Greek Life is central to many college students nationwide. Sororities and Fraternities hold their members to exceptionally high standards, academically and personally. Since members are to represent their organization with integrity and respect, it seems logical they must treat each other in a respectful manner. There is one flaw that seems to powerfully influence the reputation of all Greek organizations, hazing. The cruel treatment of a pledge class from bid day until they are initiated into a chapter as an attempt to bring the members closer together and create bonding ties within the chapter and organization . It is important to express that hazing is not a part of the initiation process of every Greek organization, and only few indulge in this form of recruitment. While specific details regarding hazing are confidential to the members of a chapter, they seem to have a major effect on student life on campus. The seemingly overwhelming commitment to the pledge process tends to disrupt the participants’ academic performance. A great deal of pledges mention a downward shift in grades and class attendance because of the recruitment process.
Aside from the academic hardships caused by this pledge process, there are severe mental consequences that burden participants even after they are initiated. College students commonly suffer from mental disorders such as depression of various forms, bipolar disorders and anxiety disorders. Most of these disorders are triggered by a traumatic event and may induce serious consequences. Hazing is a prime example of an emotional trigger that can kindle mental disorders, even if the participant is unaware. Many students are unaware of unconscious mental weaknesses until they are triggered by a traumatic event, such alas hazing, at which point seeking treatment is crucial.
While it is difficult for UConn faculty to prevent hazing on campus, student advocacy against practices of other student organizations will make a bigger difference toward this cause. Some panhellenic organizations discourage their members from attending parties at fraternities that have been banned from campus because of hazing incidents. Greek life emphasizes fraternity and sisterhood contributes to unforgettable college experiences for a great deal of the UConn student body. The Greek Council Affairs Board also organized events at the beginning of the Fraternity Rush process called Hazing Prevention Week, where members publicly advocated against hazing. Leila Gallupe, a member of UConn Junior Panhellenic Council, participated in some of these events. She believes that “hazing goes against all the values Greek organizations hold and it is damaging to the people who have to endure it.” Influencing popular on campus opinion regarding a major social issue on campus starts with students challenging the practices of other organizations. Students that participate in advocacy against other student activity voices a relatable popular opinion that can instill social change at UConn.
Keren Blaunstein is a weekly columnist for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.