I Do Not Support Hazing

I Do Not Support Hazing

And you shouldn't, either
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Recently, I read an article titled "I Support Hazing". After the tragic death of Timothy Piazza at Penn State University due to hazing, it should be clear that now, more than ever, hazing is totally and completely unacceptable. Let's go through some of the points this author made and show why they're, for lack of better word, wrong.

"The organizations that have ritually used hazing usually don't do it just to belittle anyone that wants to join their group, they want to provide a unique experience and ensure that they will have the best new members."

So, you're telling me that the only possible way to provide a unique experience to newcomers is to haze them? You're telling me that in order to ensure you have the best new members, they have to pass a series of excruciating, humiliating and dangerous tasks? I'm sure you can provide a unique experience some other way, and I can guarantee that you are losing more potential "best" members than retaining them by forcing them to be hazed.

"You obviously want to try and join the association, so you are willing to do whatever it takes, and if it takes more than what you want to put into joining then you may simply quit."

This sounds like a job you really want asking you to put in extra hours or weekends. For some things, you will do whatever it takes and more in order to move up. This doesn't really apply when "whatever it takes" refers to being forced to abuse alcohol and be physically beaten. The requirements to join an organization meant for fun should not be to endure types of, for lack of better word, torture.

"The main problem people have with these rituals and requirements to join a fraternity, sorority, etc. is that it’s built to be an exclusive process. Well, without the element of exclusion, why join?"

I don't know? For friendship, a resume booster, because a friend recommended it? People don't join Greek life to be "exclusive", that's why there's a process that ensures that most people find an organization to join.

"Uniqueness is an attribute millennials crave to attain, and there is nothing unique about joining a group that everyone can join. There is nothing to feel proud of if there was no struggle for accomplishment. Without a hazing process, your membership is the equivalent to a participation trophy. (Congrats.)"

People don't join organizations to "feel proud". When I joined my organizations, I joined them because I was passionate about them, because they'd help me later in life and because I enjoyed them. There's no feeling of pride or accomplishment when becoming a member of an on-campus group or organization because they aren't supposed to be exclusive to the "best" people, they are supposed to provide you with a wonderful college experience. Getting into a group isn't supposed to be a reward for anything.

"Hazing builds camaraderie among those who you’re in the “suck” with. The people that are going through it build a bond between each other."

Prison builds camaraderie among those you're in a cell with. Are you also going to argue that you think going to jail just to build bonds is a smart idea? Just to be clear: Any bonds and camaraderie formed is a silver lining, a pro that comes out of the largest of cons. It is not a reason to support a terrible thing, it is a side effect.

"Our generation widely lacks respect because we have been raised to be entitled brats and hiss and moan when we don’t get something our way. My experiences taught me that I’m not entitled to jack squat that I have not worked for or earned. The constant ridicule that is a part of most hazing cultures puts your ego in check and reminds you that your excrement stink as much as everyone else’s."

In that case, is child abuse okay? Seriously. Is ridiculing and abusing your child who mouths off okay? Absolutely not. There's a way to gain or teach respect that doesn't involve abuse, verbal or physical.

"The sort of hazing I'm in support of is letting your superiors ridicule you to teach you patience, and if you disrespect them, you should do strenuous physical activity until you learn your lesson on respect."

While I do acknowledge that the sentence preceding this quote says the author doesn't support substance abuse or any dangerous tactics, this is still largely problematic. What you're suggesting is just enough power where it doesn't become dangerous. However, time after time we learn that when you give people in power an inch, they take a yard. Saying "hazing is okay as long as it stops at ridicule and strenuous physical activity" is just a stepping stone that will unquestionably eventually go further.

"What I’m arguing is that hazing is a choice. It is completely voluntary."

No, what you're arguing is that hazing should be a choice. That it should be voluntary, which is problematic in and of itself but I digress. When a brand new nervous and shy initiate shows up to the fraternity house and is locked in a room until they finish a handle of vodka, it isn't their choice. When they are told to drink lest they be beaten, it isn't their choice. When they're ridiculed and humiliated out of nowhere, it isn't their choice.

"Honestly, I think the organizations should just make those who want to initiate to sign a contract that gives members of the organization the ability to commit specific actions upon them. Likewise, the members of the organization should sign contracts that will terminate their membership if they do anything out of the lines and not hold the organization responsible for an individual’s action. But, you know, that just makes too much sense."

Does it, though? Does it make too much sense? You are saying that initiates should sign a document granting superiors the right to perform hurtful and possibly illegal activities upon them? And then if they want to stop being a member because they've endured too much, they should not hold the organization that had them sign a contract for illegal activity for it? Yeah, okay. Let's see that contract hold up in court or with the university or literally anywhere.

"Just because a few rotten eggs have gone overboard doesn’t mean they should outlaw something that people can find benefit from."

First off, those few rotten eggs are hundreds of rotten eggs. And going overboard typically means death. Just to be clear.

"That’d be like making cars illegal because someone crashed theirs and hurt themselves and/or someone else."

But cars are not inherently bad, and giving people the power to humiliate and abuse people is. They didn't go overboard doing something good, they went overboard doing something that was already pretty bad. I think a more apt comparison would be this: "That would be like making driving drunk illegal because someone crashed theirs and hurt themselves and/or someone else." Because like you said, yep, a few rotten eggs have gone overboard and killed people, but why outlaw it, right? Some people can benefit from driving themselves home instead of paying for a cab. Why'd those pesky rotten eggs have to ruin driving intoxicated, a sometimes very beneficial form of transportation!

"If done correctly, hazing has a lot of potential benefits."

