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Rushing Into Things

Tuesday, Sep. 4, 2012

 The best college student comment on "Rushing Into Things" wins a $100 Amazon gift certificate. Entries must be received by midnight, September 16. Finalists are selected by likes, so get your friends to like your comment. Subscribe to the blog (by RSS or by email in the right hand column) for updates.

Katie is a freshman, and she has loved the first few weeks of college. However, she feels that she could benefit from a close-knit group of friends; and, unlike many of her peers, she doesn’t feel like she has connected strongly with anyone in her dorm or the few clubs she’s joined.
Katie’s older sister is in a sorority at another school, and tells Katie that she should rush for a more built-in community. Beyond gaining friendships, her sister cites leadership opportunities, volunteer work, and a full social calendar on a long list of benefits of “going Greek.”
Despite the fact that her sister seems happy with her decision to rush, Katie isn’t so sure. While hazing is banned at her university, she knows all too well that it happens. Recently she heard that one sorority on her campus makes its pledges drink an entire bottle of champagne by themselves after pledging, and she’s heard of even more hazing horror stories from friends at other colleges. Despite the awful things that hazing rituals consist of, though, she’s also heard members say that the hazing process often brings the people in those groups much closer together.
Katie longs for a group of girls that will love and accept her in the name of sisterhood, and wouldn’t mind the activities and other benefits that come with it. She knows that, like her sister’s chapter, not all sororities haze. But should she take the risk that she may be forced to do something she doesn’t want to do, even something potentially dangerous, for the sake of making friends? And is she willing to inflict that upon someone else?



Comments Comments

Kati said on Sep 11, 2012
Hazing is illegal in many states, not just banned. If the group wants her to do something that could harm her physically, such as drinking that much alcohol by herself, of emotionally, then these are not friends that she should want. However, that being said, not all groups haze and could be a decent idea to rush if she wants and see where it goes. She could meet some nice girls during the events, find out more about the different sororities' ideals, and if it came down to it, she could find out if the sorority wanted her to do something she wasn't comfortable with. She is able to say no to the hazing and does not need to join after it becomes clear that the group wants to haze. If she felt strongly about it, she could also send an anonymous letter to the sorority headquarters about her concerns and their head people may be able to sort out the hazing so no one needs to get hurt. - Like - 1 person likes this.
William said on Sep 15, 2012
Katie has much to gain (and very little to lose) from at least starting the process of rushing at her school. Perhaps the sororities she is interested in won't haze, and she will quickly find the community and sense of belonging that she craves. If, on the other hand, Katie does encounter a level of hazing that she feels uncomfortable taking part in, she can always back out of the process. Even if this happens, Katie will have peace of mind knowing that she made the decision not to rush based off her own experiences rather than second hand information (coming from her sister or other friends). If Katie witnesses hazing that is particularly egregious, she should contact the relevant organizations at her school, as well as the sorority's national leaders, to alert them to the organization's dangerous behavior. - Like - 29 people like this.
Hadi said on Sep 16, 2012
By the nature of the definition of hazing, it?s easy to advise Katie to not take part in any of the rushing events. The sheer concept of hazing promotes this abuse of power that results in harming the psyche, self-esteem, and even physical body of the individual partaking in it. Katie may long for a group of girls to gain a sense of sisterhood; however when pledging, that sisterhood is contingent upon A, B or C. How does that embody a sense of sisterhood that Katie thirsts for? It?s understandable that she would want acceptance and a sense of community, but to take the risk of possible hazing outweighs the benefit of actually taking part of the ?Going Greek? process. The sorority may not haze, but her acceptance is still dependent upon the completion of the pledging process and she must prove herself and her worth via certain actions and rituals. Part of making bonds isn?t based on an anticipation of fear. If she fears the possibility of hazing, she should find other means of creating a sisterhood (and there are many resources and outlets for that outside of clubs, organizations and dorm life on campus). Furthermore, once a part of a sorority without having been hazed, Katie may be expected to carry out hazing herself for the following batch of pledges. What stance does that put her in? Morally it is wrong for her to take a stance against hazing, yet take part in it for another individual (considering that is something that may be expected of her from the sorority to remain a ?Sister?). The bottom line is that hazing is wrong regardless of the situation and event it?s for. Many states have passed legislations that prohibit hazing, as it is a form of harassment that takes a negative toll on the individual physically, emotionally and mentally. The harms outweigh the benefits for obvious factors. - Like - 27 people like this.
Big Q said on Sep 21, 2012
Thank you all for your thoughtful comments! Unfortunately, the Big Q team did not think there was enough discussion of ethics in this case for there to be a clear winner. Please continue to comment on our new blog posts for a chance to win $100 to Amazon! - Like
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Tags: greek, rush, sorority