Everybody knows what it is, even if they have never directly experienced it. Hazing strikes a chord with everyone’s emotions. For something that could be so innocent an act, it really becomes mortifying, at least for me.
In high school band, the new sophomores are supposed to be “hazed” during band camp, which occurs a couple of weeks before the start of the school year. I was waiting in anticipation to experience what hazing my section had in store for me. Due to an announcement from the school principal, who was a former band director in the school district, the hazing was stopped and forbidden from happening. If the practice of hazing could be banned from my simple small-town high school, then it had to be something more harmful then an innocent prank. My perception of hazing went from innocent inclusion to demeaning initiation.
Rumors spread about what happens during hazing rituals to attend sororities or fraternities. In Greek life, it seems to be a necessity to harass individuals in order for them to be included in their little society of brothers and sisters. Hazing, the ritual of harassment as initiation, is also performed in sports teams. These initiations include extreme consumptions of alcohol, sexual exploitation and physical abuse.
How far can these hazing practices go before it has gone too far?
Do we wait until the death of a recently initiated brother, as has happened with the Northern Illinois University Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity? Almost two dozen faced charges in December for the death of a brother, due to extreme amounts of alcohol in his system. Deaths during initiations have been a reoccurring incident for many college campuses.
If bringing someone into a group of people needs an initiation ritual, then there is no necessity for the harassment to include severity or grotesqueness, humiliation or the degradation of another person to the point that it causes bodily harm.
Violating someone in any regard should not be necessary for someone entering a group or community. As the Golden Rule suggests, someone should not commit an act on someone which they would not like done to them.
If you would not like it done unto you, then don’t do it unto someone else. If you would not like to be harassed in order to join a group, then don’t harass someone else.


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