By: Rachel Lyle, March 3rd, 2017
Last night I went an event put on by the Inter-Greek Council at Delaware Valley University. The Inter-Greek Council or IGC is a council consisting of members from all Six of the Greek chapters on campus. They oversee the policies and processes of the greek chapters, make sure the rules for greek life are being followed, and approve plans and events for the Greek chapters. The IGC also plans and puts on fun events and education seminars, movies, and speakers for the greeks to help create friendship and unity among the greeks, such as competitions for Greek Week, Activities for Greek Unity Week,and the movie that they showed.
Many of these events are mandatory which means two-thirds of the members in your chapter has to come or your chapter is counted as not showing up. The event last night was one of those mandatory events and I am a member of the co-ed Fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, or ΑΦΩ, so I had no choice but to go. The event was a hazing prevention education event where there was a showing of a movie called Goat with a short discussion about hazing.
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania defines hazing as any action or situation which recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student or which willfully destroys or removes public or private property for the purpose of initiation or admission into or affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in, any organization operating under the sanction of or recognized as an organization by an institution of higher education. The term shall include, but not be limited to, any brutality of a physical nature, such as whipping, beating, branding, forced calisthenics, exposure to the elements, forced consumption of any food, liquor, drug or other substance, or any other forced physical activity which could adversely affect the physical health and safety of the individual, and shall include any activity which would subject the individual to extreme mental stress, such as sleep deprivation, forced exclusion from social contact, forced conduct which could result in extreme embarrassment, or any other forced activity which could adversely affect the mental health or dignity of the individual, or any willful destruction or removal of public or private property. For purposes of this definition, any activity as described in this definition upon which the initiation or admission into or affiliation with or continued membership in an organization is directly or indirectly conditioned shall be presumed to be “forced” activity, the willingness of an individual to participate in such activity notwithstanding.
Delaware Valley University defines hazing as any action taken or situation created involving and/or returning members as part of joining, maintaining membership, or holding a leadership position, regardless of the individual’s willingness to participate, that Violates federal, state, local, and campus rules, Humiliates, degrades and individual or groups, or Intentionally or unintentionally endangers an individual (mentally,. Physically, emotionally).Organizational definitions: Members of the ‘University Community’ refers to its faculty, staff, students, volunteers, coaches, organizations, groups, teams, alumni, and individuals who can be presumed to be connected to the University. An ‘organization’ is defined as persons enrolled as students at the University who are associated with each other and have completed the process of being a recognized student club or organization with the Office of Student Involvement and the respective student governing council. A “group” is defined as persons who are associated with the University and each other, but are not a recognized organization or are not required to register as a organization including, but not limited to varsity athletic teams, administrative units, academic departments, musical or theatre groups through a department, residence halls, student paraprofessional staff, intramural teams, etc.
Goat, the movie we watched, contained a lot of hazing, a lot of intense, extreme, brutal hazing. Hazing, for you who didn’t really understand the definitions I wrote out, is abusing initiates who are in the process of joining any kind of group, or abusing your power over them in any way. Hazing is wrong. Because of this I didn’t really like the movie because it was basically worshipping and idolizing hazing and making it look like because that is the way it has always been, because it’s “tradition” and “a rite of passage” it is the right thing to do. It was a good movie I just didn’t like it, but Nick Jonas was in it, so that’s an upside. They also served popcorn, so there’s another upside.
I did somewhat enjoy the discussion afterwards. We talked about the kinds of intense hazing that were shown the movie such as forced consumption of alcohol and food, putting people in cages, and beating people up. We also talked about how there are other more subtle ways of hazing such as forcing potential new members to run errands for the current members or making them drive the current members around. We basically decided that hazing is basically another form of abuse, so therefore it’s wrong, so don’t do it. EVER!
This was an event that I wish I didn’t have to go to, I wish I could have skipped it but I enjoyed nonetheless.