T Nation

Fraternity Hazing

http://www.statesman.com/news/content/news/stories/local/04/29/0429hazing.html]

[quote]
Two former “pledge trainers” at a University of Texas fraternity �?? one who was accused of touching a hot clothes iron to pledges’ faces and another accused of shocking his prospective fraternity brothers with a cattle prod �?? will spend four days in jail after pleading no contest Monday to hazing and furnishing alcohol to minors.

The earliest incidents of hazing laid out in affidavits filed by a county attorney’s investigator came Sept. 9, 2006, when the pledges were gathered in a University Towers dorm room. Bolding required a pledge to hold himself on a table on his elbows and toes, and then flipped the table over; Sherrill touched a hot clothes iron to the faces of two pledges; and Evans made a pledge put his hand on a dart board while Evans threw darts at it, the affidavits said.

At events later in the semester, the pledges were made to gather cacti with their bare hands, and Evans made three pledges eat Crisco shortening, made two eat cat food and shocked several pledges with a cattle prod, the affidavit said.

On Nov. 16, 2006, the night before Cross was found dead, the pledges were given half-gallon liquor bottles to drink, according to the affidavit.[/quote]

I’ve withheld judgement until the trial was over, because some of the charges I thought were too ludicrous to have actually happened. I wanted to make sure that I judged these guys based upon acceptable facts, and not just media hype. Now that these guys are sentenced, I’m now reading and evaluating.

Is this type of behavior typical of college fraternities? I mean, you hear about stuff like this, and you see movies that kinda do a bit of it, but…being scalded in the face with an iron? Having darts thrown at your hand to amuse your frat brothers? Why would anyone willingly let someone do that to them?

I’m in college, though not a fraternity (I also don’t personally know anyone that is- this isn’t a concious choice, I guess I just don’t run in those circles). I’m hoping to get some kind of perspective as to how prevalent this type of behavior (hazing) really is and why people go through it.

QED.

pretty much. while the cattle prod seems a bit extreme, we did some pretty sadistic shit when i was in school way back when

that’s why I don’t buy my friends.

Seconded. It takes a weak human being to willingly submit to that shit.

[quote]PozzSka wrote:
that’s why I don’t buy my friends.[/quote]

[quote]Damici wrote:
Seconded. It takes a weak human being to willingly submit to that shit.

[/quote]

So I guess those who join the military are also “weak human beings?” Hazing is very common beyond greek life and looking down your nose at greeks like a lot of people do is no better than the elitism the greek community has been accused of.

I don’t know if I’d call what happened an example of HAZING. That seems a bit much. I mean, the broomstick wasn’t all that big, and they lubed it up first. And besides, they’re my bros! Bro.

[quote]Stronghold wrote:

So I guess those who join the military are also “weak human beings?” Hazing is very common beyond greek life and looking down your nose at greeks like a lot of people do is no better than the elitism the greek community has been accused of.[/quote]

I agree.

And I also seem to remember a little bit of hazing as a freshman in high school joining the baseball and football teams.

Of course that’s what we could call “back in the day.”

I’m in a fraternity and while the hardest part about our pledging is getting things done on limited sleep, I take issue with the whole “buying friends” argument. I was friends with a good number of brother’s in my fraternity before I decided to pledge. How is that buying my friends? It just gives me more time and opportunity to hang out with them. I know a lot of people who were the same way.

And as someone else said, making the newest/youngest members of any group do the shit that the older people don’t want to do is universal in all walks of life.

Also, pretty much all athletic teams at my university haze.

This seems extreme to me. I went through what is considered hazing under the law, but it was all in good fun. Hell, even scavenger hunts are considered hazing. Nobody in my fraternity took it too far, but nobody ever got hurt either. We did things like:

-cathing raw eggs in our mouths from 3 stories up
-doing shots of flour, shots of pickled herring (nasty!!!)
-do our best impersonation, for the brothers, of a sorority girl getting fucked (fully clothed, mind you, so it’s not as bad as it seems)
-eat as many uncooked hot dogs as you can in 15 minutes, etc.
-drink a case of bock beer (as a group), warmed in the oven.

There was only one thing I can think of that was mildly physically dangerous, but I wasn’t there that night. They made the pledges lie down on the floor, leaving a little space between each one, and the brothers proceeded to spike footballs on the floor, or the pledges as the case may be, for a few minutes. Everyone there, including the pledges, were laughing about it the next day and no one got hurt.

We all looked back on the hazing as fun, bonding experiences. But, I wouldn’t have stuck around for some of the shit you read about that goes on with some frats.

DB

I don’t know if it was hazing, but I saw a guy at my school with the frat letter burned into his shoulder. It was that sigma symbol, looks like an E kind of.

Anyway, the burn was fresh, and he had his sleeve rolled up. I think he was flaunting it, like he thought it was cool or something, because branding yourself is SOOOOOO cool…

[quote]mahwah wrote:
Stronghold wrote:

So I guess those who join the military are also “weak human beings?” Hazing is very common beyond greek life and looking down your nose at greeks like a lot of people do is no better than the elitism the greek community has been accused of.

I agree.

And I also seem to remember a little bit of hazing as a freshman in high school joining the baseball and football teams.

Of course that’s what we could call “back in the day.”[/quote]

So you are relating the bonding of boys who just get wasted together to that of men who lose their lives protecting each other?

There is nothing “elite” about a bunch of college boys beating each other and then getting wasted to laugh it off. The notion of them being “bonded for life as brothers” is also laughable. What bonded them together? The gang bang on the blonde freshmen girl?

