Another hazing incident happened, leaving an 18-year-old student killed and three others injured. This stuck and burned like hell in my mind until I found myself writing about it. But that’s not something new—it’s a perennial problem.
The anti-hazing law seems to be not a deterrent anymore for those who believe that hazing is necessary to strengthen their much-vaunted idea of brotherhood. Fraternity means brotherhood, as members usually say, and the only way to be accepted as a brother is to undergo a test: hazing. Aspiring members are made to believe the benefits, like protection or security or friendship, once they pass this stupid test. Never mind if it’s physically and mentally injurious, just pass the initiation rites or hazing, and you’ll be guaranteed lifelong friendship, acceptance, connections, job assurance after college, blah, blah, blah. . . but you are not told you might get killed.
Even if some will be arrested or investigated, the damage is done. . . . It’s hard to break this old tradition and now that it’s illegal, hazing is being done in secret and is more treacherous.
Ah, I have never understood hazing and fraternities themselves. Brotherhood, but of what sort? If a neophyte comes out alive after hazing, he is a brother. He is entirely a new person but one that is physically and mentally scarred for life. Hazing strengthens character? That’s bull.