Site Loader

Fraternity
and sorority members unfortunately been stereotyped in today’s society
especially with how a hazing scandal can effect his or her reputation. Hazing can
be considered any action taken or any situation created intentionally that
causes embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule and risks emotional and/or physical
harm to members of a group, whether this person might be new to the group or
not, and regardless of the person’s willingness to participate. This act has
been somewhat of a major part of history, which can be seen, still practiced
today most infamously represented by members of the Greek life organization at
many colleges and universities. More and more tragic incidents have been
brought up recently as a result of the media covering such crimes and the
popularity gained on social media. Even though some individuals might think
that this would bring the participants closer and bond because of what he or
she been through, such hazing acts will make the victims lives never the same
after this potential harmful experience.

When going
through the steps of joining Greek life at a certain school there comes a
contrast between pledging a fraternity or sorority and being a part of what
these members consider a sisterhood or brotherhood. In Merriam-Webster’s
dictionary pledging is defined by putting in a lot of effort and a lot of time
in promising to join said fraternity or sorority. Sisterhood is a society, or
community of sisters with shared conditions and experiences. Brotherhood is
very similar to being a part of a sisterhood but of course with men. The
benefits of being a part of a fraternity or sorority for example, the
friendships that they build with the fellow members, the academic support
network, a professional network after graduating, and a wide range of
leadership opportunities. Students who abuse their title can and give a bad rep
for all involved. The members of fraternities and sororities pride themselves
on being considered brothers and sisters, but with hazing they do not act as
though they are. The members need to act as a family and protect each other,
not cause harm to each other. Hazing is something that has been going on for
over a 100 years on college campuses although it has been said that the origins
of hazing can be traced as far back as 387 B.C. to the founding of Plato’s
academy (Nuwer). By the young men who were students played practical jokes on
newcomers this is something that is not so different on what is considered
present day hazing. Laws have been made in majority of the states stating that
hazing is against the law, it is hard to give a specific number because many
articles have given different information especially in the time frame it has
been written. The main issue is why in the year 2017 hazing is not outlawed in
all 50 states. But why are there still fraternities and sororities still practice
such outdated rituals because this is an issue that should have been completely
dealt with years ago but we are still hearing of such tragic incidents
happening today.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

 Hazing can be expressed in many
different forms. Some examples that occur can be seen as forced activities for
new recruits to prove if he or she is worthy to join, forced or required consumption
of alcohol, requirement to endure hardships being staying awake, menial tasks,
physical labor, running while blindfolded, humiliation of new or potential
members, illegal activities like a requirement to steal local items as part of
a scavenger hunt, etc. Hazing practices vary in how severe it feels from one
person to another it could be playful but other forms of hazing can get very
violent and brutal. Some other ways that would also be considered hazing vary
but have the same common idea, which is having difference in power between
those in a group and those who want to join a group when a intentional
initiation rite, practice or ‘tradition’ is involved. Even if either party
willingly participates, someone always holds responsibility if something goes
wrong in a situation even when it could be considered harmless. There can be more
ways that fraternity and sorority members could get to bond with each other and
get to know the new members such as all members participating in campus and
community activities, or participating in a community service project.

Hazing
occurs in more places than just members of a Greek life organization it is also
present in sports teams, clubs, honor societies and more. In often situation
hazing consist of someone having all the power and control. Hazing does not
build unity but in some occasions the individuals experiencing the hazing know
the end result is not worth it to continue having to go through this physical
and mental torment. There are many people trying to fight this battle
especially represented by those involved in making the website
hazingprevention.org. This website wants to spread the message to prevent
hazing all across America and they do this by sharing statistics about hazing.

For example, more than half of students in colleges and universities involved
in clubs, sports teams and organizations have experienced hazing. A significant
number of hazing incidents and deaths involve alcohol consumption. Students
seem to be more likely of getting hazed if they knew an adult who was hazed, 2
in 5 students say they are aware of hazing taking place on their campus. Hazing
occurs in middle schools, high schools and colleges. Both male and female
students report a high level of hazing. Hazing in college and universities
Greek life is something that is being extremely focused on in today’s media
with the current lawsuits against the students participating. Hazing is not something
that has only been affiliated with fraternities and sororities. This act that
has been present all throughout history for example some “incidences of hazing
have been documented in such varying organization as Native American tribes,
military groups, university sports” (Parks).

Most deaths
that occurred because of hazing usually involved alcohol or drugs. The most
common intention that anyone group involved in hazing says it is usually meant
to be used like a team building activity or to make sure everyone is up for
what is to come. These acts can and do go too far, and get carried away in a very
short time period. It is hard to then determine who could be liable for hazing
others but no one ends up saying anything because he or she does not want to
feel left out, they rather be a part of something even if he or she is involved
in such torturous activities. With time passing hazing becomes more violent and
dangerous for the new recipients with all the current individuals that perform
the hazing currently try to outdo the hazing that what was done to them. This
is just an abuse of power and should be a violation of human dignity. If
individuals could be educated these inhumane acts of bullying would be
forbidden in all places that hazing is present.

In a
specific article when researching this topic starts off discussing how people
were protesting to end fraternity hazing, because of how the death of people
dying in fraternity-related incidents has risen. The author Friedman, then asks
the question of should colleges abolish fraternities and sororities while
giving options to the reader on how to make Greek life more safe and
responsible for the students involved along with their families.

