Hollywood likes to depict college Greek life as some sort of life changing experience that the cool people only get to be a part of.
Hazing is one of the biggest issues college campuses deal with. The University of Albany was recently put on spotlight for having seven sorority sisters arrested for hazing. The sorority girls were caught forcing four women to eat mud and garbage. They were also accused of pouring foul smelling liquids onto the women. Acts like these are what can potentially lead to death.
Shows like “Greek” and movies like “Sorority Row,” “Neighbors” and even “Legally Blonde,” all demonstrate sorority or fraternity life on campus. They make sure to incorporate how much partying and booze involved, which engages a lot of freshmen entering college. However, what they don’t like to stress upon in these films are the consequences that come with the privilege of wearing the letters of the sorority or fraternity.
Hollywood and people don’t realize that hazing is against the law. It’s behavior that can do a lot of damage to someone, yet students continue to do it.
I’m in a sorority called Delta Phi Epsilon at Plattsburgh State, so I know how Greek life works here on campus. Unlike many other schools, hazing is dealt with very seriously with a lot of attention and caution on the Plattsburgh campus. Hazing is not tolerated, making the joining process different than most colleges.
Students lose their lives because of hazing. Many are seriously injured either physically, mentally or both. In the recent years, colleges have been trying to raise awareness on hazing and show how serious of a matter it is for students and for the school.
People like to say that hazing is the reason why their brotherhood or sisterhood is so strong. It’s a way to bond and get to know the people in your fraternity or sorority. However, hazing can come with all sorts of acts of abuse, humiliation and strenuous tasks for a certain period of time.
Students hear rumors and still want to join knowing that they might get hazed. People experience hazing and continue to go through the joining process. People let themselves be hazed when they want to be apart of the organization. They also let themselves haze other people when it’s their turn. But why? What is it about hazing that gets people to do terrible things to one another?
There are perceived benefits that members of the organization and new members joining achieve. There is a passive attitude towards abuse and hazing because of the desire of power. Members get to experience what “power” is like on the younger members for just a little time of glory. This greed has affected people in a way where being abused by another person in order to become apart of their cult-like group is OK.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe being in a sorority has helped me make friendships I would have never made otherwise. I believe joining a sorority can help people branch out of their comfort zone and learn things about themselves that they wouldn’t have been able to discover otherwise. I believe it does create a support system that many women might need. And I do believe that Greek Life is a big and memorable part of someone’s college experience if they choose to be a part of it.
People always have a choice. It’s a student’s choice to allow him or herself to be hazed or take part in hazing others. But know that there are consequences. What you see on the big screen is different than what you experience in real life. Know that no amount of fun is worth losing your life or taking someone else’s.
Email Emily Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org