Day 33: The Uninteded Consequences of “Breaking them down to build them up”

The following is a guest post from Director of Fraternal Operations Tim Braddick. Tim is a former Leadership Consultant and Director of Risk Reduction for the General Fraternity staff.

I always tell chapters to be aware of the unintended consequences of their actions. The worst thing a chapter can do is believe that their candidate education program has desired outcomes that do not exist.  Or even worse, that the intended goals might be counterproductive to the chapter’s goals.

Take one example, “breaking people down to build them up.”  Presumably, we are inviting to join our ranks men of high moral/ethical character who perform well scholastically and get involved in their campus community.

Why do these men need to be “broken down?” What is so bad about these guys that they are not “good enough” to be initiated?

If we extended a bid to this man then we as a chapter have agreed that he possesses something the other men did not. What a shame it would be to lose a great candidate because our chapter members were too busy “breaking him down” to even realize that what they were doing was, in fact, breaking our chapter down.

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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