Monday, December 14, 2009

What "Men" Get Involved In Hazing?

Who was involved in hazing in my chapter?

Men who couldn't get respect otherwise.

It was never the guy that got good grades, was a leader in the chapter, or was involved on campus. Never. It was always the guy that didn't have anything else. The fraternity was all he had. That was his only sphere of influence. And consequently, the only area where he felt he had some control.

Now, he didn't really have control. As soon as other real men were there, he would never pull his antics, stunts, or displays of "toughness." Because when a real man presents himself in the room, all other guys know the game is up. The only reason he has control is because the other, better, more involved guys are off doing other things. You could certainly make a case that they are more important, but nevertheless the real leaders often aren't there.

Why is it that the smallest guy in the group is more often than not picking the fight at the bar? One look at the chart above and I rest my case.

How do you combat this? Timing.

When I was chapter president, I generally had a good idea when other chapter members might try to do something, particularly hazing. And I showed up. Just hung out. And because I did, I was able to prevent or intervene. Some chapter presidents and leaders chose to "opt out" by being gone all the time. Now I realize that it is difficult to study in a chapter house as a chapter president, but gross absence from the job is dereliction of duty.

Our chapters need more good leaders to show up and the right time and say "No."

When I was traveling as a consultant after college, a good friend of mine also traveled for Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. When he was traveling and on another campus, he saw another fraternity (not his own) hazing their new members. What did he do? He went over and introduced himself. He showed up. And because he did, they stopped.

First, show up and stop hazing in your own chapter. And when you see another chapter that doesn't have any other men to do it, show up and stop hazing in their chapter.

Because when a real leader presents her/himself in the room, all other individuals know the game is up.

For more anti-hazing resources go to: Hazing Prevention, Limberlost Consulting, Hank Nuwer, and Stop Hazing.


phil said...

Well said, Ox! More support for our need to "Be there" in every facet of life. I am my brother's keeper.

T.J. Sullivan said...

CAMPUSPEAK has speakers on hazing prevention, but was not listed above in the resources mention.

Spenser said...

I like the use of LolDogs graph, and it illustrates the point very nicely. Small doesn't just mean size, though. The danger is the big fish in a small pond phenomenon that you pointed out.

Tracy Maxwell said...

Thanks for a great post Ox! It is so easy to stop being a bystander by just showing up. It is amazing how little action it takes to stop something bad from happening.