The Hazing Game
I thought that I knew what hazing was all about. You know, when young people are initiated into a team, organization, or fraternity through some kind of humiliating ritual. I was a Boy Scout and had to walk blind-folded through a Girl Scout camp in nothing but my Fruit of the Looms.
I was curious to find out more. I was never a part of a fraternity, but I knew they did some bizarre things. It turns out that college fraternities do some crazy things to their “pledges” to make them worthy of their membership. I read about some kid who drank himself to death due to alcohol poisoning. His peers didn’t realize the severity of his condition. They drew all over him, unaware that he was dieing and was in need of immediate medical attention. By the time they realized that he was fatally intoxicated, it was too late. Some of the deceased friends were charged with crimes of negligence and have some heavy weight on their consciences.
Hazing is most commonly associated with university fraternities and sports teams, but it also happens in the military, police forces, rescue services and even community service clubs. I found out that it is not gender specific. Females are just as guilty of hazing as males. Many sports teams and cheerleaders came up over and over again in my research.
Despite laws against hazing in most states, it continues to occur nationwide. Many young people feel obligated to go through these rituals, even thought they suffer humiliation, pain, degradation, and ultimately risk bodily harm and death. Why do they do it? It’s a kind of peer pressure; “a rite of passage and a part of the process of becoming part of a team or society.” For more about hazing, check out the web for various articles and reports on the subject. I found the following sites to be eye-opening:
Be sure to see the video by Dan O’Rourke called “The Pledge”