Big fat greek hazing

Advisory boards should be proactive in getting safety to the greeks.

Daily Editorial Board

Students join sororities and fraternities for all kinds of reasons; some want to make new friends, while others are more interested in community involvement and networking opportunities. Whatever the motivation may be, no student wants to be bullied in order to
belong.

A recent New York Times article relayed some of the hazing horror stories in the greek community at Binghamton University in New York. Several students reported atrocious acts of abuse, including waterboarding, frostbite from being forced to walk barefoot in the snow, burns from hookah coals and various physical exercises resulting in cuts and scrapes all over the body. These details are not given to provide our greek community with fresh ideas for new pledges; they are meant to draw attention to the severity of this harassment in the hope that the new Fraternity and Sorority Ethics Board will take proactive measures to prevent students from being victimized in these
ways.

With more than 650 women and 200 men participating in formal recruitment this fall, greek life is thriving. Though the University of Minnesota does not have a reputation for the kind of hazing that went on at Binghamton, active interest and respect for pledges must be a priority for our greek chapters and their overseeing advisory boards. Not only is there the possibility of physical harm toward students but total suspension of all pledging and induction into fraternities and sororities is also a real threat — it happened at Binghamton
last year.

There are better and more meaningful ways to bond with new pledges than forcing them to eat inedible concoctions or run barefoot over rocks.