MYTHS & FACTS ABOUT HAZING
Myth #1: Hazing
is a problem for fraternities and sororities primarily.
is a societal problem. Hazing incidents have been frequently
documented in the military, athletic teams, marching bands,
religious cults, professional schools and other types of clubs
and/or, organizations. Reports of hazing activities in high
schools are on the rise.
Myth #2: Hazing
is no more than foolish pranks that sometimes go awry.
is an act of power and control over others --- it
is victimization. Hazing is pre-meditated and NOT accidental.
Hazing is abusive, degrading and often life-threatening.
Myth #3: As
long as there's no malicious intent, a little hazing should
if there's no malicious "intent" safety may still
be a factor in traditional hazing activities that are considered
to be "all in good fun." For example, serious accidents
have occurred during scavenger hunts and kidnapping trips.
Besides, what purpose do such activities serve in promoting
the growth and development of group team members?
Myth #4: Hazing
is an effective way to teach respect and develop discipline.
of all, respect must be EARNED--not taught. Victims of hazing
rarely report having respect for those who have hazed
them. Just like other forms of victimization, hazing breeds
mistrust, apathy and alienation.
Myth #5: If
someone agrees to participate in an activity, it can't be
In states that have laws against hazing consent of the
victim can't be used as a defense in a civil suit. This is
because even if someone agrees to participate in a potentially
hazardous action it may not be true consent when considering
the peer pressure and desire to belong to the group.
Myth #6: It's
difficult to determine whether or not a certain activity is
hazing--it's such a gray area sometimes.
Fact: It's not
difficult to decide if an activity is hazing if you use common
sense and ask yourself the following questions:
Make the following
inquiries of each activity to determine whether or not it
1) Is alcohol
2) Will active/current
members of the group refuse to participate with the new
do exactly what they're being asked to do?
3) Does the
activity risk emotional or physical abuse?
4) Is there
risk of injury or a question of safety?
5) Do you
have any reservation describing the activity to your parents,
to a professor or University official?
you object to the activity being photographed for the school
newspaper or filmed by the local TV news crew?
If the answer
to any of these questions is "yes," the activity
is probably hazing.
from Death By Hazing Sigma Alpha Epsilon.
Will Keim has
a similar approach to making decisions about hazing:
you have to ask if it's hazing, it is. 2. If in doubt, call
your advisor/coach/national office. If you won't pick up the
phone, you have your answer. Don't B.S. yourself.' 3. If you
haze, you have low self-esteem. 4. If you allow hazing to
occur, you are a 'hazing enabler.' 5. Failure to stop hazing
will result in death..."
Ph.D., "The Power of Caring"