By: Charlotte Smith, Columnist
In honor of Hazing Awareness Week (September 22-26), and in light of what occurred last year at Towson, let’s talk about hazing.
According to hazingprevention.org, hazing is “any action taken or any situation created intentionally that causes embarrassment, harassment or ridicule and risks emotional and/or physical harm to members of a group or team, whether new or not, regardless of the person’s willingness to participate.”
That’s a mouthful, but basically: if someone is being made to do anything that they don’t want to do, that’s hazing.
Obviously, Towson University does not tolerate any forms of hazing, but what is actually being done to prevent it? First of all, there are rules made by Panhellenic and the Inter-fraternity councils to discourage hazing. For example, the IFC will “blacklist” any sororities found to be participating in events with fraternities that have been suspended/kicked off campus. When a sorority is blacklisted, all other fraternities are not permitted to do social events with them.
Hazing Awareness Week and similar events helps to raise awareness about hazing.
These are definitely steps in the right direction, but I think that there is a lot more we can do to stop hazing. I believe it is up to us as a Greek community to end hazing at Towson once and for all. There is a myth that hazing is so engrained Greek Life culture that it that it can’t be avoided. As someone who was never hazed, I can say that this is completely false. Do I feel like I missed out on anything or like my sorority has less traditions? Absolutely not. Hazing is not a bonding experience. I don’t think I could ever call someone a sister if they made me feel uncomfortable or scared. That’s not what sisterhood is about.
So, Towson’s Greek community, I am personally challenging you to end hazing once and for all. Hazing is something that is passed down, because of the deluded idea that it should be “tradition.” Let’s make this awful tradition end now, and make new, positive traditions instead.