Sometimes, organizations who haze new members are confused about
how to change these practices. There are many creative ways to
change from a hazing to a non-hazing organization. The following
are some specific examples of ways to eliminate hazing and make
membership a challenging but positive experience:
(Note: In Greek-letter organizations, the
very term "pledge" is often equated with hazing practices.
Many national organizations have sought to eliminate this term
in order to foster more positive attitudes toward the new members.
Some substitute terms include "associate members" and
are challenged to eliminate hazing practices, some members
are often resistant to this change. In many
cases, those who are most vocal against eliminating hazing are
those who are bitter and angry about the hazing that they themselves
endured (but don't admit this publicly) and expect that others
should be abused in order to gain "true" membership
in the group. You will also find that some of these folks
are likely to be bullies of the group--people who enjoy a "power
trip" at the expense of someone else.
if you try to eliminate hazing in your organization, you will
likely encounter many elaborate reasons for why this will be
devastating for your group. While there will be
some staunch supporters of the status quo, there will be many
who can be convinced of the negative effects and potential risks
of hazing. Believers in the supposed "benefits"
of hazing may be more likely to change their opinion if
they can envision some alternatives. The supposed "benefits" of
hazing follow in bold with non-hazing alternatives to accomplish
the same goal listed alongside.
the members of your group/organization work together on a community
service project. Visit a ropes
course to work on group cohesiveness, communication and leadership
skills. In fraternities and sororities with chapter houses, the
group might work together on a chapter room improvement project.
Another option for fostering unity without hazing is for the members
to work together to plan a social or athletic event with another
2. DEVELOP PROBLEM-SOLVING ABILITIES: Have pledges
discuss chapter weaknesses such as poor rush, apathy, and poor
scholarship, and plan solutions that the active chapter might
3. DEVELOP LEADERSHIP SKILLS: Encourage
participation in school/campus activities outside of the organization.
Encourage new members to get involved in organizational committees
and/or leadership roles. Develop a peer mentor program within your
group for leadership roles. Invite school/community/business
leaders into the organization to share their experiences.
5. INSTILL A SENSE OF MEMBERSHIP: Plan
special events when the entire chapter gets together to attend
a movie, play, or church service. Plan a "membership circle" when
actives and pledges participate in a candlelight service in
which each person has a chance to express what membership means
advantage of your school/college/ university academic and tutoring
services. Designate study
hours for members of your organization. Invite college/university
or community experts to discuss test-taking skills, study methods,
time management etc.
6. BUILD AWARENESS OF CHAPTER HISTORY: Invite
an older member to talk about the chapter's early days, its founding,
special chapter traditions, and prominent former members.
7. KNOWLEDGE OF THE GREEK SYSTEM: Invite leaders
of IFC, Panhellenic, PanHellenic, and/or Advisers to speak on
Greek governance including their goals and expectations of the
8. AID CAREER GOALS: Use college resources for seminars
on resume writing, job interview skills; various careers.
9. INVOLVE PLEDGES IN THE COMMUNITY: Get involved with
campus and community service projects. Plan fund-raisers for local
10. IMPROVE RELATIONS WITH OTHER GREEKS: Encourage new
members to plan social or service projects with other pledge classes;
work together to plan joint social or service activities.