Hazing Hurts: What Greek Students Can Learn From Penn State

Hazing Hurts: What Greek Students Can Learn From Penn State

It's gone too far.

The first Greek chapter was created with the motto:

"Love of wisdom. The guide of life."

Timothy Piazza's story is heartbreaking to hear about. While reading stories on his "final hours", I had the chills. With great disgust, it makes me think of how many other sorority and fraternity chapters have had similar incidences and have gotten away with the person not being dead.

Hazing is not a joke, it never has been and it never will be. No matter how "easy" you think your hazing is, it does not make it okay. Greek life is not supposed to be a test of survival of the fittest. Greek chapters are supposed to be a group of friends, not groups of friends where different classes haze the others. How does that instill or promote brotherhood/sisterhood?

Taken from a pro-hazing article:

"Those who join must be put through a standard set of tasks, events, and discipline-instilling exercises to truly appreciate what it means to be a part of that organization."

No organization or member is invincible, hazing has been the cause of death of numerous students. Why does one need to be "disciplined" to join the organization? How about teaching them about the history of the organization and having events where the new members can meet the other members and bond? No one wants to send their kid off to school for them to join Greek life and then never come home for a winter, spring, or summer break again.

As a member of Greek life, I am horrified by the events that go on in other chapters and could not imagine letting that happen to me or my friends. We need to learn how to speak up for one another - we need to learn to walk away from things that could put us in such danger. Compared to my friends who were hazed, I have a much better relationship with my sisters and know way more about my chapter than they do.

From everything I have read, Timothy Piazza was an amazing student, athlete, friend, and son. He did not deserve this; no one does. He didn't deserve to be hazed and neither do you or any of your friends. I feel for the family and so should any of you who have ever hazed anyone else.

Hazing has been taken too far. If you can't do it or wouldn't want to do it, why would you make someone else? It is wrong and it is disgusting that people get joy out of making other people cry and puke from being overly intoxicated. If you think hazing is funny, put yourself in any of these positions and then think about how you'd feel:

1. Eating a goldfish alive

2. Having a male circle the fat on your body while you're sitting on a running washing machine

3. Eating a pack of cigarettes

4. Not being allowed to leave until a certain amount of alcohol is finished

5. Being forced to go out every single night

6. Peeing or puking on each other while drinking excessive amounts of alcohol

7. Being forced to do certain drugs or perform sexual acts

You may think some of those things are funny or stupid, but imagine going through weeks of hell where you barely eat, your grades drop, you get no sleep, etc. No one joins Greek life for the hazing, they join because they want to be there for the friendship or philanthropy. Instead, before being able to do this, new members are tortured in numerous ways. Why don't most of them just drop? Because who wants to be made fun of even more?

Colleges can do more — whether there's more monitoring during the new member period or by having more workshops on hazing and/or drinking. In many of the articles on Timothy Piazza's case, some of the brothers were Googling his symptoms because they didn't know or see the warning signs. Colleges make us do programs like Greeklife.edu or alcohol related simulations online, however these are easy to skim through and be done with it. The simulations don't really teach anything and are not memorable. We need more peer groups on campus that are there to help when we have questions or things go wrong. Colleges should also stress how important it is to call 911 when someone is not well.

SEE ALSO: Timothy Piazza's Death Isn’t On Greek Life Or Penn State. It’s On Us

You are not better than anyone else and physical or mental torture does not do anything for anyone. No one should have to prove themselves like that to be in an organization. So speak up, don't just sit back and watch events like this go on and if you or your friends are being hazed, don't let it go unnoticed.

Popular Right Now

Despite What Their Instagram Shows, No One's Life Is Picture Perfect

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but a mere photo can never tell the whole story.

Scrolling through my Instagram feed, I can't help but be jealous of my friends or of the various bloggers and celebrities that I follow. I mean, it's hard not to envy them — how could I ever compare with their pristine and perfect lives? Social media depression is a thing, and it haunts me all the time.

I constantly have to ask myself if these people even have any problems in their lives. Why my life can't be as put-together as theirs? Am I the only person facing obstacles?

We say many lies, whether to ourselves or to others, whether big or small. Social media provides an ideal platform to perfect these lies and to create an appearance of perfection. For me, this means making my Instagram feed, Facebook timeline and Snapchat stories look as flawless as possible. After all, I feel obligated to have a perfect social media presence, especially after observing what others post.

