Why You Need to Care About Hazing

The first time I remember really hearing about hazing was during my junior year of high school. It was the death of Tucker Hipps, a pledge at Clemson University who died because he was hazed. Hazing usually entails any sort of humiliating or dangerous activity that someone has to do in order to be a part of an organization. Though it can occur in any group activity, such as a sports team or the school band, we hear about it the most in the Greek community. As someone who is a member of Greek life, and who loves Greek life dearly, I find hazing, in any iteration, utterly unacceptable.

Tucker Hipps

Every time I hear about a fraternity brother dying because he was hazed, an inexplicable rage builds up inside of me. When you join a Greek organization, you do it to be a part of something greater than yourself. These are your brothers or your sisters; it’s the family you get to choose. However, the second they try to tell you that you have to do something that makes you uncomfortable in order for you to stay, it’s over. Please know that no organization is worth that. If they really valued you as a member of their brotherhood or sisterhood, they would not make you do anything you didn’t want to do. It’s hard to square up to someone, especially if they are above you, and call them out and report it, but when you speak up, you help others as well as yourself.

Sure, you might risk getting your organization suspended or even kicked off campus, but if it means preventing future groups of men or women being hazed, then it is worth it. The founders of each and every organization set very high standards for membership, and none of those include treating other members like they’re nothing.

I am grateful to be in an organization and on a campus that makes hazing prevention a top priority. They practice what they preach. The thing is, though, I shouldn’t brag about how proactive my own community is about hazing prevention; it should be the norm. If you’re involved in an organization or thinking about going Greek in the future, I encourage you to get educated and say something if you see something.

There is no reason for someone to die because their so-called brothers or sisters could not have basic human decency. You are supposed to leave your organization a better person, but you can’t do that if you were hazed and wound up dead. Don’t be bullied into silence.

 

Overall collegiettes, be the change you want to see in the world. If you or someone you know wants to reach out, the Anti-Greek Hazing hotline is (1-888-668-4293).

 

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