These Hands Don't Haze, But Do Yours?

These Hands Don't Haze, But Do Yours?

The Greek Life hazing culture needs to end now.
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Lately, all I have been hearing on the news is how bad Greek Life is.

And to be honest, I really do not blame a single person for having this view after what has happened recently with all the alcohol-related deaths at fraternity parties, specifically pledges. Last year at Penn State, a pledge of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity died following a party where he was forced to drink an excessive amount of alcohol to the point where he fell down the stairs, head first.

His fellow "brothers" did nothing to get him the help he needed and after a few more tumbles and 12 hours had passed, they finally called for help but it was too late. This boy, just 19 at the time, was from a town right by where I grew up. Our high schools played each other in sports and the weird thing is, I probably watched him play football.

Now, he is the poster child for the dangers of Greek Life and a real example of what happens when hazing goes wrong.

The scariest part of this story is that is can happen anywhere.

And I mean literally on any college campus that has Greek Life. Take a look. Recently, there have been deaths related to hazing or alcohol at Florida State University, Louisiana State University, and Texas State University. This is not just a Penn State problem because they have the biggest spotlight. This issue is a Greek Life problem and the culture around hazing.

I am not sure how, when or why, but hazing has become the norm for sororities and fraternities everywhere. I doubt that you will ever find a college campus with Greek Life that does not have some issue with hazing, no matter how big or small the offense is, because it is that ingrained in the culture. Even chapters that were founded on no hazing will still haze their pledges because it's a "right of passage."

It is crazy hearing what people say in order to justify hazing.

"It brings us closer together."

"It makes us better people."

"It makes us more loyal members."

"It's tradition."

"It's all fun, we won't hurt anyone."

"It could be worse."

The list could go on forever.

But you know, is it really fun being told what to do with no say, no matter how much you don't want to do it? Will it really make you more loyal? And yeah it will bring you closer together, just like any traumatic experience would. I don't, and will never, understand why hazing is the preferred method of "bonding" for some organizations.

If you get new members, wouldn't you want them to feel welcomed, accepted and appreciated rather than torn down, defeated and demoralized? Because that is what your hazing does to them, no matter how "fun" it is.

I thank God every time I hear a new tragic story about another hazing-related death that my sorority did not haze me or any other girl. There was never anything except love and respect from the older girls to my new pledge class and I am forever grateful that we will avoid those hazing statistics.

I have been able to create meaningful relationships and fond memories without ever being forced to do something I didn't want to do. It only takes one night, one activity or one extra drink to push someone over the edge towards tragedy and I am not sure why anyone would run the risk of that happening to themselves or their brothers and sisters.

I love Greek Life and will always be proud to be part of my chapter. I don't want you to think that I want Greek Life banned forever by any means, as I think it provides unparalleled opportunities that I haven't found in other organizations.

However, the culture around hazing needs to end right now.

Hazing does not make you cool. Hazing does not make you respectable. Hazing does not make you a "real" sorority or fraternity. Hazing only opens up you and the people you are supposed to care about in your chapter to possible disaster.

Best case scenario, you bullied a group of new members for around a semester. Worst case scenario, you end up on the news, being charged with involuntary manslaughter for the death of your fellow brother or sister.

With these two options in mind, are you really willing to take the risk just to haze for tradition's sake?

These horror stories need to stop here. We cannot allow hazing to continue anywhere on the spectrum. We need to stop it cold and if the recent stories haven't convinced you, I'm hoping this will. There is no safe hazing or fun hazing. You are not doing anyone, especially yourself, a favor by taking part in hazing events as a facilitator or participant.

You may think your chapter is invincible, that it could never happen to you and that you will never get caught. But the second hazing goes wrong, it is all over.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

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14 Fraternity Guy Gifts Ideas, Since He Already Has Enough Beer

Frat boys are a species of their own and here are some exciting gifts they will be ecstatic to receive!

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What more do frat boys love than alcohol, partying, and just acting stupid? Here are some gifts that help fulfill all of those needs for the frat boy in your life!

