Fraternity Hazing

If you are planning to pledge a fraternity or a sorority then you need to know about fraternity hazing. Hazing is one of the many initiations that most fraternity members must participate in, before becoming full-fledged member of the fraternity. Hazing rituals are often embarrassing, and in some cases can be dangerous. The most you know about fraternity hazing, the better decision you can make, about whether you would like to join a fraternity.

Definition. There are many definitions of hazing, but most people agree that hazing is the use of actual, or perceived force to persuade or coerce a prospective member (pledge) to do participate in an activity that is embarrassing, funny, and/or dangerous. Each fraternity typically has different forms of hazing that they approve of and engage in.

Forms. Fraternity hazing can take many forms including, but not limited to: humiliation, intimidation, coercion to drink excessive amounts of alcohol, forced participation in sexual activities, sleep deprivation, and encouragement to embarrass oneself in public. Since fraternities and secret societies began hundreds of years ago, hazing has been a popular ritual of initiation that “proves” a pledge’s dedication and loyalty to the brotherhood.

Where hazing occurs. Hazing often occurs at parties, fraternity sponsored dances and outings, and sporting events. In the past when hazing was more widely accepted, hazing often took place in public areas where pledges would have to participate in demeaning and demoralizing activities. Today, most hazing takes place behind closed doors, as many states have passed legislation making it illegal for fraternities to facilitate or participate in hazing activities.

Impact of hazing. Fraternity hazing has many long-term and serious consequences including, physical harm, emotional harm and even death. With an increasing number of alcohol related deaths on campuses across the country, most colleges and universities have rules against fraternity and sorority hazing. If you believe that dangerous fraternity hazing is occurring on your campus, contact a college official immediately.

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