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A Problem of Hazing in United States

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Feeling the Need to Fit In

Hazing is beginning to hit close to home for some people here in the United States. We used to think that hazing was just something with which only fraternities and sororities had a problem. That is a total myth. We also tend to believe that hazing is just some little foolish prank that sometimes goes wrong. That is another myth. “Hazing is an act of power and control over others, it is victimization. It is pre-meditated and not accidental. Hazing is abusive, degrading and often life threatening” (Myths and Facts 1).

Hazing has left many colleges wondering what is going on under the administrations noses. LSU is one of those universities asking what is going on in our fraternities? People joining these fraternities are being told that a paddling would toughen them up. The mother of a twenty year old at Louisiana State University said that “repeated beatings of her twenty-year-old son in the name of brotherhood left him with an open wound seven inches around and a half-inch deep on his buttocks that required two surgeries, including a skin graft, to repair” (LSU Frat 1). Why people are volunteering to have their bodies beaten to gain friends is mind boggling to a lot of people and administrative personnel.

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Another incident involving a fraternity happened at the campus of Georgia State University. A twenty-year-old GSU sophomore is recovering after being beaten with a cane by five fellow students. In this incident another young man wanted to belong to a so called brotherhood, so he allowed five people to beat him with a cane. Since when did brothers begin to beat their younger brothers to a pulp? This young man now lies in the hospital with serious injuries to his buttocks, stomach, and legs. This man is also having blood in his urine as a result of this incident (GSU Student 1).

Hazing is not just a problem for fraternities anymore. Hazing is now a society dilemma. Hazing has been documented in the military, marching bands, religious cults, athletic teams, and in professional schools and other types of clubs (Myths and Facts 1).

Military hazing is beginning to become a problem for our armed forces. The military is losing man power and money over these incidents. In one case a Superior Court judge ruled in favor of a former Air National Guard sergeant and awarded him $1.5 million in damages. The man reported that he had his clothes stripped from him, told to lay on the floor face down, while a liquid was poured on him. Then he was sexually assaulted with a traffic cone while pictures were taken (Air Guard 1). Since hazing can happen at the military level it can also happen at a lower level.

Whether one wants to admit it or not hazing does take place in high school. Hazing at this level is so troubling because “the developmental stages of adolescences create a situation in which students are more vulnerable to peer pressure due to the tremendous need for belonging, making friends, and finding approval in one s peer group” (High School Hazing 1). At the high school level there is not a lot of awareness

or enforcement of the issue. Many times in high school hazing is over looked as mere tradition because the coaches or teachers are unaware of what hazing is and/or do not have the proper teaching on how to deal with hazing (High School Hazing 1). This has become a major problem in our nations high schools.

Hazing is rapidly growing amongst the young people of this nation. As a growing number of people feel the need to belong to a group or fit in with friends hazing is going to become a greater problem. Why should people feel the need to be beaten senseless just to belong? What is our country coming to? Young men and women fought and gave their lives so that we would have freedom to have our own beliefs and be individuals. Remember what this country is built around the Constitution and everyone is created equal.

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