The moment of realization really hit me, however, when I saw stumbled upon a friend of a friend of a friend's Facebook profile. He was an attractive star musician with a loving family and circle of friends. As far as I could glean from his timeline, his life was perfect. A great girlfriend, excellent academics, talented at the cello — all ingredients to a successful life. However, as I read the comments on his most recent photos, I realized that he had just recently committed suicide. That got me thinking, if someone's life truly were perfect, why would they kill themselves?

SEE ALSO: Life Is Unfair, But Should We Really Just "Deal With It?"

Slowly, I came to the conclusion that I was not alone in my worries. Because despite the perfect photoshoots or the exotic travels, people were dealing with problems, same as I was. Because despite the extravagant shopping trips or the ideal friends and family, no one's life is perfect.

An old idiom comes to mind that perfectly describes this situation — don't judge a book by its cover. Or in this case, don't judge someone's life by what their social media looks like. After all, in this time and age, social media is essentially a way of "catfishing" other people into believing that someone's life is perfect when really it is just the moment captured in the photo that was perfect. I'll admit, my real life is a far cry from the one I carefully construct on social media. But it's time for me to accept that no one's life is perfect, despite their Twitter posts, Facebook albums or Instagram posts. Yes, a picture may be worth a thousand words, but a mere photo can never tell the whole story.
Cover Image Credit: Instagram / Emitaz

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Why Are We Afraid Of Our Fellow Man?

And Other Daily Ruminations

So, if I could, I’d love instead to title this piece, “7 Reasons Why We Are Afraid Of Our Fellow Man.” But I don’t have the answers. In fact, I simply wonder how our society has become the way it is… and maybe, if we can answer this question, we can start looking into answering, “Well, then, what can we maybe do to change things?”

So… wait, what was I going on about again? Ah, right. Our fellow man. Well, as tends to occur, I had another revelation making my way across our beautiful campus today. I was minding my own business, listening to something nice on my wireless and marching along when I began to take notice of the life around me. As I have mentioned in previous articles — I meditate. And if there’s one thing that meditation teaches you it’s to be aware of the present — the sun on your face, the wind caressing your skin, and the thousands of people around you creating that beautiful hustle and bustle that is life.

Well, today, for the first time, I didn’t see that hustle and bustle. I saw a thousand different humans, all with aspirations and families and stories. Humans who woke up with a dream, or maybe today were too tired to dream. The thing is, today, I zoomed in. I started to take note of their expressions. Eyes straight forward, lips sealed. Eyes straight downward, phone in hand -zoned out. Everyone in their own little bubble. Bubbles aren’t bad — I like bubbles. But what is bad is that that bubble is a shield. Walking around, people don’t smile at each other — in fact, they do just about everything to avoid each other’s glances. The only time someone talks to you is either if they know you or to complement your ass. It’s sad.

I remember in high school, you’re always hyper aware of what people think of you. How you look in relation to them, the differences in your speech, your popularity, your family fortune (what fortune? lol). But we’re not in high school anymore. The problem is, at this point, elevator conversations no longer exist. Random friendships made in the street no longer really…exist. We all share at least one mutual friend… our “smart”phone which has done just about everything but make us smart. In no sense do I under-appreciate technology and all it has done for us, but I also cannot ignore that a detrimental repercussion does exist.

I don’t know about you, but I feel that it’s quite wrong that I feel strange publicly starting off into space to enter thought, rather than staring down at my phone to enter Instagram. We’re slowly becoming less human, I think - seeking connection less - now that we coexist comfortably with a telephone is never gonna judge us. We’ve found an easy way out of awkward elevator rides with strangers, of where to look when we walk, but I feel that if anything, the phone has completely hidden from our view the real solution here — to stop being so damn afraid of that spontaneous glance or conversation.

It’s beautiful to walk around and realize that each person you pass has a life of their own, dreams of their own. It’s beautiful to share a smile and maybe even make their day. It’s amazing to make a new friend simply because you ended up riding the same elevator. Stop being so afraid that someone’s going to judge you. If they do, they’re not even worth your thought because they’re immature, and for your information, probably a thousand times more self conscious than you are.

Make friends — I urge you. And I don’t mean on Tinder. Talk to people. There are so, so many incredible individuals out there that have a lot more in common with you than you think, and like you, are probably just scared to start a conversation. Life really becomes beautiful when you actually allow yourself to experience it.

So start doing it. Get out there. Live! And don’t be afraid to start a conversation with an interesting stranger because

“Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” -Bernard Baruch-

Cover Image Credit: @littleleeboo

Related Content

Facebook Comments