Hazing sets a bad example of brotherhood

Yet, another instance arose when five members of Phi Gamma Delta were arrested on Sept. 30 for hazing. As the largest fraternity and sorority community in the nation, we have the country’s eyes on us and our greek system.

With over 37,000 students on campus, there are bound to be some altercations and scandalous issues somewhere in the mix. However, what I have yet to understand is why someone would inflict intentional pain on their “brother/sister,” not even out of hatred or anger, but rather because it is seen as a natural course, a result of the thought, ‘We had to take it, so now it’s your turn.’

It’s virtually impossible to pass pledges (they’re very distinctly dressed) and not see the variety of marks, burns, etc. that cover their arms and necks – not to mention the horror stories of what pledges have to eat, drink and do. At the constant, 24/7 beck and call of actives, I’ve never been able to grasp how a “brotherhood” could ever be so important.

While the blame is inarguably on the actives who make these decisions, I can’t help but question why pledges don’t drop. I understand why reporting hazing would be frightening, especially after a pledge has experienced firsthand the pain actives can inflict. What I can’t comprehend is why someone would want to be part of a community that treats its members so terribly, knowing they’ll be expected to treat the next year’s pledges accordingly.

My goal is not to discredit the good that can come from belonging to a fraternity or sorority. The ideas of such communities are brilliant, a special brotherhood or sisterhood to share the college experience with. It is what has become of the greek system, especially that of our University, that discourages me.

As rising adults in our time, racism and gender equality shouldn’t be an issue. We shouldn’t still have to tell men not to rape women and have to encourage women not to travel alone. We shouldn’t have to tell people that it isn’t a good idea to make someone stand in a bucket of salted ice. We shouldn’t have to tell our men and women not to intentionally cause their brothers and sisters pain. In 2015, these shouldn’t be areas of conflict, especially on a campus intended for higher education and self-improvement.

Since I was a child and all throughout my life, I have looked forward to my time at The University of Alabama with anticipation, excited to spend this time of my life with people who wanted to improve themselves as much as I did and still do. I want children to look up to us as Alabama students as much as I did then. I don’t want to let their dreams fall as they see our prestigious University’s students crush its reputation. It’s time to reinstate the class and honor The University of Alabama and its greek system once had so much of, not only for us but for those following after us.

Danielle Waddell is a sophomore majoring in journalism. Her column runs weekly.

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