A lot of bad things have potential benefits. A loved one dying can lead to you getting money from a will. Getting in a horrible car accident can remind you to hug your loved ones tighter. And hazing can lead to bonds between people and a higher level of respect for your superiors. But you wouldn't consider "getting will money" a reason to support the death of a loved one, and you wouldn't consider "rethinking life and love" as a reason to support car accidents. Because of that, the limited positive side effects of the dangerous, heinous crime that is hazing is not a reason to support it. It is simply a silver lining to an otherwise horrible thing.

Opinions are opinions, but quite frankly, an opinion supporting an unquestionably disgusting action that has lead to the untimely and tragic deaths of too many are objectively bad opinions. Hazing, in any capacity, is bad and should not be tolerated.

I do not support hazing, and you shouldn't either.

Cover Image Credit: ABCNews

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Do What's Best For You, Even If It Hurts

Be selfish and put your happiness first.
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Doing what is best for yourself is never easy because usually it hurts someone along the way.

Yes, I know this from experience and it sucks to say the least.

Past relationships have taught me that your happiness comes first, whether it be a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship, a friendship, or even a relationship with a family member. Sometimes it’s good to not be selfish and sacrifice your own happiness for someone else but how can you make someone else happy when you’re not happy?

I’ve watched it happen MANY times, not to mention I’m talking from experience.

What’s best for you is what needs to be done, if you’re in a toxic relationship with someone who claims to “love you” then letting go of that relationship to grow as a person is what’s best, if they truly love you and if it’s truly meant to be, the universe will see it through.

The saying about setting something free and if it comes back to you then it was truly yours and if it doesn’t it was never yours to begin with is true here. Don’t let another human tell you how to live your life, do what YOU want. Realistically speaking it isn’t fair if you’re unhappy but the other person is happy. That isn’t healthy. Don’t waste your time on someone who doesn’t want the best for you or doesn’t push you to be the best version of yourself.

Friendships can be tricky, sometimes you have those manipulative friends who want to see you fail. Sometimes you have those friends who are too immature to be in a healthy friendship and only want you to be their friend. I’ve not been close to anyone like this, but I have seen it happen. These are the people you need to distance yourself from, they’re toxic and will only cause conflict in your life.

Family who doesn’t want the best for you is a hard topic to tackle. They’re your family and they’re always supposed to love you right? This is true, but it can definitely make things difficult when what you want out of life is different from what your family wants for you out of life.

Disappointment is a big fear in life, but you have to do what you know is best for you even if that means letting your loved ones down. Because success doesn’t come easy and it isn’t cheap, in the end your family will understand your decisions.

My biggest family dispute was my decision on college, only one family member supported my decision to go away for college, everyone else was against it. But now that I’m here, doing well, everyone is proud of me and happy for me, I couldn’t let them cloud my judgment when making one of the biggest decisions of my life.

The moral of the story is to do what is best for you, no matter if it hurts or upsets someone. If you’re not happy at the end of the day, then you’re doing something wrong. Be selfish for once in your life. Don’t let someone cloud your judgment because they think they know what is best, only you know what’s best for you.

But why? Why is it that other people expect you to put their happiness first? I will never understand this way of thinking and I refuse to break my back to comprehend the ignorance, but I do encourage everyone to sit back and look at how others influence their lives and if it’s a positive or a negative influence.

Be your own person, the only people you have to answer to is yourself and god. Be strong and move forward because the world won’t wait on you and everyone who negatively affects your life will eventually leave too. So be you.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Fun Activities For Children

7 Unique Pastimes for Kids
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Since I was a little girl I dreamed of the day I could call myself a babysitter. There is few things I love more than playing with kids and having them look up for me. I have had the privilege to watch over many children and witness them growing up into such special little human beings! Anyone with any experience with children can understand the struggle in entertaining them, I have compiled a list of fun activities to engage with children of all ages if you are running out of activities to do with your favorite little ones!

1. Drawing & Painting

This is my "go to" activity when the ideas first start running out. Not only do I love drawing and painting but you most likely will end up with a new painting to put on your wall! Kids often will ask "well what do I draw?" with this I tell them anything from a self-portrait, favorite animal, nature etc. Sometimes they need a little push to get started!

2. Take them to the Library

Alright so this may not work every time because children associate the library with school, but on rainy days this is a free option that I try to suggest. Not only can the kiddos find books to read, but the library often as many activities and games to entertain them.

3. Kids Baking Challenge or Chopped Junior

This has been one of my greatest ideas yet in my babysitting career. I often watch Kids Chopped with the little girl I babysit in the summer (love you Kendalyn) and when all else fails I set a timer for 15 minutes in the kitchen and host a competition between her and her friends. I have seen some of the most creative dishes that would put Gordan Ramsey to shame... some definitely tastier than others!

4. Lemonade Stand

On a warm summer day there is no better way to get children excited and working with one another than a good old fashion lemonade stand. This activity is perfect for a full day of fun because a lot of planning goes into it! From making signs to riding bikes down the street screaming "Get your Lemonade!" this event will be very entertaining for everyone involved.

5. Scrap Booking

I usually do this at the end of the summer with Kendalyn, but printing off funny pictures and reminiscing on different memories is always fun and memorable. I recommend Walmart for a small cheap photo book option and lots of tape!

6. Making Bracelets

I love making bracelets so this is always an activity I bring up when there needs to be some entertainment. All you need is some elastic and beads! I usually bring fun letter so you can spell words out and gift them to each other.

7. Making Super Hero Masks

I stole this idea from my sister but for an option more directed towards little boys, making masks out of cardboard is perfect for a group of rowdy boys! They can have fun creating the masks and play with them afterwards.

I hope this provides some fun for you and the wonderful children in your life. I am so very lucky for the kiddos in my life that continue to bring me so much joy and happiness!

Cover Image Credit: Mary Beth Flores

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