Anti-hazing greek policy

December 3, 2012 6:00 AMComments Off

Steier is a first-year law, politics and society and rhetoric double major and can be reached at brianna.steier@drake.edu

A sisterhood is supposed to be exactly what it sounds like — an atmosphere of love, support, encouragement and praise.

Recently, a phenomenon of hazing in sororities has swept Greek life. Women from universities from coast to coast have shared their stories of being paddled, violated and emotionally abused when going through initiation in various sororities. These stories are so violent and shocking that my jaw dropped after reading only a few of them.

I guess the thing I personally don’t understand is the connection between forcing another woman’s head into a wall of concrete and her being my bridesmaid one day. I fail to connect the actions of forcing a woman to ingest so much alcohol that she nearly dies, and wanting her to be called “aunt” by my children. I can’t imagine being called “fat,” “ugly” and “worthless” by a woman day after day, and then in turn, calling her my sister.

I believe the main issue here is glaringly obvious — every woman wants to feel accepted, especially by other women. I’m going to let everyone in on a little secret of girl world here: girls are catty. It is extraordinarily hard for most women to make friends with other women. In other words, we will go to desperate lengths for the feeling of sisterly love with another woman — even as far as proving ourselves to them through forms of mental and physical torment.

Sororities at Drake University, and a growing number of universities around the country are taking a strict no-tolerance stand against hazing. Drake’s no-hazing environment promotes a safe environment for women to get involved in Greek life. Instead of having to prove yourself to gain acceptance, anti-hazing policies create an environment of acceptance through inclusion. You are accepted because you bring a unique personality and fresh face to a diverse community of women, not because you have a high pain tolerance.

Personally, I was hesitant to join a sorority when coming to college, simply because I do not live under a rock, and I have heard the horror stories. After going through recruitment and finding the group of women I would forever call my sisters, I realized something that still shocks me, even after three months. These women were genuinely interested in who I was, what I enjoyed, my sense of humor and my quirky habits. I was not forced to prove myself to them, because I already had proved myself by being exactly who I am. As a recent initiate, I am proud to say I have never been hazed and I will never haze another woman in my house, because I refuse to believe that sisterhood is based on anything but love.

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