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  #1  
Old 09-20-2017, 04:34 AM
YouNo YouNo is offline
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Wink Can we get honest about hazing?

As my children ventured into greek life I found this board. As I was not part of greek life I have been very grateful for the honest and informative information I have found. I have also been impressed how some of you have such a deep love for your organizations and each other. My daughters have had great experiences in their greek organizations and so glad that they made the choice to join!

That being said, I am really concerned about the hazing issues. I work on a private campus in which greek life is very important to students. Often they transfer schools when they do not get a bid from what they deem as the "right" chapter. I have access to a lot of students who are very honest about a lot of things - including hazing. Of course they do not name names but when I ask does it happen and what types of activities I am shocked. They will often mention what is happening at other campuses with their friends, always careful not to give identifying information. It is primarily fraternities. At least in my conversations the girls pretty much all agree that sororities do not haze but they share stories of their male friends that they have across the south. Even in talking to my daughters who attended large state schools admit that hazing does happen at their schools with fraternities. Everyone seems to know it but not brave enough to report it. I of course have many friends with college age children who are pledging at their schools. The moms of the guys are very upset about the recent alleged hazing death. They lay down at night hoping their child is not being hazed until death. They know that they are all being hazed to some degree whether it is making them do things to the point of exhaustion, drinking, damaging other people's property or just intimidating them to the point they are making unhealthy decisions that they wouldn't ordinarily make. They only know bits and pieces as clearly their kids are not going to be totally honest about what is actually happening. One mom's son who is pledging has spent over 300 dollars in gas this pass week! He is buying gas all times of the night and she is convinced he is also paying for other member's gas. The number of students reported going to the hospital for alcohol poisoning sky rockets during fraternity pledging. Parents eventually see those medical bills.

My point is I wonder if we are not kidding ourselves when it comes to hazing. Sure it is anti-hazing week and everyone posts on instagram and have mandatory meetings about it but is it really helping? In my corner of the world, I would say not. Sure maybe it is not as bad as it once was but IT IS STILL HAPPENING to a much larger degree than I think organizations and campuses want to admit. More than I want to admit. Are we expecting too much for 18/19 year old boys to stand up to upperclassman? When I ask if they have ever reported it they all laugh like do you think I am stupid??? When you mention anti-hazing campaigns they just laugh. They agree it is wrong but it is not stopping. So what is it gonna take before it REALLY stops? How many trips to the hospital is enough? How many deaths? How many chapters closed down? Can alumni help in any way? When are parents gonna refuse to pay dues? I don't have the answers. I wish that I did. What I do know for sure, at least in my world, we have a long way to go! I would love to hear other people's point of view. We know the information the campuses and organizations are putting out there but what is REALLY happening in your corner of the world?
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Old 09-20-2017, 08:13 AM
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My son is a fraternity member and he was not hazed. Neither was my daughter, but I know there are/were fraternities on her campus that did/do haze. One was closed due to a serious infraction, but some of the others overtly engage in what I'm sure they feel is "harmless" public hazing, and that does make you wonder what goes on behind closed doors. For example, one fraternity has pledges dress up in various costumes, which they wear around campus for a day or two (alligator pledge -- dresses up in an alligator costume and rides around campus stomach-down on a skateboard, gorilla and banana pledge -- gorilla pledge is supposed to try to catch banana pledge, and grandma pledge -- he passes out cookies at a table outside the library and tells everyone to study and get enough sleep, etc.). This is looked at as being funny, and no one seems to be concerned. But again, it does make you wonder what else happens....

There is a hazing hotline. 1-888-NOT-HAZE

However, when the punishment is having your chapter closed, that doesn't prompt 18-19 year-olds to make a call or report hazing. Many groups have their own hazing hotline.

The recent letter from Phi Delta Theta national director/president calls for parents to have conversations with their sons, and for advisors to be proactive and aware. I think that is a step in the right direction. Involved adults need to ask these questions and advisors need to keep tabs, educate younger members, and step in.

The Chronicle of Higher Education has published a series of articles about risk management issues associated with fraternities. Most can only be accessed with a subscription, but this is an accessible opinion piece on Colorado-Boulder's efforts to self-govern:

http://www.chronicle.com/article/Fra...1057?cid=cp141
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Last edited by Sciencewoman; 09-20-2017 at 11:53 AM.
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  #3  
Old 09-20-2017, 01:25 PM
GreekOne GreekOne is offline
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I share your concerns. There is overwhelming evidence that hazing takes place in many fraternity chapters. I was not hazed, nor was my daughter. I think that most NPC chapters have eliminated this in their chapters.

Until enough pledges stand up and say they won't tolerate it --and are willing to walk away it likely won't change. If enough pledges walk away and a chapter is struggling with numbers, they may begin to realize that it can't continue.

Parents need to have very honest conversations with their initiated members reminding them that they weren't raised to humiliate and degrade others.

Most importantly, the change has to come from within. When chapter leaders are empowered to bring about change and they embrace that responsibility, it can be effective. Thinking that administrative initiatives will make real change is naive. Students will go underground and continue inappropriate behaviors. They can't be watched 24/7.

