper, The Crimson White details an anonymous pledge’s experiences in the Greek system. The article shed light onto some of the activities that take place at campuses all across America–though in defense of Greek life I must note that these practices are NOT condoned by fraternities’ and sororities’ national leadership, universities, and national council representation. AND there ARE chapters out there that do make good decisions, don’t engage in hazing practices, and live out their fraternity’s values. YES, fraternities and sororities are VALUES-BASED organizations–for example, Phi Mu was founded on the values of love, honor, & truth.

Stepping back from my rant on the positives of Greek life, I will admit that the part of the article I found the most shocking/saddening (none of the hazing practices surprised me, I’ve heard them all!) was the comments. The fact that students are defending hazing, stating that the student should have expected the behavior/known what he was “getting himself into,” and acting like the behavior really isn’t that problematic is in itself a huge problem! No student (or person, for that matter) should have to be subjected to physical, sexual, or psychological ABUSE to gain acceptance into a group. Not only does it NOT contribute to student development, but it’s just WRONG, people!

I understand that there are people out there who feel that there are some benefits to hazing, or feel that because they were hazed they bonded with their pledge brothers/sisters. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this issue!


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