It’s a fair question, and one that needs to be answered. There have been a few emails and submissions all revolving around the same topic. When is hazing too much? We’ve given you a ton of cases when #23 hazing crosses the line. If death comes into the picture, it’s an obvious decision. Yet, there are a handful of stories that enter a murky, iffy territory where the line isn’t so black-and-white. Even when death isn’t in the picture, can hazing go too far? I’ll throw down the best advice I’ve got. As always, sound off in the comments below…
Countless stories of alcohol poisoning and brutal beatings have headlined the news over the years. These instances have given society no choice in snowballing the #29 anti-hazing douchebag trend sweeping across the country. Not one fraternity guy can argue against the points they’re making. In all of these cases, hazing went too far, no doubt about it. So there’s the disclaimer. There aren’t many times where I’ll frown upon hazing. If done right, hazing can be an absolute positive in one’s life. I’ve backed this belief from the very beginning. The line… “It’s not hazing. It’s brotherhood.” is a way of fraternity life.
For every obsolete (freak) death, there are countless hazing instances in which a pledge is pushed to the brink without any worry of death. In other words, even if your life isn’t in danger, there are countless times when hazing does what it’s not supposed to do. Let’s refresh the memory as to the positives of hazing, and what hazing does for us:
Check out the previous post of #41 “Why We Haze” to read about each of these points more in detail.
Here’s a few instances, generally outlined, when hazing cross the line:
If you’re joining a homosexual fraternity, all power to you. If not, there’s no fucking reason why your manly jewels and fuck stick should ever enter the picture. #45 Elephant Walk? Fuck no. Absolutely not.
Boot camp is all good. Calisthenics and the sort could never kill you. To make things simple, you should never have a reason to physically touch a pledge. Hazing can all be commanding (verbally) and mental mindfucks. Pledges are here by choice, so you never have to physically enforce hazing.
It’s one thing to make a pledge memorize every brother’s name, and it’s a completely different thing to make a pledge skip class, fail exams and almost drop out of college. It’s one thing to #36 take advantage of pledges, and it’s a completely different thing to ruin their futures. Pledging can be made difficult while still remembering the fact that you’re in college.
I could go on-and-on about what not to do. I’m a firm believer that everyone knows what the limit is, and what not to do. I’m 100% pro-hazing, no doubt about it. But like all things, hazing must be in moderation. Make it work for your brotherhood. If not, you’ll either end up in jail or kicked off campus. There are enough stories of that to make me sick. If we continue to #16 practice secrecy, and learn how to haze the right way, the brotherhood will always win.
It’s not hazing. It’s brotherhood.