Guest Blogger Angela, Ohio State
Let’s say your boss says to you, “Sally, I am so excited to have you join our team. But before you can officially join, I need you to do a few degrading things to prove yourself. Don’t worry, they are traditions that all employees must do before they work with us.” Would you want to work there? Chances are, you wouldn’t.
The idea that you need to qualify your membership with degrading acts hurts everything that it means to be a sister. Kappa is not a gang. We are a sisterhood, a close-knit group of diverse women spanning generations and life experiences.
Sometimes hazing is hidden in the form of traditions or fun. Sometimes it’s “little h” hazing: scavenger hunts and the like. Sometimes it goes beyond “little h.” As a group of women focused on excellence, we need to be proactive and educate our members, advisers, alumnae and potential new members about the positive nature of our membership process. We need to avoid letters like this one:
I wanted to be here, I promise I wanted to be here. I love the relationship you have with all of your sisters, your confidants, your Greek family. Maybe it was different back then. Maybe it was the times, the traditions hadn’t started, or maybe you started the traditions in a different spirit. But now this hurts. I’m sorry. I can’t be a part of something that hurts so much.
I love the colors. I love the sisterhood; I love the house and what the Fraternity stands for. Nationally, the organization seems so strong.
But I don’t love the jokes, the degradation, or the bullying. I don’t like the feeling that my sisters only like me if I’m okay with participating in activities I consider hazing. It doesn’t feel right, it doesn’t feel good. I want it to stop.
You had such wonderful experiences. You told me stories about the highs and lows that your sisters supported you through. You told me about Greek Week and the socials, but you never told me that I would feel so low trying to become a member of this organization.
Membership shouldn’t be something that is earned through hazing. Chapters work so hard to recruit compatible women. Why degrade and wear them down? We are stronger when all members are whole.
Kappa supports National Hazing Prevention Week by Promoting Respect to Prevent Hazing. How will you Promote Respect this week? Share your chapter’s activities on our Facebook page and tweet with us using the #NHPW2012 hashtag.