Surveys
have been done asking males and females in different age groups on their views and
his or her opinion of hazing in fraternities in the United States, 2014 and how
those situations should be handled. The first question that the subjects were
asked was if a fraternity gets caught hazing his or her members should it be suspended
from the campus. Of all participants 43% responded yes, permanently, 40%
responded with yes, temporarily, 7% said no, while 10% of participant said that
they were not sure. When the respondents of this question was separated by sex
and age the answer still came back with similar results that the fraternity
should be either suspended permanently or suspended temporarily.

An example
of an extreme situation led to officials of Alpha
Phi Alpha, the nation’s largest and oldest black fraternity, recently sued six
of their own members, alleging that he or she had damaged the reputation of the
national organization by allegedly carrying out violent acts of hazing while
using the fraternity’s name and letters. Of course, such practices are not
restricted to historically black fraternities and sororities this can happen in
any fraternity or sorority no matter if they are predominantly black or white.

There have been many statistics that are brought to hand and according to one
estimate, at least 65 students have died since 1978 as a result of beatings and
stress inflicted during fraternity initiation rites (Stanglin).

College
administrator’s say, ” While sorority hazing is more likely to involve
emotional or psychological abuse than physical violence, it is becoming a more
serious problem on some campuses” (Geraghty). Although hazing is not as common in
a sorority than in a fraternity it still can happen in another shape or form.

There has been hazing allegations brought up against different sororities and
just because he or she does not get physically being affected does not mean
that the members experiencing the hazing are not affected at all. Being abused
mentally can be just as affective and can lead to drastic conclusions. While
handling all the struggles of being a college student this shouldn’t be a worry
that being part of family of your peers would come with the catch that your
safety could be affected.

Even
though these practices have been present for more than a 100 years it still
seems to be on the back burner meaning everyone knows it is still happening but
they are not willing to act until something tragic happens. Why wait until it
gets that far? Something should be done now. Students should be protected.

There are many organizations to prevent hazing but this issue is still at hand
it should take a more involved approach. Hazing should be outlawed in all 50
states and should not expected with a slap on this wrist if these acts do play
out. The individuals that had the right intentions to be founders of their
Greek chapters did not in vision this as the outcome and future of how Greek
life should be represented. To be a part of a fraternity and sorority is more
than throwing parties and hanging out with your friends they had pride for
something that would and should be beneficial for all members involved.

With hazing
incidents involving fraternities and sororities, from the very beginning
certain people especially so-called grown-ups hated and do not support students
participating in Greek life might use these wrongful acts as a reason to banish
their organization. With the threat of possibly being shut down students could
be sent down the right pathway to stop future-hazing incidents by being better
informed. Then there can also be the risk that if Greek life was shut down at
certain colleges or universities this could put the thought of rebelling more
in their heads to get what they want. That is something that should not be
allowed to happen especially on those campuses where Greek life plays an
important role that they can control everything. There
are people that do not even know what hazing is, making for unexpected and
vulnerable victims; everyone should be educated on how dangerous this could be,
because no one deserves to experience this. No two people are exactly the same,
so just because someone is thought to be experiencing so light playful hazing
such as just embarrassing themselves, it might be experienced in a completely
different way, effected in a different way, or just pushed too far.

If
fraternities and sororities are at that point where they as a whole are tired
of being stereotyped, then they have to work hard in changing their reputation.

Fraternities have to show society on many occasions that they do have a
beneficial purpose, and that they are not all about partying. (There are
fraternities and sororities currently on a number of college campuses, that
have plans set to change how Greek life is represented by the means of not only
abolishing hazing but additionally dispose of the generation-old tradition of
pledging itself. Some fraternity contributors that were hazed in the past might
in all likelihood ask, how could they accept somebody into their sacred group
who doesn’t pass tests whatever they may be. Nevertheless, performing physical
and pretty much torture tests are not the only types of tests that can be given
to initiate pledges and should not even be considered an option especially
anymore.)

(There
are fraternities that are, literally, getting away with murder, which is seen
by the “reported forty-five to fifty deaths between 1978 and 1990 ”
which include hazing, accidental and suicide deaths (Nuwer). For instance, in a
well-publicized hazing death of Charles Stenzel, Author Hank Nuwer states that,
“the thenpresident of Alfred University, M. Richard Rose, spoke at the
memorial service and said that no individual student could be blamed for the
death in which Chuck’s mother has called a senseless hazing incident”
(Preface). Chuck died in a hazing incident from “acute alcohol poisoning
combined with exposure to cold, and severe pulmonary edema… ” (Stevens).

The college expressed that “although they deeply regretted the tragedy,
they could accept no responsibility for what had happened (Nuwer). If the
college is not responsible, then who is? )

(The
victim? College administrators must take full responsibility of what happens
with their students. If something happens to their students, especially when
something is done by college-approved organizations (fraternities), then
college administrators are responsible. Even though administrators do not want
the responsibility that is asked of them. Even author Hank Nuwer states that,
unless media and public pressure is brought to bear on colleges and other
groups in which hazing is common, administrators will continue to call hazing
by any other name. )

One final
solution that could restrict hazing, and eventually put a stop to it, is
stricter laws that prevent hazing from occurring in all 50 states. Only
outlawing in a majority of the states this still does not mean that they are
preventing hazing altogether but this could be a start. All students need the
same protection not just a few. If this could possibly be played out, the way
that fraternities and sororities are portrayed and stereotyped would be
completely different. These members should learn from all past and constant
mistakes made that resulted from hazing. In order to try and prevent hazing
from continuing the act must be noticed, it should be identified that this is
act is not okay and should be seen as a problem, and something needs to be done
about it and soon. The most important step in preventing hazing involves
educating the public on what hazing is. 

Post Author: admin

x

Hi!
I'm Erica!

Would you like to get a custom essay? How about receiving a customized one?

Check it out