Hazing: in our politically correct culture, it’s such a trigger word. Anytime it’s uttered or rumored, one can be sure some chapter is about to get royally fucked. But is hazing really such a bad thing?
The virtues of hazing are expressed frequently and emphatically by our male counterparts, but girls are almost pressured to brag about being able to bond without it. We somehow think we are above hazing; we are so entitled that we believe our membership should be all rainbows and unicorns and everyone should just love us and spoil us because our daddy raised us to believe we are princesses, duh. Is that really the best way to go about things? I don’t think so.
In full disclosure, my sorority did not haze in the slightest. About five years before I got to school, my chapter had just gotten off probation following hazing allegations. As a result of our ever-present past, my exec board and advisors went out of their way to make sure nothing could be construed as hazing. During my New Member period, absolutely everything was optional. Didn’t want to go to a chapter dinner? You didn’t have to. Felt like taking a long nap instead of attending a sisterhood event? Fine. The only requirement was chapter, which was bullshit.
There is something to be said about going through a difficult period in order to earn membership in an organization bigger than you. How can we expect our new members to understand how dearly we hold our sisterhood if everything is handed to them and nothing is expected of them? Because of the way my new member period was run, I do believe I missed out on bonding experiences with some of my pledge sisters, not because I wasn’t present, but because they weren’t. That’s sad, but what makes me sadder, is that it took me almost a year after I was extended a bid to truly understand the sisterhood I had joined. I went through initiation and said our oath and committed myself to something, but I didn’t yet understand it, and that’s the travesty of the situation.
I love my organization. The friends I have made throughout my time in my sorority are girls that will be by side for life. But I should not have just been handed a membership. We vet girls during recruitment, but we should also be vetting girls during the pledge process. I’m not saying that every girl shouldn’t make it through the pledge process, and I’m not saying that every girl should, but if you hold your organization in as high esteem as I hold mine, you should want girls to earn the privilege to be wear your letters, not girls that treat it as their right. Hazing is not inherently bad. There is bad hazing, obviously, but putting a group of girls through difficult (but not impossible) situations, so that they may come out stronger and more unified in the end is good.
I was not hazed, but if I could go back and change anything about my sorority experience, that’s what it would be..