Learn more about club, sorority and fraternity, and sports hazing, and how colleges are implementing new rules and policies to combat hazing in college.
You’ve probably seen college hazing depicted in television and movies, and you may even have some friends who have participated in fraternity or sorority hazing.
Hazing is a serious issue that affects millions of students across the nation who decide to join Greek houses, sports teams, or other campus clubs.
While some people may argue that hazing is just good fun or bonding, it can lead to dangerous consequences.
Read a little more about hazing and be prepared if you find yourself in a situation where you might get hazed.
What Is Hazing?
Hazing can be defined as any forced activity that is physically dangerous or emotionally degrading that is required in order to gain membership into an organization. Activities can range from drinking games to skits designed to humiliate members to grueling physical activity.
While hazing in college is often seen as a “rite of passage,” the consequences can be deadly. In February of 2011, a 19-year-old Cornell student was tied up and forced to drink vodka, eventually dying with a blood-alcohol level that was five times the legal limit.
Statistics show that hazing affects nearly every kind of student organization at colleges all across the United States. According to a study conducted by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, 64 percent of participants in club sports, 56 percent of participants in performing-arts groups, and 28 percent of participants in academic organizations were subjected to hazing.
Even more alarming, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) found that 75 percent of college athletes were involved with hazing, a 300 percent increase from 1978.
What to Do If You’ve Been Hazed
If you’ve been subjected to what you believe is hazing, don’t ever think that this is just part of the college experience. It’s not. Here are some tips on how you can handle a situation you feel has become inappropriate or dangerous:
- Quit your group. You might find that it’s not worth the hazing process to gain entry into the organization you’re trying to join. Remember, if you’re caught, it can lead to serious consequences, such as expulsion.
- Talk to the senior members of the group. Let them know that you think their behavior has crossed the line. Student organizations are constantly changing their rules and membership requirements, so you might be able to convince them to rethink their policies.
- Talk to university officials. It is up to you to decide whether you want to report potential hazing to your school. However, if you feel that the activities are legitimately dangerous, don’t ever think that you’re a “snitch” or a “wimp” for doing so.
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