When I was raising my children, I always told them what my expectations were. I explained to them why I had certain rules. I felt it important to empower my kids to make good choices when they are away from me because I couldn't always be with them giving advice. They have to carry the voice of reason within themselves.

Continued education and conversations from advisers and parents need to happen until we can get through to those participating that it is not fun and games. Far too many young lives are being lost needlessly. It is heartbreaking.
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  #4  
Old 09-20-2017, 01:40 PM
Kevin Kevin is offline
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Looking at the state of things today, traditional hazing is on its way out. Some chapters are going to cling to tradition and sometimes, that will result in tragedy. But over time, things will change and hazing will one day be an unhappy memory. What we can do now is look after our own organizations. If you are in a position where you interact with collegians, they are going to look to you for guidance. If you indicate hazing is acceptable, more than likely, those collegians are going to engage in hazing.

I make it a point to address candidate [new member] classes early on each semester personally. They all have my cell phone number. If they suspect they have been hazed, I make sure they are able to contact someone. If they feel they can't trust me, I make sure they have HQ's number.

It doesn't do any good to sit back and declare the system lost. If you take responsibility for your little corner of the Greek ecosystem and ensure it is hazing free, that's all that can be expected of you.

The chapters who haze will eventually be caught. National organizations need to probably do a better job in identifying problem alumni and ensuring they are not a part of any recolonization process. I've also been consistent in that I think from a liability standpoint, national organizations are better off expanding to new sites rather than quickly recolonizing recently defunct chapters. Let the serious problem chapters stay dormant for 20-30 years.
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  #5  
Old 09-20-2017, 02:03 PM
Tom Earp Tom Earp is offline
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In discussions with our High Pi, Alumni Adviser, I kept saying these are young adults, not kids anymore! We are LXA so you all know.

His Chapter in Oklahoma had problems with hazing. National worked with the Univ. and the bad apples were removed! It went from an 80 + chapter to 18, but can stay and hopefully come back.

We had some problems in my Chapter and I finally came to the conclusion that THEY are still KIDs. They think they know better than any one else and try to prove it! He has since resigned under strange circumstances of which am looking into with his help! While I was told to keep out of it, as being the founder and it was none of my business, that raised red flags. My COP spidey senses kicked in and I have dug out info that will help me fry a few Brothers as I cannot abide by anything of this nature.

So if some say their GLO does not do hazing or drugs, they are fools.

If even a hint comes up, we as concerned Alums should check it out and put a stop to it ASAP! Hazing and drugs are sad to say alive and going on!
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  #6  
Old 09-20-2017, 09:58 PM
NWguy NWguy is offline
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I wasn't hazed either, at least by my understanding of the word. Although, as the definition varies from school to school, it's possible I was.

I'm wondering how many colleges have mandatory orientation for men going through recruitment that might involve discussion about hazing, or if chapters are required to present their new PCs with anti-hazing policy information. I kind of feel that the discussion needs to happen on the inside for change to take into effect, and possibly schools or IFC offices aren't encouraging chapters on campus to have these discussions, and/or they're not presenting this information to PNMs at the start of recruitment.

Ultimately, those who commit these violations are responsible for their actions. I'm just wondering if presenting them with anti-hazing information upfront before joining and detailing what the consequences would be if they don't comply might help.
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Old 09-20-2017, 11:51 PM
navane navane is offline
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I'm wondering how many colleges have mandatory orientation for men going through recruitment that might involve discussion about hazing, or if chapters are required to present their new PCs with anti-hazing policy information. I kind of feel that the discussion needs to happen on the inside for change to take into effect, and possibly schools or IFC offices aren't encouraging chapters on campus to have these discussions, and/or they're not presenting this information to PNMs at the start of recruitment.

I don't know if they do it anymore; but, at San Diego State University, all new members in all Greek councils were required to attend a new member series. In that series, topics such as hazing, alcohol awareness and sexual assault were covered.

I can't speak to NIC fraternities, obviously, but I think the NPC organizations have done a decent job of changing the culture surrounding hazing. Case in point, Gamma Phi Beta has changed it's official Facebook profile photo to promote our stance of "No hazing under the crescent moon."







And, while I was there at our Facebook page, I noticed that we had also posted graphics highlighting our team efforts with Delta Phi Epsilon and Sigma Kappa.














Now, I'm not so naive as to think that some Facebook graphics are the solution to hazing problems. Of course not. But, I truly believe that setting the tone for the members and saying, "Uhm...no....we don't do that here" goes a long way to making that cultural change.
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Old 09-21-2017, 01:39 AM
NWguy NWguy is offline
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I think social media campaigns, like Gamma Phi Beta's FB updated profile, really do help because so many girls that log onto those pages are still in high school and are considering Greek life, so to know that hazing isn't tolerated at these sororities comforts some of their anxieties.

