Campus News

When Does Tradition Go too Far?

Newly crowned Miss America Kira Kazantsev was kicked out of her college sorority because she was hazing new pledges. Kira admitted that she had assumed hazing was a part of the sorority tradition and that it was appropriate behavior.

Have you ever felt uncomfortable doing something for someone to be a part of a group? Have you had to do things to be a part of an organization like driving members around, carrying a brick in your book bag, or being forced to drink until you throw up? If you said yes to any of these, you have been hazed.

The definition of hazing means any action or situation that endangers the mental and physical health or safety of a student. The purposes for hazing can range from initiation or to be allowed to be in any organization operating under the sanction of a school. Hazing may include pressuring, coercing, or forcing a student to participate in activities like consuming food, alcohol, and/or drugs and participating in physical activities that could adversely affect the health or safety of the student. (Florida Statute 1006.135) also in Saint Leo University handbook.

Speaking to organizations on campus, most of them said them got back to me, Alpha Phi Alpha, Sigma Gama Rho, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Gamma Upsilon, Tau Kappa Epsilon, Alpha Sigma Tau, and Theta Phi Alpha. They all have and follow the rules of non-hazing, having met up with some of them in person, the president of Theta Phi Alpha, Gabriella Montemarano thinks of hazing as inappropriate and doesn’t find the need of hazing because it is not amusing to have someone do something they do not feel comfortable doing.

The president of Alpha Sigma Tau, Jessa Albert said “we don’t need hazing to be this amazing.” Jessa also said that many Greek organizations can get caught up into old traditions which could come off as hazing and they need to be address and they should ask themselves would this be uncomfortable for our pledges.

The president of Tau Kappa Epsilon, John Agnello said his TKE is a national non-hazing fraternity and that they do not endorse hazing, “Forcing someone to do something they don’t feel comfortable doing.”    Jonathan Perrone, the president of Sigma Alpha Epsilon also said his organization is a national non-hazing fraternity, himself and the Sigma Alpha Epsilon chapter on campus support the rules and policies of Saint Leo University and the state of Florida against hazing.

The president of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, John Jeffery Green said “strictly prohibits hazing in any form whether physical or mental as a term or condition of membership in the organization. Hazing is illegal and a crime in most jurisdictions.”

Saint Leo University and its organization try very hard to make everyone feel welcomed into their community, we celebrate Anti-Hazing week to remind everyone that you are accepted into a Fraternity or Sorority and not forced to do something that you don’t want to because you want to be a part of that group, Maybe next time together as a community we could bring more attention to the subject of hazing and talk about how wrong it is.

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