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Stromboli

Hazing

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I also might add that when you're part of a prestigious organization, with a 100+ year military inspired background and whose activities went largely unchecked for over 40 years, things can absolutely get out of control. But there are so many facets in a situation like that, that it's damn near impossible to pinpoint 'politics' or 'student environment/ student life' or anything like that.

 

I know from experience, asking my group nicely to march in formation is like whining and nagging. "Please stop moving around", "Please stand at attention", "Please do that again but better" are all great ways to make me tune out on the field and ignore you completely.

 

"But those are university approved methods!!!1!" - The university cries

 

Sure, maybe. But nothing gets me motivated to do better than saying "HEY, GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR #@$#@#$ AND GET THE #@$$$ IN FORMATION". Especially when used after gentle prompts.

 

Or think of it like this: Do you get more done when your mom nags at you to clean something, or when you have a personal interest in getting it clean?

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I'm TOTALLY with you. I SUPPOSE if a fraternity is stupid enough to insist on it you have the choice of not applying to join - but for anything you need (in any way - school, army etc) it should be ABSOLUTELY illegal.

 

And if it takes place anyway (or in the case of a fraternity that allows it - they are the worst offenders, I believe) there is any kind of accident - ANY KIND - every single person involved (except the victim) should be prosecuted. If there's a DEATH - for murder. Not manslaughter - murder. You cannot tell me that those guys didn't know they were killing him, either - and even if they claim it was a "terrible accident " - so what. Beating people is not OK. EVER. (I am SO with the medical examiner there smile.gif BLESS him for the common sense of that ruling.)

 

I certainly hope that every last hazer involved is kicked out of college and blacklisted for every other college in the US. No, in the WORLD.

 

And to those that say hazing is OK if it's "just harmless stuff" - well, that just means it perhaps starts out OK-ish (though why there is a need to ridicule people baffles me) but what starts out simple has a nasty tendency to turn nasty, so no. Ban it ALL. (Leading people blindfold to a secret place is hardly in the same class. There's no intention to ridicule there !)

That's a pretty broad generalization, considering how vague the 'definition' of hazing is.

 

For example, one of the 5th years in the baritone section was labeled a 'Hazer' and sued by the university because he told one of the 1st years to switch places with him. It's a practice that causes nervousness and some undue distress, but kicked out of every school in the world and unable to get a decent job (because the label of 'HAZER' appears anytime someone looks at his transcripts)? That's pretty extreme.

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Have you ever been on a scavenger hunt, the kind they hold in boy or girl scouts where you go and collect things on a list?

Have you ever called your significant other by a nickname (boo, baby, honey, sweetie) or something more playful?

Have you ever sang the lyrics of a song differently than the actual lyrics of the song?

Have you ever done something in order of eldest to youngest, or more experienced to less? (for example- all 6th graders can get lunch/leave the room first, followed by 5th and 4th)

Have you ever been given special perks because you are of older academic rank? (All 4th year seniors please leave to go on a field trip)

Have you ever been given special perks because of individual performance, determined by

special 'tests' or 'exams'? (for example, you have an IQ of 130, you get to go on this field trip)

Has your teacher ever made you stay after school because you were an idiot and started a food fight, or got a lower grade?

 

If you answered 'yes!' to any of the above, CONGRATS, you participated in something that, by most universities' standards, is HAZING.

Uh, those aren't hazing. As posted by Socky on the first page:

 

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/hazing

 

noun

subjection to harassment or ridicule.

 

verb (used with object), hazed, haz·ing.

1. to subject (freshmen, newcomers, etc.) to abusive or humiliating tricks and ridicule.

2. Chiefly Nautical . to harass with unnecessary or disagreeable tasks.

 

None of the things you mentioned are abusive or humiliating, and if a university defines those things as hazing then they're doing it wrong.

 

Personally, I don't understand why on earth anyone would willingly subject themselves to humiliation. I definitely don't understand hazings which are mandatory to even go to school or the like: I know that's a thing here in Belgium, and the first time I saw it happen (I didn't grow up here) I was baffled and horrified. I saw groups of students, literally being herded by other students; they were caked in I'm guessing mud and a combination of incredibly smelly substances (definitely smelled feces of some kind). The majority looked like they'd rather be anywhere else at the time. One girl looked particularly miserable, her mouth was taped up with ducttape and she had been bound in ropes... it just... honestly, the whole thing looked more like abuse than any kind of initiation ritual.

