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Why Won’t the NIC Lead?

I received an e-mail from my college fraternity directing me to contact my member of Congress to encourage them to sponsor the End All Hazing Act. The act is part of two bills introduced this week, H.R. 1932 and 1933. Good luck. The bill previously was introduced in 2019 and died because of not receiving a vote.

You see; energy subsides weeks and months after a hazing death. There is plenty of outrage after one occurs but the outrage fades into the background with enough time. Time allegedly heals all wounds.

I do not think there would be enough time to heal my wounds if my child died needlessly at the hands of fools for foolish reasons.

The fraternities governed by the North American Interfraternity Council (NIC) do not need a congressional act to make information on its chapters public and accessible to future students and their parents. They need the courage to act and retrieve the information from their member groups. The information could be posted in a matter of weeks.

A quote from the NIC’s president and CEO would suggest it is a big deal.

“Hazing is a critical issue facing campuses across all sports and student organizations. With more than half of college students exposed to hazing before reaching college, we applaud the bipartisan introduction of the End All Hazing Act to address and eradicate this issue. We must bring more transparency, accountability, and improved safety to campuses nationwide. We will continue to advocate for this bill to become law and for other solutions that can help bring an end to hazing,” said Jud Horras, President and CEO of the North American Interfraternity Conference (NPCwomen.org, March 16, 2021).

Mr. Horras, if this is so true, then make some phone calls to your members and get this done. Why are you waiting for Congress to do what you can?

 

Franklin and Marshall - COVID Bad...Hazing Good.

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Phi Gamma Delta's Weak Fight Against Hazing

Phi Gamma Delta recently published their organizational strategy to halt hazing in the spring edition of their journal.

It is noble but weak. I'll explain.

The plan consists of four main points. These include rethink the joining process, increased training and education, reinforce hazing's risks and consequences and rally all constituents. The article may be viewed here.

An organization can "rethink" the joining process all it wants; however, this will do little to control hazing. Sigma Alpha Epsilon abolished pledging as an organization in 2014 and they still have hazing in their chapters. A recent example involves their chapter at Loyola who was closed for hazing (Rhodes, Chicago Tribune, Feb. 23, 2017). If a group wants to stratify members and treat those who are new to the group as second class citizens, they will find a way to do it.

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Two Very Different Hazing Stories...One Common Denominator

Two stories related to hazing hit the airwaves today. One from Penn State where another fraternity with habitual problems simply does not get it and now is being closed. The other involves the cheer team from the University of Kentucky who have proven that hazing is not endemic to male only fraternities.

How much death and bad press would have to happen on the Penn State campus for a fraternity to realize that it can not operate with hazing and violations of campus alcohol policies? You would think they would be walking on eggshells and doing everything by the book.

The UK cheer story is rife with underage drinking, nudity and stupid stunts right out of a poor fraternity playbook.

Both situations have one thing in common. They both lacked positive and engaged alumni supervision. When alumns, who know right from wrong, are engaged in student activities, few problems occur. Bad things including death can happen when they are not. Fortunately, that did not happen in either situation here.

 

AEPi GIVES UCF THE MIDDLE FINGER

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 COVID-19 ENDS HAZING!

Covid-19 has accomplished something that polio, the Civil War, the Spanish flu, WWI and II, university presidents, deans of students, fraternity executive directors and others have failed to do. It has ended hazing, FOR NOW.

Think of the countless hours and dollars that have been spent trying to eradicate this terrible practice for decades. It has been wiped out by a virus in a matter of weeks. In person higher education is effectively shut down and as a result, so is fraternity life.

Hazing in college fraternities is not a positive thing. It is good that it is gone, at least temporarily. At what cost, however, one may ask?

Giving up the freedom to live as one pleases is a huge price. Living comes with risk. The freedom to risk one’s time to volunteer to their favorite charitable cause. The freedom to risk their life to drive to their favorite restaurant. The freedom to enlist to defend their country. The freedom to risk their life to worship their God. The freedom to risk their wealth and pursue their lifelong dreams.

Yes, also the freedom to pursue education at the place of your choice and to associate with a fraternity. This, too, is not free of risk.

Will administrations abolish group living? Is it possible to have social distancing in a fraternity house?

Will dormitories be abolished also? How does one social distance there as well?

Some who only see the bad in fraternity life may say, “So what. Good riddance. They are not a constructive part of society.” Yes, many poor behaviors associated with fraternities are gone. Gone, too, are the lifelong friendships that are built, the donation of time and money to social causes, the skills learned during the spirit of debate, and pursuit of relationships and learning with their chosen professors.

My hope is that when the dust has settled and the virus has been minimized the only thing that is extinguished from college fraternity life is the hazing.

 

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