Hazing and the Initiation Process

Hazing is irresponsible and abhorrent. It should be avoided at all costs.

There are many organizations on campus that employ hazing rituals as part of their process for initiation of new members. Hear this emphatic statement. Do not haze your initiates! There is some evidence to suggest that people can build bonds through shared negative experience. However, those bonds are based on fear and short term necessity. Bonds built on security, happiness, and respect are significantly stronger and longer lasting. Additionally, professional organizations that successfully employ tactics similar to hazing, like the military, are highly trained and understand where to draw the line. If you give the power to inflict punishment to students who, at this point in their lives, have little experience or understanding of responsibility, you’re opening up your organization to the manifestation of hate and destruction. Students are not mature enough to handle such power! I don’t care how mature or intelligent they seem. All you have to do is read about the Stanford Prison Experiment or understand the rise of the Red Guard during China’s Cultural Revolution to realize what I’m talking about. I cannot stress this enough: hazing is irresponsible and abhorrent. It is detrimental to the health of your accepted students and to your current members. It should be avoided at all costs.

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