Thursday, April 23, 2015

Don’t make the wrong call

By Darcy LeDoux, Texas Tech University

We all know the dangers of drinking and driving. We would never want to risk our lives—or anyone else’s for that matter—so we take the necessary precautions to avoid getting behind the wheel.

Better snag the list of volun, ahem, “pledges” serving as DDs for tonight’s party! That’s totally the responsible move because that’s what they’re here for, right?


Hold the phone. That’s the wrong call.

Serving as a designated driver is a common “rite of passage” and duty for new members on many campuses.  It’s also a common form of hazing that often gets over-looked. By utilizing these new members as designated drivers, we add fuel to the fire and enable hazing within our organizations. Think about it. You’re forcing another individual into something he or she may not want to do, but have to because of the pressure to become an initiated member.

By forcing our new members to assume the responsibility of taking care of and driving around our initiated members, we’re belittling them. A new member’s focus and responsibility is to learn how to fulfill the founding principles and values of their organization. As active brothers and sisters, we should be building up our newest members by showing our support for them, not on them. We should be teaching, guiding, and demonstrating to our members what it truly means to carry on the legacy of our brother or sisterhood.

So, if we shouldn’t call a new member for a ride, then what are we to do?

We take matters into our own hands. We step up and be responsible. Consider taking advantage of the free safe ride options your university might provide. Call a cab. Or, be the designated driver for one night… it’s not the end of the world. It’s easier to have fun when you know that everyone is safe and accounted for. There will always be another weekend, another party, and another night to have your fun. Have a rotating system with your friends, make a chart, do whatever you need to do, but don’t take advantage of new members for the sake of your own fun. 

As fraternity men and sorority women, we take an oath to be there for one another. Being a brother or sister is no different than being a good person. By holding ourselves accountable, we get to be the ones in control of ensuring the safety of our fellow members.


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