"Did you get hazed?"
This is often the first question I get asked when I tell someone I joined a sorority. I always shake my head and then say, "No, I did not. I would not still be in a sorority if I got hazed." Sometimes, if the person is interested enough to listen, I go on to explain Kappa Delta's Confidence Coalition, and how Kappa Delta wants to empower confidence in women, not tear one another down. It's one of the reasons I fell in love with the sorority, and one of the reasons I choose to stay.
Usually, once a person hears my explanation, they leave feeling intrigued, because what I just described is not what you see in the movies or on TV. It's not what you see in news headlines. And I can confidently say at no point have I ever felt out of place, unloved, or like I had to prove myself. At no point have any of my sisters tried to tear down my confidence or belittle me. Still, it's sad that this is something people wonder, and it's sad people are surprised when I tell them it didn't happen to me.
As said on Kappa Delta's national website, hazing destroys confidence, and is an abuse of power that directly harms someone. There should be no place for that in a sisterhood, or any organization, for that matter because hazing is a terrible thing. I feel for anyone who has ever been hazed as part of their experience in an organization, because, in reality, it should not have been part of their experience.
People should not feel the need to exert emotional or physical trauma on someone as an act of bonding because there are better ways to build unity. It doesn't matter if it is tradition, hazing has never been and will never be okay.
So, in honor of National Hazing Prevention Week, which is this week, September 19-23, I hope that one day, the idea of hazing ceases to exist. I hope that one day, it will be a thing of the past. I hope we will no longer see headlines of sororities, fraternities, sports teams, or any other organizations hazing their members. I hope that one day there won't need to be a week dedicated to preventing it.
I am so proud to be part of an organization with such strong values, and it warms my heart to see other organizations speaking out against hazing this week as well. I can only hope that this movement against hazing will continue to grow and that all communities in the future can be a safe and loving place
For more information on how to end hazing in your community, you can go to: http://hazingprevention.org/