Learning from experience

National Hazing Prevention Week (NHPW) is September 22-26, 2014! NHPW is an opportunity for campuses, schools, communities, organizations and individuals to raise awareness about the problem of hazing, education others about hazing, and promote the prevention of hazing. In honor of NHPW, we asked several Brothers to tell us a bit about their experiences with and without hazing. These testimonials prove that not only is hazing not needed to create a worthwhile fraternity experience, but it is a detriment to the respect, loyalty and brotherhood we strive to create.

BIO

Bill Stephens (middle) is

I’ve spent many years working with Alpha Eta Delta at Oregon, but last year I, along with the Alpha, was forced to really thinking about hazing and its presence at Eta Delta. During the Spring 2014 initiation, the actives at Eta Delta learned of an incident of hazing as reported to the University.  Specifically, the initiates were asked to line up in single file fashion on the sidewalk in front of the Lodge.  They were asked to stand there because the Actives were in the final stages of preparation for initiation and consequently not entirely ready to have the initiates enter the Lodge. Obviously, this was construed by the reporting individual as humiliating and disrespectful.  As a result, it was determined that the Lodge should be ready before the initiates are asked to convene and under no circumstance are they asked to perform any function which could be construed as hazing.

Though seemingly small, this incident brought about some really good changes at Eta Delta. Following the incident, the Alpha underwent a total and complete review of all initiation activities with an eye towards understanding the importance of being respectful of the process and to our fellow initiates.  These people are the same individuals who are going to be asked to carry on our principles and traditions to future generations. If we don’t provide the leadership and direction today, why would we expect to attract quality young men in the future?

I am hopeful that the hazing experience (as minor as it may have been perceived by the Alpha) has cast a realization that there is no place for any type hazing activity in our Lodge. Hazing doesn’t build character, and it certainly doesn’t command respect.  In fact, it does quite the opposite.  I believe the leadership within the Lodge has learned a valuable lesson and can see how destructive and demoralizing of an effect hazing may pose.  The Alumni along with the Active membership has made a concerted effort to make any and all changes as deemed necessary to create an atmosphere of mutual respect and courteousness.  I believe the lesson learned from this event will make our Lodge a better place and the Brotherhood a stronger and more respectful and unified organization.  Ultimately, it will build better Chi Psi gentlemen in the future.

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