The dangers students might face when pledging a sorority or fraternity have escalated from suffering academically to suffering from alcohol poisoning.After recent events at Rider University, where two administrators were indicted in an underage student’s alcohol-related death that is possibly linked to hazing, the spotlight is being placed on Temple’s Greek life.
Several members of Temple’s Greek community speak out against the hazing myths students perform during a pledge period in order to defend their organizations, personal beliefs and practices.
Gia Badolato, president of the Temple University Greek Association and Greek Woman of the Year, said TUGA does not support hazing.
“Every new member needs to learn about the organization that they’re joining, and there are certain ways that you can teach it that are good and certain ways that are hazing that shouldn’t be done,” the senior public health major said.Dean of Students Ainsley Carry said the highest level of an organizational offense on Temple’s campus is hazing.
“Many students don’t know that hazing could be forcing new pledges to wear the same color shirt on a particular day or having to wear a pin of a particular type or having to shave their heads,” Carry said.
TUGA Vice President of Structure and Kappa Sigma Fraternity founding father Matt Stefan is another proponent of a no tolerance hazing policy at Temple.
“Hazing a brother or a sister of your organization doesn’t build a brotherhood or a sisterhood and if you’re not accomplishing those goals, then what’s the point?” said Stefan, a senior
sports and recreational management major.
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. member Laschaunda Cogburn, a double major in journalism and African-American Studies, said she also feels strongly about non-hazing in Greek organizations.
“I do not think that the embarrassment
or belittlement of potential members should be part of the initiation,” Cogburn said.
TUGA Vice President of Fellowship
and Alpha Kappa Lambda Fraternity founding father Tony Albanese said a person does not need to be hazed to prove they deserve to be part of an organization.
“If an AKL member was found guilty of hazing, we would have to expel the member immediately because that’s completely unacceptable,” Albanese, a junior BTMM and psychology double major, said.
Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity member Seth Einhorn, a senior, said, “Why is it not OK to discipline the new members so they can have discipline for the real world, but it’s OK for military sergeants to discipline privates in boot camps?” Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity member Kyle Quinn, a senior journalism and political science major, said physical hazing is inappropriate but some forms of mental and emotional hazing can serve a purpose.
Alpha Epsilon Phi Sorority member
Jamie Antes expressed similar sentiments towards the subject.
“I don’t think that hazing is a good thing, but I do think that in order to get into a fraternity or sorority there should be a difficult process, or else everyone would be in one,” said Antes, a junior public relations major.
Sanctions placed on guilty hazing perpetrators have not been enough to stop the offense from occurring at various universities including Temple. During an interview on The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet, Hank Nuwer, author of The Hazing Reader, said hazing is the cause of at least one death every year.
Psychologist and author Dr. Susan Lipkins, who wrote the book, Preventing
Hazing, said that if administrators and bystanders – teachers, security, students in and out of the hazing mass – were held equally responsible to the perpetrators, hazing would end quickly.
“I believe that the bystanders all know about what is going on and they allow it and condone it by not stopping it,” Lipkins said.
Nuwer, who has written four books on hazing, said the over-the-top hazing that leads to alcohol overdoses, beatings and psychological breakdowns needs to be eliminated first.
“Do I think it is happening on some campuses? Yes. Are some advisers and deans turning a blind eye? Also yes,” Nuwer said.
Carry and the rest of Temple administration
are working with Greek organizations, Campus Safety Services and the Office of Greek Life to ensure that no student becomes a victim of hazing.
“Whenever we do find hazing, we respond to it immediately,” Carry said. “Our charges will go all the way up to suspension, if not expulsion from the university, if a student or organization is found guilty of hazing.”Alpha Kappa Lambda member Mike Abramowitz said he recognizes the problem of hazing and, like the administration,
is eager for change.
“Every school is going to have to take a higher stand,” said Abramowitz, a junior computer and information sciences major. “If something’s happening somewhere people are going to assume it’s happening everywhere, so you have to do something everywhere to prevent it.”
Kelly R. Fields can be reached at