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fraternitynik 10-17-2017 10:27 AM

TIME Article About Fraternity Hazing Deaths/NIC Press Strategy Thoughts
It's a long one:

Personally I find it strange that we would always tell students that no amount of service or philanthropy can make up for the loss of a life, and then that we report those exact figures to the press when we need to look good.

I really think the NIC would benefit from a grassroots press campaign with college newspapers/media outlets. That's where the students are, and having the general students on our side is going to be more important than the people at TIME or Rolling Stone.

But that's just a personal opinion

Kevin 10-17-2017 10:43 AM

The first thing to do is to dispel this notion that hazing is so prevalent as revealed in that 2008 University of Maine Study.

Read through that study and realize that we're not talking about students who were hazed in the conclusions. It's students who experienced one kind of "hazing behavior," which when reviewing the "hazing behaviors" is not the same thing.

Maybe I'm old, but I would say that if you did not participate in a single drinking game (a hazing behavior) during your entire undergraduate experience, then your undergraduate experience was lacking. If you stayed up late pomping a float or practicing for a cheer/dance competition, this study would have you know you were hazed. It's bullshit.

A small minority of our chapters haze in a dangerous sense, but it is a SMALL minority and in time, this isn't going to be an issue. National organizations have to stay on top of their undergrad members and when they recolonize, they have to stay on top of their alumni members to ensure the dangerous traditions in some chapters go extinct.

The hand wringing we do when one (of thousands) of chapters does something stupid is not helpful. Those issues will be hashed out between the parties or in the courts. Because Alpha Beta hazes at XYZ university does not affect my chapter and isn't indicative of any problem outside of Alpha Beta at XYZ U. That should be the public response to these events rather than this collective bed shitting we tend to do when bad chapters do bad things.

Tom Earp 10-17-2017 02:43 PM

Isn't always true no matter where in any culture, it is the few who gain the news and do the most damage?

Kevin 10-17-2017 09:57 PM

Yes. And I think we do a disservice to all of our organizations when we don't explain that hazing is a relatively rare thing and that the actual data in this study everyone refers to doesn't support the conclusions reported in the news. If you were in the Circle K President and you had to dress down your chapter because they were farting off their service hours, according to this study, because someone yelled at you, you have been hazed.

If you were with the band at a hotel on an away game and played a round of captain dickhead (drinking game with cards), that's apparently hazing.

All of these are considered hazing behaviors by the study.

?Attend a skit night or roast where other members are humiliated
?Sing or chant by yourself or with a few select team members in a public
situation that is not related to the event, game, or practice
?Wear clothing that is embarrassing and not part of the uniform
?Be yelled, screamed, or cursed at by other team/organization members
?Get a tattoo or pierce a body part
?Act as a personal servant to other members
?Associate with specific people and not others
?Deprive yourself of sleep
?Be awakened at night by other members
?Make prank phone calls or harass others
?Be tied up, taped, or confined to small spaces
?Be transported to and dropped off in an unfamiliar location
?Endure harsh weather without the proper clothing
?Drink large amounts of a non-alcoholic beverage such as water
?Participate in a drinking game
?Drink large amounts of alcohol to the point of passing out or getting sick
?Watch live sex acts
?Perform sex acts with same gender

All of these things lack enough context to conclude that they actually are hazing behaviors and if you look at the data, few of these things were experienced by more than 20% of participants (except drinking games, [he who is without sin cast the first stone]). The study struggles to define what hazing is, and for that reason, when someone says this study says 54% or whatever of our groups haze, we need to be clear that the study is horseshit and that's not what anyone is saying.

fraternitynik 10-24-2017 02:02 PM

Sorry I'm late; I've been traveling a bit for work.

I agree what I sense is being said that the definitions of hazing are lukewarm at best. Criminalizing hazing, as many states have and as the REACH Act (which is being lobbied for by the FSPAC) may do federally, also seems counter-productive.

The dangerous issues of hazing can usually be related to assault, battery, defamation, etc. In the cases where hazing is truly debilitating or offensive, my thought would be that those men or women are already breaking laws. Simply grouping "humiliation" or organized hierarchy into that formula is a dangerous beyond fraternity and sorority.

That's not to say that those are good things, but I think we as "Greek Life" play into this media game of assuming responsibility and we don't take a stand to define hazing, the real issue with dangerous hazing, and the fact that individuals make choices and that it's unfeasible for an office of 5-30 people hundreds or thousands of miles away to monitor the activities of thousands of students effectively.

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