G.O.A.T. Screening at USC Brings up Issues of Hazing in Fraternities

For most millennials, hearing the word goat usually stands for “greatest of all time.” This is usually a term used to describe someone you admire, or in a frat guy’s case, probably the brother who can chug beer the fastest. However, in the recently released movie, Goat, starring Nick Jonas with an appearance from James Franco (love them, especially together), goat is a derogatory term. Who would ever want to be referred to as a smelly livestock animal?

Goat follows the journey of two brothers, Brad, a pledge, and Brett, an initiated member, through intense fraternity rush. The movie leaves nothing to the imagination when it comes to hazing and essentially plays out a mother’s worst nightmare of what would happen to her baby when he decides to rush a frat. USC’s Department of Student Life hosted a special screening in the Russell House Ballroom this week to make students aware of how they are affected by the unhealthy behaviors seen in the film. Not trying to spoil the movie for you, but it begs the question “at what point have fraternities gone too far?” It’s all in the name of brotherhood, but when did loyalty turn into getting beat up?

“I think in the media sororities and fraternities are highlighted in a negative way so even though I think that some of the things that went on in the movie still happen at a wide variety of places, that’s not all that those organizations are about,” said sophomore Julie Dautrich.

Dautrich is not part of a Greek organization, stating the process “just wasn’t for her,” but it’s nice to know someone outside of Greek life still sees the good even with all of the bad.

As most people know, USC’s Greek Village has a strict anti-hazing policy, but is it truly effective? If you think about it, pledges that want a bid would never tell anyone all the crap they went through, and the guys who drop probably don’t make it to the “hard part” in the first place. It has to make you wonder if a policy could ever get rid of such an integral part of frat culture.

“I don’t think a written document will stop [fraternity men]. I feel like it has definitely helped with sororities to eliminate or at least decrease the amount of hazing so there’s no reason it shouldn’t be able to work for fraternities, it might just take a little more implementation,” said Dautrich.

What most people may not know is the film is based on true events of one pledge’s experience rushing at Clemson University in the 1990’s (just another reason to hate Clemson). In all seriousness though, hazing is still prevalent on college campuses. They don’t call it hell week for nothing. Between getting wake up calls at all hours of the night to drinking until they puke, guys go through a lot just to feel accepted...and people wonder why pledges always look so tired.

“I wasn’t aware that it was based on a true story, but I think the movie in general was really serious even though it had many comedic parts, and I think people will take it seriously because it is based on true events,” stated Dautrich.

Watching this raw and uncensored account of fraternity recruitment from a pledge’s eyes will have every sorority woman happy to be a girl. Don’t take those long rounds and heels for granted ladies because it could be a whole lot worse.