Up@dawn 2.0

Thursday, April 23, 2015

hazing- Paul Wayne Stanley

Hazing can be a lot of things but by definition it is the imposition of strenuous, often humiliating, tasks as part of a program of rigorous physical training and initiation. When read about out of context it can seem horrible and even in context it can seem unpleasant but for the most part the people who participate do so willingly. So why would they subject themselves to these hardships. The answer varies from person to person but the most generic is that they allow themselves to tested in order to earn a place in something that is bigger than oneself. To understand why groups continue to haze we can look back at the start of the traditions. As men would come home from war they are granted the opportunity to go to college. As hundreds of thousand of men who have seen the beast of war enter college and are placed beside the 18 year old boy who hasn’t seen a fight. The veterans bond together and join or start fraternities to strengthen these bonds. As the years go by in peace the influx of veterans diminish and more and more boys straight from home inter college. The men who formed there bond in the middle of battle and had that bond carry across the ocean and be strengthened by the comradely of brothers now face the challenge of continuing this brotherhood with men who don’t fully understand what that means. This is when hazing become prevalent. Veteran brothers had to recreate the furnace that forged their bonds. As a man who has experienced hazing I can say that I see the purpose. There is good hazing and there is bad hazing. Mindless physical punishment or pointless tasks carry no purpose, nothing is gained and no bond is formed. When a group of 15 boys are thrown together based on their similar goals and are forced to push themselves not only for there own betterment but for the betterment of their brothers and the world in general, this is when hazing serves a purpose. If someone walks into a fraternity without paying the same dues as his brothers he is not a brother.  We can not recreate a battle field but we can give these boys the a group mindset and a goal to strive to achieve. This is not hazing to harm this is incentivizing boys to become men of integrity.  


  1. As I said in class, hazing has been fatal in several reported instances. No amount of "bonding" can possibly excuse that. Nor would I ever bond (or wish to) with someone who thought the way to earn my respect was by inflicting personal humiliation. This is one form of Greek life that's definitely not for me. I prefer to pay my dues with another currency. I'm not sold on "good hazing." Why not just treat new candidates in the way you'd like to be treated, yourself?

    Maybe you have to be Greek to get this. Temperamentally I'm more with Groucho, I guess: "I wouldn't want to join any club that would have me for a member."

  2. I like how you take the term "hazing" and point out that it could mean many things, not all of them bad. If one looks beyond common "hazing" as it might be practiced these days and instead looks at possible ways of making this a more positive action, the connotation is changed.
    Context is everything.