If you are thinking about joining a student organization (e.g., fraternity, sorority, honors society, team, club, organization), consider whether or not doing so might involve some type of initiation.
Initiation into a group can be a single event or an extended process, and should be sanctioned by the group's national affiliation or by the University. Because this time may involve hazing, it is important to be informed about the experience you may be signing up for before you decide whether or not you'd like to join an organization.
Ask Current Members
- What kinds of things do I have to do to join the group?
- What is the group’s position on hazing?
- Has the group ever been in trouble for hazing?
- How long does the pledging/new member/joining process last?
- Does the group have a policy of non-secrecy?
- How much time will be involved?
- Do they have a hell week?If your organization initiates members after an intake or recruitment process, do you pledge “underground?”
If the group members cannot give thorough descriptions of what new membership involves (e.g., service projects, group-building activities) or seem evasive, have your guard up. Even if they say that they do not haze, be cautious if they are unable to describe what they do. While fraternities and sororities cannot discuss their ritual with non-members, they should be able to thoroughly describe the new member and initiation experience to you.
Ask Other Students
- What have you heard about this group?
- What kind of reputation does it have?
- Have you heard about what they do with new members?
Do Your Research
- Check The Driftwood or local newspapers for articles about the organization
- Speak with faculty and staff (e.g., Student Affairs, Student Involvement & Leadership)
|Is someone in danger?
|Unsure if it’s hazing?