All for want to belong and be

Never is it OK for initiation traditions to be dehumanizing.

The recent suspension of FarmHouse fraternity once again brings many eyes to the issue of hazing. Initiation is something that many people face sometime during their life, whether it’s passing a torch, a beat-down from the high school seniors or if it is as in this case, joining a fraternity or any group for that matter. However, never is it OK for initiation traditions to be humiliating and dehumanizing.

The problem with hazing goes beyond FarmHouse. These methods of initiation might be found at any other fraternity. It is equally likely that hazing could take place at any sorority. You know the drill, the older girls screaming at the younger girls and covering them in corn syrup. High schools have a history with hazing too. Older boys paddle the younger generation moving into high school, and well, with girls its usually the same humiliating words screamed in faces with some sick, sticky substance dumped all over the pretty freshmen’s hair.

What is even worse to think about than the actual acts performed in hazing rituals is that most of the time the acts are easy to get away with. The entire reason the acts are performed in the first place is that someone wants to belong to an already existing group of people. The group members already have a comfortable relationship with one another and they want to be sure the newbies won’t cramp their style. It’s all about ego. Those going through initiation are not likely to report hazing acts because that is the last thing that will get them accepted to a new group. Another reason is the aspect of tradition. The members of the group likely went through a similar hazing process and that makes it reason enough for both sides to think it is an acceptable road to enter the group.

When it comes down to it, the issue isn’t about FarmHouse. The issue is about peer acceptance, egoism and the general love people have for humiliating other people. Hazing won’t stop by suspending the fraternity. It will only stop when people start thinking about how inappropriate, elementary and ridiculous hazing is. Instead of pulling a group closer together, traditions of hazing only pull that group further from reality.