Negatives of Hazing

Topics: Fraternities and sororities, Pledge, Hazing Pages: 5 (1700 words) Published: December 5, 2011
On March 6, 2007 on Miami University’s campus, the fraternity Phi Gamma Delta, also known as Fiji, hazed pledging students by dropping them off in the woods in the middle of the night. The pledges had no idea where they were dropped off at or how to get back to campus. As the night went on park rangers eventually found the disoriented students wandering in the woods. This resulted in the fraternity facing a suspension from the university for hazing charges (Milstead). Generally, people do not view hazing as a big deal mainly because stories like this are rarely publicized nationally. With people not truly knowing about the issue, they end up misunderstanding it completely because they do not realize how much harm it can actually cause. Therefore, the question arises, should members of fraternities and sororities on Miami’s campus stop hazing throughout their chapters move towards other alternatives? This will be determined through the examination of the legal implications of hazing, costs to the chapter, effects on the chapter’s reputation, social problems with members, consequences to the hazer, and different options for hazing. Currently, hazing regulations extend across the country as states adopt different laws that involve this issue. According to Ohio state law, “No person shall recklessly participate in the hazing of another” (Fierberg). Since it is considered a state law, any enforcement agency can prosecute a student for being involved in a hazing incident. For this reason, organizations should already avoid hazing completely just because of the chances of legal implications. In addition to Ohio state law, Miami University has their own policies that go more in depth into the law. Miami University describes hazing as any actions by members of a group that are directed towards new individuals that may cause mental or physical harm to that person (“Miami University Hazing Prevention”). It explains that hazing can contribute to physical and mental harm, which describes how broad the negative effects can be. Furthermore, their definition is mainly referring to the fraternities and sororities on campus, as Greek life is predominately known for hazing at Miami. For instance, their policies include the recognition of activities such as alcohol, paddling, creation of excessive fatigue, and psychological shock (“Miami University Hazing Prevention”). These activities listed show the extent of Miami’s hazing policies, which illustrates how important it is to follow their rules, so that negative consequences can be avoided. When fraternities and sororities do not abide by the laws and policies, the costs to the chapter can be devastating. For example, the sorority Delta Delta Delta received a hazing charge that resulted in a two-year suspension from Miami’s campus (Mckerjee). This shows how much risk is involved when a fraternity or sorority hazes. Furthermore, once the chapter is allowed back on campus, they still have to take a lot of time to rebuild their chapter. In addition to suspensions, a chapter can be held liable for injuries or even deaths that result from hazing (“Consider the Issues”). The liability may even involve major lawsuits over the chapter, which usually result in major financial losses. For instance, a 19-year-old student at Cornell University died in a fraternity house due to excessive hazing (Skorton). In this case, the chapter was held completely liable and was forced face many legal implications. Moreover, any prosecution on the chapter can potentially affect alumni and new member support (“Consider the Issues”). With less support, the credibility of the chapter starts to quickly decline. Physical effects to the person being hazed can also affect the chapter’s reputation and accountability. Hazing usually involves binge drinking of alcohol, which most likely occurs during activities like “case races” or “power hours” (“Hazing”). Binge drinking can easily lead to alcohol...
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