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Hazing at Hofstra and other Greek Hazards

By Victoria Neely, Columnist

As Hofstra students are finally starting to get busy into this spring semester, the time for students to pledge for sororities and fraternities has come. Many students of all years are eager to join Greek life and start sporting their letters, but a lot of other

students are wondering, "What's the big deal?" Of course the period of time when a student is looking at fraternities or sororities to join can be a fun one, involving numerous activities for the brothers and sisters. In order to make the best choice, however, many students are hesitant about this process and the risks that could be involved. Many students fear the possibility of being "hazed," which is an issue that has been prevalent in colleges for many years, especially when involving Greek organizations such as these. While observing and speaking with many Hofstra students who are going through the process this spring semester to join the fraternity or sorority of their choice, I have discovered a few things about the whole process. Although these groups don't outright beat the students or make them do insane things (to my knowledge), hazing is still present. Students have been told

that they cannot speak to anyone for the entire six-week process, they have been required to run errands, give rides, buy things,

and do other random favors for their potentional brothers or sisters. Students have also been required to attend numerous events every single day, and are allowed barely any free time. If a student chooses to go through with this grueling process, that is their choice. However, I don't think that the amount of things demanded from the students by the fraternities or sororities is reasonable at all. Is it fair to tell another person that they can't speak to anyone outside of their fraternity for six weeks? I don't think so. That

kind of hazing activity is present everywhere, but no one speaks up. So after many initiation classes, these organizations get away with mistreating their pledges. Another setback is the subject of time. College students are typically very stressed out, busy, and need personal time to complete work and get an adequate amount of sleep. During this process, however, the demanding schedule presented to pledges by the brothers or sisters is absolutely outrageous. Pledges allow these older brothers and sisters control their lives for a brief period of time, and that is not how that process should occur. Fraternities and sororities are viewed as cults by some people because they get away with so much controlling behavior. At the end of the day, it is ultimately up to each individual student to weigh the pros and cons of pledging. However, it is diffi cult for me to understand why any person would allow members of their fraternity or sorority to treat them so poorly without speaking up. When the risk of being "de-pledged" from

the organization is the only risk present, I think I would choose the quick way out. These organizations are notorious for various acts of indirect or direct abuse toward their pledges, and I believe that until that pattern subsides, fraternities and sororities should

be closely monitored by pledge administrators to protect the students.

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