Immediately after reading the recent article in your paper on IWU students coming out about being hazed or hearing about types of hazing that was practiced, I could not help but write something about the other side of the issue.
As somebody who is a member of a Greek organization on campus, who was hazed, I honestly have nothing but positive things to say about it. After coming out of the pledgeship process, I was a changed man for the better. My confidence and self-worth was very high, and I had learned more about myself, by brothers, and my house than I ever imagined I would.
I was yelled at after not knowing information about house history, morals, etc. What I took away from that that I still carry with me today is a zero-excuses mentality and attitude. If I don’t get something done, or do well on a test, it is nobody’s fault but my own. My work ethic is much higher than it has ever been and I am 100% accountable for myself, my actions and my decisions. I am never afraid to speak my mind and make sure that my voice is heard.
I act decisively and confidently in all that I do and I constantly strive for the best. If you do not adhere to those ideals in pledgeship, you will not make it. You will let down not only yourself, and the house you’re trying to join, but your pledge brothers as well. I was taught that not only am I responsible for myself, but I am responsible for those around me whom I interact with, and work with. If you fail, you drag others down with you. That is just how it is in the real world, and once I make that step into the real world I know I will be leaps and bounds ahead of those who do not yet understand this reality.
Yes, there were plenty of times when I was scared, nervous, anxious, etc. But never once did I feel endangered as I always had complete trust in those around me. I knew they cared. If anything became too much, we all knew that there was always a way out, it was always at our disposal. Accomplishing things under the stressful conditions has made me much more decisive and confident in my actions, which increases the quality of all my work.
My opinions are not in the minority, in fact they are in the vast majority. There have only been a handful of complaints, yet hundreds of students go through the process on this campus each and every year. It is not for everybody, that is a given. But the idea that it is such a great evil and has nothing but lasting negative effects is way off base. It has been said that those outside don’t understand it, and those inside can’t explain it.
Nothing could be more accurate.
The Greek community is strong and full of rich traditions full of success, in and outside of the campus, and lifelong friendships, relationships. I know I speak for every member in the Greek community in this; “These letters on my chest don’t make me better than you, they make me a better me.”