I was reading the story of George Desdunes, a student at Cornell who died in a horrific hazing incident in February of last year when it hit me: Why is hazing still even going on?
We have heard story after story of situations just like Mr. Dsdunes’. We all know how it ends, so how many more horror stories do we need to hear before we stop this vicious cycle?
It makes me sick having to read more and more of these stories every single year. It’s 2012, people — why haven’t we learned this is stupid yet? Will it really need to take an incident happening within your organization or on your campus before you realize the impact this has on people?
While I know there will never be a way to completely wipe out hazing since most of it happens behind closed doors, that doesn’t mean that you can’t take a stand to stop this ridiculous behavior on your own. I don’t care how badly you want to be a member of a group on campus, if this the way they treat their new members, do you really want to join this group? It’s time to seriously look at your options and weigh the pros and cons. If something seems unusual or weird, you need to speak to someone at your university. This problem won’t be fixed until the right people know what’s going on and can step in to help.
Just by reading this article, you should be scared into oblivion by just how much you and your entire chapter/organization will suffer if you are caught hazing. Not only is this chapter completely disintergrated, but now Mr. Desdunes’ former brothers are facing charges and are headed into the courtroom. Not to mention — the most important part in all of this — a young man is now dead. Does all of this seem worth it for one night of stupid drinking games and dumb pranks? Didn’t think so.
Even if you can’t stop the hazing rituals on your own, you can step in when someone is ill. If it doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t. Suck up your personal pride and take this person to the hospital. Yes, you may get in trouble, but is getting in trouble worse than letting someone lose their life? Why would anyone stand idly by when someone’s life hangs in the balance? How would you feel if you were in that person’s place and extremely ill? Would you want to die by yourself on a sofa?
While I realize most of this blog post is made up of rhetorical questions, I think they are all valid questions each and every college student needs to face at some point or another — preferably the sooner, the better. Look at yourself and decide if this is truly the person you would like to be. Most likely, this won’t line up on the same side of hazing.
Here’s the irony: All of these people were smart enough to make it into college but they were stupid enough to partake in hazing. Don’t be one of these people. Stop hazing now.