I've looked at several recruitment itineraries of colleges that have formal fraternity recruitment and don't recall seeing any kind of orientation on most of them. The first event is usually an open house of sorts. That doesn't mean school policies, including hazing, aren't addressed in printed materials (i.e. welcome packets, etc.). But it's interesting that almost every sorority recruitment has an orientation, where I assume hazing is addressed (or, I could be wrong), and orientation for men isn't the norm.
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Old 09-21-2017, 07:44 AM
QLB817 QLB817 is offline
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While I'm certain that pockets of hazing persist in NPC groups, it seems like that have taken the stance of a cohesive program to prevent it. And I think for the most part it is working. The graphics you all are seeing are not anomalies. I think all NPC groups are doing something like that this week and many of the college Panhellenic councils and individual chapters are as well. I know I've seen it all over the groups I follow on Social Media, including posts and contests. "These Hands Don't Haze" with the ladies throwing the "gang sign" for their group and contests to answer quizzes about hazing. I too know it isn't going to stop it all, but creating that culture of education and lack of tolerance for it will go a long way to make it a very small problem.

Anecdotally with my nephew in a frat and my daughter talking about some of the frat guys she knows, the IFC groups have a long way to go as a whole about hazing. It is very much ingrained in how they do things. It's going to have to come down much more forcefully from their nationals I think to make a difference.

Interestingly, I saw this rant on reddit recently. The language is NSFW/vulgar, but the guy makes some interesting points. I don't advocate hazing, but if someone insists on hazing, at least do it with purpose. I personally love #5. Let the young man get drunk, but then make him understand real world consequences to partying (in a safe way). LOL That honestly sounds like something I would do if one of my underage kids came home drunk or high.
https://www.reddit.com/r/Frat/commen...come_and_make/

And as for myself, I suppose I was "hazed", but it was honestly just some way innocent fun. A group of older actives asked us if we wanted to do something fun and safe, but was a little unconventional. We didn't have to do it and could have stopped at any point if we didn't want to do it. They warned us that at some point that week, we would be "kidnapped" and taken for a fun sister activity. Basically, we were blindfolded and taken to a nearby town where we had to run around doing a scavenger hunt in PJs. Finding things like a cute guy's phone number, buying condoms at the tiny pharmacy, taking a picture on some random city monument, you know, dumb stuff. No drinking, no illegal stuff. It was all in good fun and we never felt belittled or demeaned. It was actually a terribly fun night of bonding and laughing with our sisters. But it's one of those things that would be considered hazing now, specifically the kidnapping part. Because a handful of other kids couldn't do it in a fun and safe way, we have to not do it at all. Kinda makes me sad, but I do understand why it has to be like that.
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Old 09-21-2017, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QLB817 View Post

Anecdotally with my nephew in a frat and my daughter talking about some of the frat guys she knows, the IFC groups have a long way to go as a whole about hazing. It is very much ingrained in how they do things. It's going to have to come down much more forcefully from their nationals I think to make a difference.
I think a lot of this is cultural, and will probably take at least another generation to eradicate. We tend to be more forgiving, more understanding, perhaps, of "boys will be boys". We also tend to see a handful of outside-the-norm men as "the outliers" who are tolerated, if not accepted, while a handful of outside-the-norm women are seen as "mean girls" who require an in-or-out decision.
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Old 09-21-2017, 02:19 PM
Tom Earp Tom Earp is offline
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I think a lot of this is cultural, and will probably take at least another generation to eradicate. We tend to be more forgiving, more understanding, perhaps, of "boys will be boys". We also tend to see a handful of outside-the-norm men as "the outliers" who are tolerated, if not accepted, while a handful of outside-the-norm women are seen as "mean girls" who require an in-or-out decision.

This has gone on for to many Generations and there is now never any time for excuses.

1. Alumni who are involved must be keeping and eye out and make sure it doesn't happen. Especially Alum Advisers.

2. If hazing is going on, is it by a few or total chapter. If a few, get rid of them, not the whole chapter.

I saw this happen when one of my Chapters had a female student accuse them of being raped in the house! The girl recanted but the chapter was put on probation. They were doing very well but, another charge was trumped up and the were banned. I was and still am irate over this! Many good young men were harmed over this!

Try restarting a new chapter over and see how easy it is!
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Old 09-22-2017, 12:46 PM
PhilTau PhilTau is offline
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1. Alumni who are involved must be keeping and eye out and make sure it doesn't happen. Especially Alum Advisers.
Would add: Generally, an alumnus should stay away if he cannot resist telling the current actives war stories about his hazing experiences with how great the fraternity brotherhood was when he was involved in hazing.

Last edited by PhilTau; 09-22-2017 at 02:59 PM.
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Old 09-22-2017, 04:03 PM
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Couldn't agree more with you Kevin. As an advisor, I give my number to all NMs and say if you even think you're being hazed, you call. We can't control the entire greek system, but we can help the chapters we advise to know what's right, what's wrong and how to fix things.
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Old 09-22-2017, 04:09 PM
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Would add: Generally, an alumnus should stay away if he cannot resist telling the current actives war stories about his hazing experiences with how great the fraternity brotherhood was when he was involved in hazing.
Agreed. I know of a chapter that had a long history as a local before affiliation...and some alumnae who were part of the local shared some stories about what they used to do before affiliation. Some actives thought these "traditions" would be "fun" to resurrect -- fortunately, that was quickly extinguished.
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