Day 36:“Hazing is just part of becoming a Brother”

The following is a guest post from Director of Risk Reduction Fred Dobry.  Fred is a former Leadership Consultant for the General Fraternity staff.
Why does hazing need to be part of becoming a Brother?  Do they need to “earn” their letters?  Shouldn’t every member be “earning” their letters each day through their actions

“Part” of becoming a Brother is learning the organizational knowledge necessary to be a good, contributing active member (i.e. organizational structure, Robert’s Rules of Order, chapter operations, member expectations, etc…).  In fact, there really is no need for anything else.  That’s why you call it your new member education program.  Once you have equipped a new member with the knowledge necessary to be a good member of your organization, what more do you need to do?  What role does hazing have in that education?  Why must new members be required to learn all of the members’ parents’ names and hometowns to show they “know their Brothers.”  Will your new members not learn that, and more, through the close friendships that are naturally created through fraternity/sorority membership?

Or is your candidate education program more about making a new member “earn” his or her right into the organization and they’ll just figure out the rest after initiation?  Considering that you only have eight or so semesters at maximum to make an impact as an undergraduate member of your chapter, I sure would be disappointed to waste a full semester going through arbitrary acts of hazing to prove I belong rather than being provided the knowledge necessary to show I belong.

This post is part of a series dedicated to providing answers to common excuses for hazing.  The #40Answers in 40 Days campaign aims to promote National Hazing Prevention Week (September 20 – 25, 2010) and to ultimately create the definitive collection of crowdsourced knowledge to eliminate hazing.

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