"Your decisions will master you, whichever direction they take." MARY BAKER EDDY

Take the haze out of hazing

Early in my college education, I wanted to join a fraternity—intensely. It appealed to me because of the camaraderie. Also, at that time, it was "the thing to do" on campus. It was obvious to me that fraternity life was part of being popular. More important though, the friendship and true bonding implied by the word fraternity appealed to me. Joining a fraternity required a simple petitioning, a long two months of fairly harmless indenturing, followed by an initiation process of one very long week of "abusive and humiliating tricks"—hazing. It seemed worth it, though, because my peers were demanding it.

One dictionary offers two definitions of the word haze—"lack of transparency; vagueness of mind or mental perception" and "to play abusive and humiliating tricks on by way of initiation." Many fraternities have insisted on hazing as an important part of initiation. Of course, it is certainly not necessary for true bonding. In my case, hazing actually had the unintended consequence of introducing me to God! It gave me the opportunity to put into practice the strength of my convictions that I had received through Christian Science Sunday School.

Get off the dreadmill
October 16, 2000

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.