The military personnel are bonded by true life changing experiences and risking their lives together, so relating the two is a mind fuck in my opinion.

My college rugby team certainly did plenty of what could be considered ‘hazing’, and it led to some of my fondest memories. There was never anything that would lead to any permanent scarring – physical or emotional – but it could sometimes get pretty nasty.

Can someone explain why one would want to be in a fraternity anyway?

[quote]CrewPierce wrote:

So you are relating the bonding of boys who just get wasted together to that of men who lose their lives protecting each other?

There is nothing “elite” about a bunch of college boys beating each other and then getting wasted to laugh it off. The notion of them being “bonded for life as brothers” is also laughable. What bonded them together? The gang bang on the blonde freshmen girl?

The military personnel are bonded by true life changing experiences and risking their lives together, so relating the two is a mind fuck in my opinion.
[/quote]

No, Im saying that hazing is a method by which to break the individual’s will and reintroduce them as part of a group. It happens with sports teams, frats, and the military. If all you got out of my post was “frats are just like the military” then you werent paying attention. Im not talking about the experiences that bond soldiers when they are at war. Im talking about the bullshit that they put new guys through to break them and make them part of an initiated group and gives them a shared experience that unifies them and separates them from non-members.

Anyways, who are you do deem that the relationships between fraternity brothers are unimportant or lack meaning? The fact that you see it only as a group of people that get wasted tells me that you havent had much experience with this kind of thing.

As to why anyone would want to be in a fraternity…well…I guess thats for the same reason someone would want to be in any club or a member of any community.

[quote]analog_kid wrote:
Can someone explain why one would want to be in a fraternity anyway?[/quote]

Because you already enjoy the people in it, and a bonus is the networking possibilities. The idea is that you have a common bond (usually the secret initiation ritual or pledge process of a fraternity) between all brothers everywhere. Most national frat offices would never condone and take active positions against hazing.

I’m in a music fraternity (not professional, listed as a social frat, but not on the inter greek council). Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. Our info from nationals explains explicitly what constitutes hazing, and give pledges tools to report hazing if any takes place.

That said, the closest I got to being hazed upon initiation was an interview on the blinding side of a lot of bright lights. No big deal. We did a lot of hanging out and drinking together, but nothing as serious as that. I have friends in bigger social fraternities around my campus, and none of them have gone thru any hazing either.

Bottom line: you join a frat that has people you enjoy being around in it. You don’t join because it looks good or because you’re trying to have some place to party. It’s because you enjoy the current members and respect what the frat as an organization does.

On hazing:
In talking to an alum of PMA, he had to go thru a game called “tanks”. The pledge filled their mouths with flour, then a brother would ride on top of them while they crawled around on all fours. When the brother shouted “FIRE!” they would spit the flour at the opponent (also another brother riding on a pledge).

[quote]Stronghold wrote:
CrewPierce wrote:

So you are relating the bonding of boys who just get wasted together to that of men who lose their lives protecting each other?

There is nothing “elite” about a bunch of college boys beating each other and then getting wasted to laugh it off. The notion of them being “bonded for life as brothers” is also laughable. What bonded them together? The gang bang on the blonde freshmen girl?

The military personnel are bonded by true life changing experiences and risking their lives together, so relating the two is a mind fuck in my opinion.

No, Im saying that hazing is a method by which to break the individual’s will and reintroduce them as part of a group. It happens with sports teams, frats, and the military. If all you got out of my post was “frats are just like the military” then you werent paying attention. Im not talking about the experiences that bond soldiers when they are at war. Im talking about the bullshit that they put new guys through to break them and make them part of an initiated group and gives them a shared experience that unifies them and separates them from non-members.

Anyways, who are you do deem that the relationships between fraternity brothers are unimportant or lack meaning? The fact that you see it only as a group of people that get wasted tells me that you havent had much experience with this kind of thing.

As to why anyone would want to be in a fraternity…well…I guess thats for the same reason someone would want to be in any club or a member of any community.[/quote]

I may have been projecting what I’ve heard other Greeks say before onto your statements and that’s why I mentioned things that you had not. I never said that the relationships were unimportant or lack meaning, but they pale in true bonding compared to what happened in the military esp. during war.

I could care less if someone joins a frat, it’s a club like any sports team, but if you related the relationship and bonding experience to the military that’s where I draw the line.

[quote]CrewPierce wrote:

I could care less if someone joins a frat, it’s a club like any sports team, but if you related the relationship and bonding experience to the military that’s where I draw the line.[/quote]

The nobility of the group is irrelevant to my point. Hazing happens in fraternities for the same reasons it happens in the military.

[quote]Stronghold wrote:
Damici wrote:
Seconded. It takes a weak human being to willingly submit to that shit.

So I guess those who join the military are also “weak human beings?” Hazing is very common beyond greek life and looking down your nose at greeks like a lot of people do is no better than the elitism the greek community has been accused of.[/quote]

You misunderstood.

People join frats to “fit in” or to rent some friends.

So, if you would put up with all of that bullshit just to fit in or have some friend rentals, then yes, you’re a cunt.

And if you let someone burn you on the face or any of the other shit listed in the OP, you’re a cunt. Regardless if you allowed it to happen for networking, or any of the other “good” things that come from or cause people to join fraternities.

I love the fact people who bash fraternities have never tried to pledge or been a member of a fraternity for any appreciable amount of time.