The article in which I chose to summarize and critique is on Hazing. This article evaluates the present status of the law and recommends answers that will aid in reducing the numerous lives being loss by hazing yearly. Hazing is the routine of introducing prospective members into a group; this is normally implemented through harassment and shame. It is a ritual that has been tolerated in the United States society for many, many years. Hazing is a unsafe activity that can lead to someone being seriously hurt or possibly killed.
This article has some serious concerns about fraternities and sororities negative conduct leading to males and females initiated into these groups; being injured or dying from some idiotic stunt that they have been goaded into performing. There were approximately sixty college students who have died from hazing incidents in 2005, along with five other students dying in 2013. It is like an epidemic going around in the college world; however the number of hazing incidents are quickly growing, but Congress hasn’t provided a solution to solve this growing problem plaguing colleges.
Congress failure to implement and pass legislation to serve as a restriction to hazing in Greek organizations continues to prolong the detrimental outcome of hazing. It is my belief that legislators do not have the facts about the problems with hazing in these groups; because there is no statistical documentation available for them to evaluate hazing incidents. Although some legislators realize that there is a severe hazing crisis and have recommended federal anti-hazing legislation, but none of the recommendations have effectively crossed the congressional floor to be placed on a ballot.
This article skillfully explains to the reader what hazing is and the affect it causes on a community. It was shocking to discover that hazing activities actually dated back to 387 B. C. , when Plato founded his academy for young men. As a matter of fact, Plato persuaded young men in his academy to take part in practical jokes on novices. Furthermore; he believed that novices “had to be polished before he could become a regular member” (Pluto, 387 B. C. ). Hazing activities persisted throughout the Middle Ages.
In the fifteenth century hazing was approved in England at universities. Fraternities and sororities began using hazing in the 1800’s. Furthermore, in 1873 a member of the Kappa Alpha society at Cornell University was the first to die from hazing practices of the fraternity. Since, the first death there has been multiple hazing reports around the country. At one point; the rates of Greek letter organizations decline, therefore fraternities ceased their hazing customs expecting to keep a majority of their members during the Vietnam War.
However, Greek memberships begin to increase again and fraternities restarted their hazing practices after the war ended. The continuation of these hazing practices steadily caused college students to lose their lives and no one was protesting the senseless deaths of these students. It is very disconcerting to believe that no one was taking a stand against these hazing rituals among fraternity brothers. However; it was earlier mentioned in this article that legislators haven’t gotten the true picture of what is happening in these fraternities and sororities to stop these senseless hazing ritual deaths.
In sororities, so far there have been no proven reports of deaths caused by hazing rituals. Although, in 1970 there was a member of Alpha Gamma Delta at Eastern Illinois University; who died from injuries in trying to take hold of the bumper of a car while it was moving, she later died from injuries sustained. The members death was ruled an accident by the detectives looking into the incident. As a result it was never considered a death by hazing activity.
One of the biggest problems regarding hazing rituals remains to go unanswered and that question is: Should the universities, fraternities or sororities be held responsible for these hazing ritual deaths? To date, national headquarters and universities continue to persuade the state courts to take the burden off of their shoulders and to hold accountable only the person engaging in the hazing practices. As well, officers of the organization who knowingly allowed such practices to be practiced should take full responsibility for their actions. In this article, legislatures defined hazing with two different definitions.
The first definition defines hazing as (1) “the burden of tiring, often shameful tasks as part of a plan of detailed physical training and initiation” and (2) “embarrassing and occasionally unsafe initiation practices, particularly forced on college students looking for membership to a fraternity or sorority” (Alvarez, 2015). Although a student may willingly join in pledging activities in a fraternity or sorority; it is still my belief that no one should knowingly put another person’s life in danger with some of the pranks these fraternity or sorority groups pull on their prospective members to join.
These hazing activities can be dangerous as well as deadly. Therefore; the university or person in charge of the group should be held accountable for these heinous hazing activities. It was mentioned in the article about in 1894, New York was the first state to pass an anti-hazing law. This law declared that it was illegal for any individual or individuals to use or encourage what is usually called hazing, within or while going to any of the universities, public schools, or other institutions of education in the state of New York.
In view of this fact, forty-four states have passed anti-hazing laws. Although, within the forty-four states, still there is no universal meaning for what specific behavior represents hazing. There was a study called “Hazing in View,” which involved ten students; nine out of the ten students accounted experiencing what the researchers recognized as hazing conduct did not independently see their incident as hazing. They gave details why they regarded their individual experience trivial.
It is ironic when students do not even recognize when they are in the midst of danger. There are a number of states that charge hazing only as an offense; making it hard to attempt to label hazing. Various states teach the learning institution to structure and implement a hazing policy defining illegal conduct and the penalty measures for a breach of the policy. However; they don’t charge hazing as an offense or criminal act. A number of states take into consideration the psychological results of hazing when enforcing criminal charges.
Institutions of higher education reactions to hazing as not being a problem on their campuses are daunting; because they want to stay out of the public eye that goes along with being in the middle of a major campus criminal offense. However; to assist in staying away from the public’s eye, a number of universities use the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act as a defense to evade giving accounts of hazing occurrences that take place among university students.