Bringing awareness to hazing can prevent it

Matt Hasty

Hearing about the hazing at Penn State compelled me to investigate exactly what constitutes hazing and what does not.

The Beta Theta Pi chapter at Penn State gave large amounts of alcohol to a 19-year-old man and he died from ingesting all that alcohol. I then also wanted to investigate the ramifications hazing has on its victims.

If you are experiencing these things while pledging a fraternity or sorority, you could be a victim of hazing:

  • Forced consumption of alcohol or drugs
  • Forced activities that a pledge must participate in to prove their worth
  • Forced consumption of spicy foods and other things that could hurt a person
  • Requiring the endurance of hardships, such as staying awake all night, menial tasks, physical labor, etc.
  • Embarrassment of pledges to cause them mental harm
  • Beatings, paddlings, or other physical harm to pledges
  • Making pledges do bad things that no current member is required to do 

What is not hazing? If you are required to memorize the values, purpose statements and other stuff important to the fraternity, you are not being hazed. 

The ramifications of being hazed can make pledges or people who have pledged and did not join a fraternity or sorority have mental problems such as depression, PTSD and other mental problems.

Hazing is something that should stop happening across campuses all over America. Learn more about UK’s hazing policy for all students and find resources at

Every pledge should be treated with respect and dignity while pledging a fraternity or sorority, or any kind of student organization. Luckily, my fraternity Beta Upsilon Chi has a specific clause in our pledge manual that prohibits us from hazing our pledges, not that we have the desire to. We value our pledges because they are the future of our fraternity and they are treated with the same respect as a current member is. Most other Greek organizations have a similar policy. 

Maybe if people are more informed as to what hazing is, we can report it and prevent other issues to be on our hands.

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