Rutgers Reminds Us: Why Do We Haze?

Photo and girls involved totally unrelated to story.

What is the meaning of a sorority exactly?

As an outsider, a self proclaimed anti-sorostitute, I’ve never really understood the purpose.  It’s a “special bond” they tell me.  A “sisterhood” they say.  Here is what I know:  I have a sister, and I have never struck her with a paddle 201 times in one week.  She has never been at the hospital with blood clots and welts on her ass that somehow symbolize our “loyalty” to each other.  I have not forced her to endure this pain to prove to me that she is worthy of being my sister.

Unfortunately, an anonymous Sigma Gamma Rho pledge at Rutgers University cannot say the same.  When she began to pledge the sorority, she was told that they do not condone hazing.  It took her one whole week, until she couldn’t even sit down, to finally go to the hospital and turn in the girls who had been beating her endlessly during the duration of her “non-hazing.”  Six girls were arrested and charged with aggravated hazing.

We are all thinking the same thing: how could these girls do this to her and the other pledges? It is cruel, evil, and outrageous.  But here is the bigger question: how could the pledges allow this happen to themselves? Joining a sorority is an elective activity.  No one forced these girls to pledge.  It was their choice.  Even though they were told that hazing was not condoned, why didn’t they opt to leave once they saw a paddle?  And even if they were too afraid to leave, why the hell did they go back for day two, three, four, etc? 

I understand the feeling of wanting to belong to a group, of having instant friends, and wanting to be a part of something.  However, if I were in a situation where girls were going to physically harm me in order for me to be a part of this group, my response would most likely be “you’re out of your f**king mind.”  I’d be out of that room so fast and the door would not hit my untouched ass on the way out.  The concept is really bizarre to me.  They allow themselves to be hazed, beaten, humiliated, and whatever it takes to be accepted into this so-called “sisterhood,” and then one month later they’re supposed to be BFFs with the people who tortured them. “Hey! Remember that time I beat your ass with a paddle and you couldn’t even walk? HAHA GOOD TIMES GIRL!”

Yeah….sounds like it?

I know that it is important for hazing rules and regulations to be implemented within the Greek system, but I truly feel that hazing will continue as long as there are people who are willing to be hazed.  Think about it:  Sororities and Fraternities haze because they know that there are so many Greek hopefuls who will do whatever it takes to be in that certain house.  If a couple dropout, there will always be more, and the select few will make it until the end.  But what if there were no willing participants?  What if every desperate freshman decided to suddenly respect themselves and not take part in anything so outrageous?  It would have to end, wouldn’t it?

So, ask yourself: how far would YOU go to fit in?

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