1. Beer holster belt

Whats better than one beer? Six beers! This fashionable camouflage accessory can be used for tailgates, beach days, formals and everything in between.

Price: $8.49

2. Phone juul holder 

You know those cardholders everyone sticks on the back of their phones? Well, now a Juul holder for your phone is on the market! This will save your favorite frat boy from ever again losing his Juul!

Price: $10.98

3. Animal house poster 

This Animal House poster is a classic staple for any frat boy. This poster will compliment any frat house decor or lack thereof.

Price: $1.95

4. The American Fraternity book

Does the frat boy in your life need a good read for Thanksgiving or winter break? Look no farther, this will certainly keep his attention and give him a history lesson on American fraternity heritage and tradition.

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5. Beer pong socks 

These snazzy socks featuring beer pong will be loved by any frat boy. As for the way to any frat boy's heart may, in fact, be beer pong.

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6. Condom case

This condom carrying case will not only protect condoms from damage but also make frat boys more inclined to practice safe sex, which is a win-win situation!

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7. Frat house candle

Ahhh yes, who does not like the smell of stale beer in a dark, musty frat house basement? Frat boys can make their apartment or bedroom back home smell like their favorite place with the help of this candle.

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8. "Frat" sticker

Frat boys always need to make sure everyone around them knows just how "fratty" they are. This versatile stick can go on a laptop, car, water bottle, or practically anywhere their little hearts desire.

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9. Natty Light t-shirt 

Even I will admit that this shirt is pretty cool. The frat boy in your life will wear this shirt at every possible moment, it is just that cool!

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10. Natty light fanny pack 

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A neon beer sign will be the perfect addition to any frat boys bedroom.

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Please note that prices are accurate and items in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

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How To Get Out Of A Traffic Ticket

Nobody Likes Being Pulled Over

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Let's be honest, you've mostly been pulled over once, especially if you are reading this. And god knows you never want to go through that again. Seeing those unmistakable, flashing red-and-blue lights makes anyone tremble in fear. Here are 5 tips to get out of that pesky ticket.

1. Be Respectful

This sounds obvious, but you would be surprised by how many people have an attitude or argue with an officer. Make sure you have your license out immediately, clearly answer every question the officer asks, and do not move suspiciously whatsoever. Sometimes comical, light conversations help humanize you, making it increasingly difficult for some officers to give you a ticket.

2. Don't try to flirt or bribe your way out 

Despite it seeming like many police officers are corrupt, very few are. They will not fall for blatant attempts at flirting or bribes. This will only encourage them to give you a ticket as it questions their integrity; therefore, is insulting.

3. Play the sad card 

Hysterically crying and hyperventilating while yelling at yourself really shows an officer how shitty of a day you might be having. Sometimes officers will pity you. This a huge advantage as it makes an officer feel like a huge asshole in making your life worse.

4. Know the law

Few people know their actual rights. Call the prosecutor that is going to present the case against you to the judge to request a pretrial conference to negotiate. Additionally, you can prove that what you got a ticket for was legally justified in the context of the situation you were in. This helps your case as your now raising a legal point instead of implying the ticketing officer was wrong.

5. Never openly confess 

Confessing to an officer that you were speeding or doing anything illegally forces them to give you a ticket. Acknowledging your guilt makes it almost impossible to prove you were innocent. You can't take back words.

6. Play the mistake of fact card

The phase "Mistake of fact" refers to an error made due to circumstances beyond one's control. Tickets can easily be dismissed if it is deemed such. For example, you could argue that you did not stop at a stop sign because something like a fallen tree obliviated your view of it.

7. Don't pay the ticket right away 

Paying immediately shows voluntary admittance of guilt, eliminating any chance of you getting out of the ticket or possibly reduced. One usually has 90 days to plead guilty or innocent; and therefore, pay. You have plenty of time to figure out an alternative solution. Plus, often times people who attend court get their fine reduced.

Getting pulled over always feels like the end of the world. However, these tricks will at least help you get out of paying that pricey fine.

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