The Fraternity Whisperer

Some advice from an unlikely source…

On how to treat others:

Brannaman recalls that Dorrance once advised him, “ ‘Buck, don’t treat ‘em how they are, treat ‘em how you’d like ‘em to be.’ He never did say if he was talking about people or horses. But I knew he was talking about both.”

As we’ve seen many times over, treating candidates like second-class citizens only breeds apathy and resentment. On the other hand, regarding the chapter’s newest members as contributing, honorable, model brothers-in-training creates lasting, meaningful relationships based on shared positive experiences.

The subject’s description of his estranged father sounds remarkably similar to the profile of a hazer:

“I don’t know a lot of facts about my dad because he was a pathological liar,” Brannaman tells me. “He had some of the grandest stories. He told us kids that his great-grandfather had gone West with a wheelbarrow full of leather tools, and he was a saddle maker who had a ranch in Montana. He had a string of lies and he was very intelligent, very convincing, very charismatic—so everybody believed him.”

Hazing thrives on misinformation and a false sense of trust. Also convincing and charismatic, hazers take advantage of candidates who may not know any better.

If you can believe it, this sage advice came from the profile of a storied horse trainer.

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