 

Harmless initiation rituals (like the ritual of being led to the campfire blindfolded someone mentioned above) are fine, I don't mind those at all. But hazing, like what sororities/fraternities/other college or uni groups often do... nope. Let people have their dignity.

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None of the things you mentioned are abusive or humiliating, and if a university defines those things as hazing then they're doing it wrong.

But see, that's the problem. Universities around the country of the USA are redefining it, and yes, every single one of those things listed were things my organization did that the university deemed appropriate. That dictionary definition is far outdated.

 

Here is a copy of one sorority/fraternity's definition of hazing:

 

"“Any action taken or situation created that produces mental or physical harm, discomfort, embarrassment,

harassment, or ridicule. Such activities may include but are not limited to the following: use of

alcohol, paddling in any form, line ups for the purpose of intimidation, creation of excessive fatigue,

physical and psychological shocks, quests, treasure hunts, scavenger hunts, unnecessary road trips,

wearing of public apparel which is conspicuous and not normally in good taste, engaging in public

stunts and buffoonery, morally degrading or humiliating games and activities, and any other activities

which are not consistent with academic or musical achievement; Kappa Kappa Psi/Tau Beta Sigma law,

ritual or policy; or the regulations and policies of the educational institution, band program, or applicable

state law.”

 

 

So you can see how the two just don't relate to each other anymore. We need to have an intelligent conversation on exactly what does and does not define hazing. Leaving it a 'gray area' is confusing, and unless heavily monitored will always allow for windows of opportunity to happen.

 

Here's another definition, from a university website:

 

"Hazing may also constitute additional behaviors, including but not limited to:

 

forced cleaning

running errands/menial tasks

forced interviews

scavenger hunts

mental and/or psychological abuse

public or private displays of humiliation

forced use of alcohol or drugs

providing alcohol to minors

use of alcohol or drugs during the new member education/intake process or other membership events

line-ups

forced eating or drinking of items

being yelled at or cursed at by other members of the team or group

sleep deprivation

public nudity

forced wear of embarrassing clothing

depriving you of regular hygiene practices (brushing teeth, bathing)

making you steal or destroy property

"drop-offs" or "dumps" in unfamiliar locations

lock-ups or being confined to small spaces

being duct taped or some other physical restraints

violence

sexual assault

beating

kicking

calisthenics

creation of excessive fatigue

any activity which seriously endangers the health or safety of another individual."

Edited by kecemis

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That's a pretty broad generalization, considering how vague the 'definition' of hazing is.

 

For example, one of the 5th years in the baritone section was labeled a 'Hazer' and sued by the university because he told one of the 1st years to switch places with him. It's a practice that causes nervousness and some undue distress, but kicked out of every school in the world and unable to get a decent job (because the label of 'HAZER' appears anytime someone looks at his transcripts)? That's pretty extreme.

That 5th year thing sounds silly - I suspect there may have been more to it.

 

But ANYTHING aimed at deliberately humiliating someone else is not OK in my book. It's easy enough not to earn the "hazer" label - don't do it. It's like all those people who whine about speed cameras and RIDE checks and say we need to be TOLD where they are so we can avoid them. Don't speed; no problem. If you speed you deserve to be done over. Same thing with deliberately humiliating other people. smile.gif Treat freshers the way you would like to be treated yourself. Simples smile.gif

 

The things described in many of the posts above - and I include menial tasks, lineups, ANYTHING involving alcohol, even treasure hunts if you are forced to take part - are NOT in the same class as harmless rituals like leading a willing person blindfolded to a campfire. No-one should be forced to do something simply because they are a fresher.

Edited by fuzzbucket

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Have you ever been on a scavenger hunt, the kind they hold in boy or girl scouts where you go and collect things on a list?

Have you ever called your significant other by a nickname (boo, baby, honey, sweetie) or something more playful?

Have you ever sang the lyrics of a song differently than the actual lyrics of the song?

Have you ever done something in order of eldest to youngest, or more experienced to less? (for example- all 6th graders can get lunch/leave the room first, followed by 5th and 4th)

Have you ever been given special perks because you are of older academic rank? (All 4th year seniors please leave to go on a field trip)

Have you ever been given special perks because of individual performance, determined by

special 'tests' or 'exams'? (for example, you have an IQ of 130, you get to go on this field trip)

Has your teacher ever made you stay after school because you were an idiot and started a food fight, or got a lower grade?

 

If you answered 'yes!' to any of the above, CONGRATS, you participated in something that, by most universities' standards, is HAZING.

The problem is, there's an awful lot of legal butt-covering that has to happen with large institutions and all of those things can and have been used in an abusive, hazing fashion.

