Tri Sigma Labyrinth Leadership Participants gather on the stairs of the Lincoln Memorial to read Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Empowering one another, not hazing, helps us in the workplace.
I came across Jeremy Goldman’s opinion article in a Facebook group. The article glorified hazing as a means to move up the corporate chain.
Hazing has absolutely no place in any setting, especially Greek life. It’s illegal and 44 states have anti-hazing laws. Florida even recognizes hazing as a felony when it results “in serious bodily injury or death of such other person.”
I was disturbed after reading the piece. As an alumna of Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority, at first I felt angry that someone would think promoting an illegal activity is acceptable career preparation. Has the Greek experience become this insignificant, that hazing is the is reason why you should join? Hazing should not be viewed as a stepping stone to a coveted career.
After talking with others in the Greek community, I realized I shouldn’t be angry at Goldman for his opinion, but instead frustrated with myself and the rest of the Greek community. I realized that these views aren’t the fault of the writer or even the men who provided quotes for the story.
This is our fault. Everyone included in the Greek community is to blame, including me.
What are we all doing wrong that someone truly believes that the benefit of Greek life is being hazed to stand out in the corporate world?
What about all those values we talk about, the true benefits of Greek life? Are we really doing a good job of living those values if others still think hazing is OK or, better yet, that hazing is required? Saying we don’t haze is not enough. We all could do more to dispel this idea that hazing is an acceptable, beneficial practice.
The benefits I’ve seen from Greek life in the workplace have nothing to do with hazing. I’ve gained real, tangible experiences that have led me to my career as a reporter and photographer. I learned how to talk to people I didn’t know by recruiting new members to share in my sisterhood. I made sure I attended class and kept up my grade point average because of the scholarship and study hour requirements. I learned how to budget money. The business meetings and national conventions helped develop my professionalism in a more formal setting. Serving as president taught me to delegate tasks to others and manage a group of women from an array of backgrounds with vastly different personalities. Continuing to volunteer for my sorority has taught me the value of coaching others instead of managing them.
When I took my sorority’s vows, I didn’t promise to berate and belittle other women by hazing them. I didn’t swear I would make sure others would have to prove their worth through trivial, physical acts, instead of by the values they already possess. I didn’t vow to make sure women felt the need to be hazed as a rite of passage. Founders of both fraternities and sororities are men and women who came together during extraordinary times and organized against all odds. They weren’t running around campus cleaning apartments or cars to have “pledge” books signed. They were too busy forging a path to the sisterhoods and brotherhoods we have the privilege to carry on today.
The Greek experience, in my opinion, is meant to empower others. We volunteer and give back to the community, we develop bonds that reach deeper than friendship, and we learn to see the value of others and ourselves. Hazing has no part of this vision.
If we’re ever going to show the world the true benefits and the merit of being a member of the Greek community, we have to break down these barriers and traditions that are holding us back. We have to let go of “but it was done to me,” or “but it makes us closer.” No more buts. The brave men and women are the ones who will no longer accept these illegal acts as ‘tradition.’ We have to be proactive. We cannot accept bystander behavior.
Who will fight to protect the legacy our founders created?
The time is now to stop hazing and start working to prove that this is not a benefit of membership in fraternities and sororities.
Powered by Facebook Comments