CP editorial: I refuse to stand by and watch my fellow students be hazed

We all remember the fear, the excitement, and the anxiety that were among the rush of feelings we experienced our first day of college. The beginning of our journey through upper level schooling is such a milestone for so many young people. As college freshmen, we are enthused by the idea of meeting our lifelong friends, starting the path to our careers and joining clubs.

For some of us, these clubs include organizations such as sororities and fraternities. Maybe we’ve seen the wild movies about college life that have driven us to join Greek life. Maybe we’ve felt the legacy of our family blood lines passionately leading us to become a brother or sister.

Whatever the reason, sororities and fraternities are extremely popular for college students. In today’s society, while we hear numerous great things coming from Greek organizations, we also hear many worrisome things, even on our very own University of Missouri campus. While I do not agree with the hazing culture, I believe Greek life can be beneficial to students.

Many sororities and fraternities, no matter what college, are constantly involved in charity, fundraising and inclusive social events, but one thing they are also known for is hazing. I refuse to stand by and watch my fellow students take part in hazing, or be hazed. Young, hopeful individuals who are so excited and honored to be a member of a sorority or fraternity should not be challenged or humiliated by those they consider their future brothers and sisters. Not only do these individuals pay a significant amount of money to be a member, but they also aid in keeping those organizations operating. It is truly disheartening to see a young person lose their interest and excitement in something they were so enthused about because they were beaten down in order to prove they were worthy enough.

In an article in the Missourian by journalist Katie Giles in 2018, even recently, organizations such as the Sigma Chi fraternity have been suspended for alcohol related hazing and more. In the article, the suspensions listed are for violations including illegal use of alcohol, hazing and disruption of university activities, according to a record of violations committed called the MU Community Conduct History.

Bruce McKinney is a University of Missouri graduate and current president of the Delta Upsilon International Fraternity Board of Directors. He said, in STL Today, that fraternities and sororities are trying to improve their reputations.

 “If the university and national fraternities and sororities are trying to show how you can have a relevant, value-added and safe supplement to your academic experience, if you don’t have that, why do you have Greek life?”

Currently, Farmhouse, Kappa Alpha Order, Pi Kappa Phi, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Sigma Phi Epsilon and Sigma Pi are suspended. While not all sororities and fraternities have these issues, it truly is sad to see these instances.

If Mizzou Greek life organizations want to continue on campus, it means cleaning up their act and following initiatives for the betterment of Greek life. Their future reputations depend on what they do now, which means less hazing and more standards for our students.