 

I'm in KKPsi, and we had to make some changes to our scavenger hunt to make it allowable, 'cause we've got the laundry list of hazing rules. I think we made it an optional pre-rush event for people interested, but not something that our currently engaged BiTs or Brothers were made to go to.

 

But for a teacher keeping you after school because you broke school policy, that's... the kind of consequences one should expect from breaking school policy? What's the actual hazing rule on the books that's being applied that situation to?

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That 5th year thing sounds silly - I suspect there may have been more to it.

 

But ANYTHING aimed at deliberately humiliating someone else is not OK in my book. It's easy enough not to earn the "hazer" label - don't do it. It's like all those people who whine about speed cameras and RIDE checks and say we need to be TOLD where they are so we can avoid them. Don't speed; no problem. If you speed you deserve to be done over. Same thing with deliberately humiliating other people. smile.gif Treat freshers the way you would like to be treated yourself. Simples smile.gif

 

The things described in many of the posts above - and I include menial tasks, lineups, ANYTHING involving alcohol, even treasure hunts if you are forced to take part - are NOT in the same class as harmless rituals like leading a willing person blindfolded to a campfire. No-one should be forced to do something simply because they are a fresher.

It's the same thing to a university. Trust me, I've gotten my blood pressure boiling from this so many times this year it isn't funny. When we asked our Student Life reps what to do if a rookie COMES UP TO US and demands a nickname, because they feel jipped because we weren't allowed to name them this year, what do we do?

 

Their response: "Well maybe so-and-so two chairs down feels offended that you call your friend here Indiana Jones/Marilyn Manson/Wangles/King Kong. And we need to create an environment that feels safe to everyone."

 

I agree with you, if someone WANTS to be part of something who are we to stop them? But the laws around hazing and the guidelines set by universities are purposefully vague. And yes, if a uni caught you blindfolding willing participants in any kind of ceremony, you bet your butt you're going to get in some crap about it. That's just the way it is.

 

I hate pulling the 'I've been there' card, but I have. This was my life for three years, and I was around these people for another two when I was dating someone in it. It's one thing to sit on the other side of the glass and say things you'd never do, and trust me, if you told me five years ago I was going to streak butt naked in the dead of winter across campus to win a scavenger hunt, or that I was going to watch some of my friends get 'bearclawed' and thought it was ok, I would've asked you what drugs you were on. It is REALLY difficult to say what you would and wouldn't do until you've been there.

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Things that you don't feel really uncomfortable with doing and that aren't harmful in any way are okay. But if you get hurt, if you didn't want to do it, if you're embarrassed or if you can look back and go "That was horrible," then it's not okay.

 

I'm at university now. The standard thing is that you live in a "residential hall" for your first year, then go flatting after that. One of our res. halls has about half n half first and second years, though, and they're the worst with initiations - mostly they're forced to drink large amounts of alcohol.

I've heard tell of one kid getting his stomach pumped after being locked in a closet and told to drink a bottle of vodka in five minutes. They found him passed out. Others have been forgotten, and left in the closet/locked room. Then there was the one where you had to finish whatever they gave you to drink, and if you vomited you weren't accepted unless you then ate the vomit.

 

Boy, am I glad I didn't go there. They've got some censorkip.gif going on.

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I agree with you, if someone WANTS to be part of something who are we to stop them? But the laws around hazing and the guidelines set by universities are purposefully vague. And yes, if a uni caught you blindfolding willing participants in any kind of ceremony, you bet your butt you're going to get in some crap about it. That's just the way it is.

 

I hate pulling the 'I've been there' card, but I have. This was my life for three years, and I was around these people for another two when I was dating someone in it. It's one thing to sit on the other side of the glass and say things you'd never do, and trust me, if you told me five years ago I was going to streak butt naked in the dead of winter across campus to win a scavenger hunt, or that I was going to watch some of my friends get 'bearclawed' and thought it was ok, I would've asked you what drugs you were on. It is REALLY difficult to say what you would and wouldn't do until you've been there.

You chose to streak. You could have not joined in. And I most certainly WOULD NOT have watched my friends - or anyone else - get bear-clawed; I would have left - both event and group - and if they were actually being hurt I would have called the cops. Just as I have intervened in other bullying situations. That's all that hazing is - organised bullying.

 

I am 70 years old and I do know what I would and wouldn't do - based on what I have and haven't done ! I have actually found myself excluded from groups where I didn't choose to play their silly games. And that's fine.

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