Over the past week, I had the great pleasure of interviewing 3 brothers from 3 different Greek life organizations. We discussed the importance of preventing hazing and how Greek life can lead by example. I interviewed Beta Theta Pi‘s Vice President of Finance William Wallace at the University of Delaware, Josh Finkelstein of Alpha Sigma Phi at the University of Delaware and a brother of Delta Chi Fraternity, who wishes to remain anonymous, at George Mason University.
Her Campus: What drew you into joining a fraternity?
William Wallce: I wanted to meet more people with similar values and wanted that brotherhood bond.
Josh Finkelstein: At first, I had no intention of joining a fraternity, but then I hung out with a couple of brothers and felt like it was home.
Anonymous: Coming into college, I wanted a supportive group of friends. I thought joining a fraternity would be a way to make some more friends.
HC: At any point did the fraternity make you feel uncomfortable or pressured?
WW: I never felt uncomfortable.
Anon: Nope, never.
HC: Did you make sure your values aligned with the fraternity?
WW: Yes, I made sure my values aligned with the fraternity. Beta Theta Pi’s values are cultivation of intellect, responsible conduct, mutual assistance, integrity and trust.
JF: I really care about our values. The values of Alpha Phi Sigma are silence, charity, purity, honor and patriotism. It’s essential to try and live out these values.
Anon: I made sure that my values aligned with the fraternity values. Delta Chi’s values are to promote friendship, develop character, advance justice and assist in the acquisition of a sound education. The two values that resonated with me the most are promoting friendship and developing character. I wanted to make more friends, as well as grow as a person and learn about myself.
HC: Define hazing.
WW: Hazing is making someone do something against their will.
JF: Hazing is forcing someone to do something they don’t want to do.
Anon: Hazing is peer pressure.
HC: In what ways can brothers bond without involving alcohol? What are your thoughts on tragic events related to hazing, such as the losses of Stone Foltz and Adam Oakes?
WW: Brothers can bond by learning more about the chapter and discussing any wrongdoings in the past to learn from those mistakes. Brothers can also bond by simply just hanging out with one another. My thoughts about these incidents are that what has happened is terrible, and someone should be held accountable. People need to be vocal when boundaries are crossed.
JF: Brothers can bond by simply hanging out or attending events such as laser tag, football games, philanthropy events, BBQ events and chilling on a Sunday night to watch NFL games. My thoughts about these two incidents are that what happened is truly sad. These situations could have been prevented if these chapters valued safety.
Anon: The events that brothers can bond over without involving alcohol are community service, Sunday night football and intramural sports. I think what happened to these two gentlemen is extremely sad. The fraternities acted irresponsibly, and those fraternities are the types of chapters that give Greek life a bad reputation. If Greek life is ever abolished, it will be because of chapters like that. No one should go to college to find a group of friends and then have it cost them their lives.
HC: What advice do you have for fraternities and how they should lead by example?
WW: My advice to fraternities is to set an example for any new members and to have the right ideals and morals for the chapter.
JF: My advice to fraternities is to live by the fraternity values, make a difference, focus on the philanthropic aspects of the fraternity and strive for a high GPA.
Anon: My advice to fraternities is to hold each other accountable and ensure the tradition of Greek life lives on in a positive light. We can lead by example by being the change and holding not only our chapters accountable but other fraternities as well. Greek life is a community.
It is great to know that there are fraternities out there that genuinely care about their values, philanthropies and, most importantly, their individual members and their well-being. It’s important to spread awareness about hazing because young students should not be dying in their first or second year of college. Just a reminder, if you know someone or suspect someone is being hazed, always report the hazing activities at your college. If it’s serious, then call 911 immediately. If you wish to remain anonymous and want to reach out to the specific Greek life organization’s headquarters, you can call at 1-(888)-NOT-HAZE or 1-888-668-4293. My advice to anyone who decides to rush a fraternity is to remember to always be vocal during the process. Make sure that the fraternity is the right fit for you. Lastly, always go with your gut. Never do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable or feel like you have to do something just to fit in. College itself is a big community, and Greek life is only a small portion of it, so you can make friends however you please.