For many girls, they dream of joining a sorority when they arrive on their college campus. As they embark on a new journey in an unfamiliar place, a sorority is like having an instant family as they form close bonds with others during rush week.
Besides making those lifelong friendships, being part of a sorority provides other great benefits as well. It helps you to get involved with the community and social activities on campus. Plus, it offers an opportunity to learn new skills, grow personally, and build up your resume.
Despite all the positive aspects of rushing a sorority, they have long been plagued with a history of harmful hazing. Although most colleges have cracked down on such behavior, it sometimes still goes on behind the scenes. But what is hazing and are there any hazing prevention tips you need to know? This
post has some helpful advice so you can avoid these situations during rush week.
What is Hazing?
In order for sororities to bring on new members, they have a special recruitment week (or rush week) during the school year. During this time, there are many social events for the girls to attend in the hopes of connecting with members of different sorority houses. This week is essentially an interview process for girls to impress their preferred houses and for those houses to choose who will receive a bid to join.
It’s an intense week for many and on some campuses, it’s made more difficult by hazing. Hazing is typically used as a way to initiate new members into the sorority. This ritual has been known to cause physical and mental harm as the result of girls being made to do humiliating and degrading tasks.
Although 44 states have laws banning hazing , it’s still an issue on many campuses, often result in injuries and sometimes death. Here are some examples of hazing so you know what to be on the lookout for:
Completing Chores as a Personal Servant: Oftentimes the leaders in a sorority will require pledges to tackle various chores, such as cleaning or making them do their homework.
Lineups to Intimidate or Demean Pledges: During these lineups, sorority members will find ways to emotionally hurt pledges by doing things such as yelling insults at them.
Having to Wear Embarrassing or Uncomfortable Clothes: Being made to wear unusual clothing is another way to humiliate pledges during their recruitment week.
Pranks Involving Property Damage, Theft, or Other Acts: And finally, pranks are often part of sorority hazing and can cause trouble academically and legally if caught in the act.
Should you experience these or any other form of hazing, please report the matter to an advisor on your college campus. Because hazing has resulted in injuries and even death in the past, they take these
issues very seriously. By reporting it, you’re not only protecting yourself, but other students.
5 Tips for Hazing Prevention in Sororities
Hazing prevention starts with people like you refusing to tolerate harmful behavior on campus. To cut down on these dangers during rush week, keep these tips in mind:
1. Create an Anti-Hazing Policy That All Campus Sororities Agree On
There shouldn’t be a single sorority on your campus that encourages or allows hazing to go on during rush week. If this is happening, it would be smart to have the presidents of each sorority and school advisors work together on an anti-hazing policy that can be implemented across the campus. This policy should outline behavior or activities that are considered unacceptable for a pledge to do. Then, it should detail the consequences for those sorority members who violate the policy so they know what’s at stake should they still choose to participate in hazing rituals. All new members should be aware of and be required to sign this policy upon joining the sorority.
2. Run an Anti-Hazing Social Media Campaign During Rush Week
During rush week, make sure everyone knows that hazing will not be tolerated. Have the sorority houses and the college campus run an anti-hazing social media campaign during this time. Inform people of the different types of hazing so they know what to be on the lookout for, share the harmful impact it can
have on physical and mental health, and outline consequences for any offenders.
3. Remember That Leaders, Members, and Pledges Should be Treated Equally
More often than not, members of a sorority and those in leadership roles abuse their power as new pledges come onto campus. They use this as an opportunity to haze potential members to see who they can take advantage of and who is willing to withstand the harsh treatment long enough. However, all sorority members need to be reminded that everyone deserves to be treated equally and
with respect. Even if hazing was going on during their recruitment week, they can be the ones to finally put an end to it on campus.
4. Implement Team-Building Exercises Instead
This can be a great hazing prevention tactic because it brings people together in a positive way, as opposed to demeaning them through insults or pranks. Plus, it gives pledges and members the chance to truly connect and get to know one another. That’s important during rush week as pledges are choosing their preferred sororities and the sororities are choosing who to give bids to.
Playing games like “Two Truths and a Lie” or doing trust falls can bring everyone together and form strong bonds early on. It’s moments like that in which those lifelong friendships can begin.
5. Speak Up When You See or Experience Hazing
Finally, the most effective form of hazing prevention is to speak up when you see it happening or
experience it yourself. Colleges do not approve of behavior that is physically or mentally harmful and it should be reported immediately.
Many pledges are afraid to do this because they worry it’ll hurt their chances of getting into a sorority. However, it’s more important to do what’s right in order to protect yourself and other students from getting involved in dangerous acts.
Represent Your Sorority in Style
Once you’ve been accepted into a sorority, remember to promote positive behavior for all future rush weeks that you’re part of. And of course, make sure you represent your chosen house in style with merchandise from our store. We have cups, clothing, blankets, hats, and more with your sorority’s name on it.
View the sororities in our collection and place your order today.