Hazing has no place in college

Michael McShane
Staff Writer

As much as college comedy movies like to use it in their plot, the real-life equivalent of hazing has much more serious implications and doesn’t end with people laughing.

It is National Hazing Prevention Week and the conversation of hazing new recruits into fraternities and sororities has been one of the most controversial in college life.

Hazing takes many forms, all horrible in their own right. The most common hazing relies on the heavy use of alcohol and that’s where the real danger of hazing comes from – alcohol poisoning.

People end up learning the hard way that too much alcohol doesn’t just leave you with a bad case of a hangover the next morning, but could lead to a trip to either the ER or the morgue. It ruins the fun really quick, but when you look at the history of hazing it becomes a horror story.

Alcohol poisoning is the leading cause of death from hazing. Three cases of college students dying of alcohol poisoning from hazing were reported back in 2017 alone. 

This week isn’t just to remember why hazing is a horrid practice, but also to remember those whose lives were cut short because of hazing. It’s to remember why hazing is bad in the first place.

I’m not part of a fraternity, but I know that there are great things that go into Greek organizations – friendship, community and memories. That is why hazing has no place in Greek life.

Hazing is meant for new members of the organization, but I can’t think of a worse way to treat people simply wanting to be a part of an organization. Those that stay and take the hazing aren’t doing it because they like to get dangerously drunk, they do it because they see a frat or a sorority as their way of trying to make friends.

Those that haze new members are taking advantage of students and are risking their lives just for fun. They don’t understand the ramifications of hazing and the risk it puts on people’s lives. 

There should be no fraternity or sorority that condones or allows hazing nor should any college or university. Losing one life is one life too many.

We’re college students, and we’re going to drink – that’s a universal truth. It goes from being a normal activity into a criminal act when we force another to drink way past their limit. We only know our own limit, and someone shouldn’t tell you to go past it just to get into a group. 

Hazing should not be how you get into a Greek organization. If you want to join a frat or sorority, it shouldn’t be a life or death situation. College is all about having fun and creating long-lasting memories, and Greek organizations can make that happen, but we shouldn’t turn our eyes away from a bad practice that needs to be condemned by all parties.

Header photo courtesy of Flickr.

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