Paddles: A Greek Tradition
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Student Life

Paddles: A Greek Tradition


 Paddles are often associated with hazing. The thing is, paddles mean so much more than that. Paddles represent the brotherhood or sisterhood of that fraternity or sorority.Nothing is better than receiving your very first paddle, whether it's a "classy" traditional paddle or a paddle your big crafted for you upon initiation. 
As everyone in the Greek community knows, they are an important part of our Greek tradition and a fun gift to give and receive. So how did the paddle tradition begin? Who knows?
The first paddle to come into existence is shrouded in mystery. Paddles came about almost as early as when houses began and have been passed down ever since. Paddles have been a part of Greek life as long as anyone can remember. 
My mom has her paddles in our garage at home, but the paddles have definitely changed since my mom’s day. Over the years, girls have gotten more and more into decorating paddles. Sorority girls can spend an entire day crafting on the floor with a hot glue gun and a bag of rhinestones. Today’s paddles are fancier and more bedazzled than my mom’s Big could have ever imagined. Girls spend hours upon hours crafting the perfect masterpiece and take pride in seeing it displayed in their Little’s room on the wall.
Paddles are given and received in both fraternities and sororities. Often given at initiation, paddles are a great way to celebrate one’s joining of the organization. They symbolize lifelong membership and the relationships you have made thus far. Paddles are given at many special occasions, especially birthdays. 
To someone outside of the Greek community, the paddle could inspire some negative thoughts. They are looked down upon because of what is heard or seen in the media.  The thing is, paddles mean so much more to us. Paddles represent the brotherhood or sisterhood of that fraternity or sorority. The crest is proudly engraved with the letters and year to show that you are a member of that organization. There’s no better way to show that you are a member than participating in a tradition passed down by so many of your brothers or sisters. What would we do without paddles? What gifts would we give to our Bigs, our Littles, or our fellow 21-year-old friends? It’s too fun of a tradition to have fade! I think we can all agree that Greek paddles are a tradition that we hope will be passed on to all of our future legacies.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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