Hazing is a hush-hush topic on most campuses. The very people who say hazing is wrong are the very people who take splinters out of their hands at night from holding a piece of wood too tightly.
Therefore, without a police report, it’s very difficult to assess which organizations actually haze. Regardless, FAMU made a very honorable step by holding a mandatory “Anti-hazing” workshop Oct. 17.
As expected, members of various organizations said their organizations don’t haze and that hazing isn’t worth it.
What did they really expect them to say?
“Yes, my organization hazes, in fact I am the chief hazer.”
In all fairness, the workshop is a start, but FAMU should not become complacent with its progress.
If FAMU is truly vigilant in its quest to end hazing, then these workshops need to be more frequent.
There must be consequences for poor attendance.
There needs to be separate sessions for the presidents and vice-presidents of every chapter.
There should even be a session for people who are interested in pledging and those who are on line.
Somehow a line of communication must be open. If people who were and could be hazed think there is nothing wrong with what they experienced, hazing will never end.
In any case, it won’t end overnight.
Hazing is more than just a ritual. More than just a rite of passage, it changes the victims’ mental states.
People enter the process saying that no one would ever hurt them in the name of unity. After they cross, they are ready to repeat the process, only this time they have switched positions.
“Do unto others as was done unto me” becomes the new Golden Rule.
It is this mentality that causes Greek organizations to go “on and off the yard”. One might think a lesson is learned. But no it is not.
While they are officially off the yard, an underground chapter is steadily hazing a new line. Nothing changes.
It is ridiculous that the university chapter of Omega Psi Phi is under investigation for hazing – again, just weeks after two Alpha Kappa Alpha pledges died in California and a year after “Marching 100” band member Marcus Parker was hospitalized after being hazed.
Greek organizations are not all bad. As with anything in life, the negative is outweighed by the positive.
These organizations probably want to be recognized for something other than hazing.
Perhaps for the very principles they were founded on: service to others, the campus and community, lifelong friendships, opportunities for self-growth and mutual support.
There is only one way to achieve this goal: Stop hazing.
Black people have an obligation to their history and their heritage not to revert to ugly slave mentality rituals in order to achieve unity.
If respect for human life and human beings isn’t enough to stop hazing, then a respect for heritage and history should be.
Danielle Wright for the Editorial Board.