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.

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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To All Incoming Freshmen, When You Get To College, Please Don't Be THAT Freshman

I am pretty sure we all know who I'm talking about.


As we are all counting down the days to return to campus, students are looking forward to meeting new people and reuniting with old friends. And then, there is the freshman.

We have all been there. The eagerness and excitement have been slowly building up through months of summer vacation, all waiting for this moment. I understand the anxiousness, enthusiasm, and insecurities. The opportunity to meet new people and explore a new area is very intriguing. But let's be real, you are here to make memories and get an education. So here are a few pieces of advice from a former college freshman.

1. Don't be that freshman who follows their significant other to college

This is the boy or girl who simply can not think for themselves. The 17-year-old puts their own personal goals and interests aside to sacrifice for a six-month high school relationship. This will more than likely end at an end of semester transfer after the relationship has been tested for a month or two in college life. So if you want to really enjoy your freshman year, make your own decisions and do what is best for you.

2. Don't be that freshman who lets their parents pick their major

"You are not going to school just to waste my money."

This is a statement you might have heard from your parents. As true as it might seem, this is definitely not a good way to start your college years. If you are not majoring in something you can see yourself doing, you are wasting your time. You can major in biology, go to medical school, and make the best grades. But if deep down you don't want to be a doctor, you will NOT end up being a good doctor. When it comes to picking your major, you really have to follow your heart.

3. Don't be that freshman who gets overwhelmed with the first taste of freedom

Yes. It is all very exciting. You don't have a curfew, you don't have rules, you don't have anyone constantly nagging you, but let's not get carried away. Don't be the freshman who gets a tattoo on the first night of living on your own. Don't be the freshman who tries to drink every liquor behind the bar. Don't be the freshman who gets caught up being someone that they aren't. My best advice would be to take things slow.

4. Don't be that freshman who starts school isolated in a relationship

I'm not telling you not to date anyone during your freshman year. I am saying to not cut yourself off from the rest of the world while you date someone. Your first year on campus is such an amazing opportunity to meet people, but people are constantly eager to start dating someone and then only spend time with that person.

Be the freshman who can manage time between friends and relationships.

5. Don't be that freshman who can't handle things on their own

It is your first year on your own. Yes, you still need help from your parents. But at this point, they should not be ordering your textbooks or buying your parking pass. If you need something for a club or for class, YOU should handle it. If you're having roommate problems, YOU should handle it, not your parents. This is the real world and college is a great time for you to start building up to be the person you want to be in the future, but you can't successfully do that if your parents still deal with every minor inconvenience for you.

6. Don't be that freshman who only talks to their high school friends

I know your high school was probably amazing, and you probably had the coolest people go there. However, I believe that college is a great time to be on your own and experience new things. Meeting new people and going to new places will allow you to grow into a more mature person. There is a way to balance meeting new friends and maintaining friendships with childhood friends, and I am sure you will find that balance.

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What You Need To Know About Being A Good Leader; It Doesn't Happen Over Night

Good things take time.


I've never been one to go out of my comfort zone and talk to people and order people around - well, not directly ordering people around but being able to be strong and outgoing. Yes, I am friendly, but that only happens when someone approaches me and starts talking to me. But that's the other thing, people don't typically do that with me; I normally have to be the one to go up to them and introduce myself and then that's when they come out of their shell. They don't naturally come out of their shell like I do.

It's who I am and I need to learn to accept the fact that I like to be outgoing and make friends with everyone I meet. Especially because now I just learned that I will be a small business owner and owning a small business means I need to be confident and outgoing in order to attract the right people and climb the spectrum. I have goals that I have set for myself, for this business and I will do whatever it takes to make sure that I am getting to the place I desire. So, if that requires me to make friends with people first, that is what I will do and I will make sure I will give nothing less to get to where I want to get.

When it comes to becoming a leader, my friend and wellness coach told me that I need to create a special bond with the person whom I'm trying to convince to buy my product. And in order to make sure I have the ability to make the bond that I need, I have to be confident in myself to be able to approach a stranger and make connections before I tell them why my products are helpful. Becoming a leader doesn't just happen overnight; it takes time and effort for someone to be able to naturally make genuine connections. For someone like me, it's pretty simple to make that connection when it comes to becoming a friend, but when it comes to a business aspect, it's more uncomfortable for me.

It feels weird trying to become someone's friend and then leaning into asking for money. And I don't want their money, I want to help them reach their fitness and nutrition goals, but that requires them to purchase the protein drink mix and tea to help them better themselves. But I can't seem to get them to give into that for multiple reasons - whether that'd be money or I just don't know how to talk to people or that I don't know who to talk to. It's all just a process and I'm not exactly sure in what way I can influence them to purchase through me just like my coach does with people on the daily.

I know that good things take time and that there needs to be patience when it comes to building a business, but it seems like it's not fair that others who are doing the same work as me are building their business faster than I am.

It all goes back to being able to step outside your comfort zone and talk to people and make sure you have the qualities to attract someone and expand your business. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you become a leader.

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