How do you or your child know the difference between frat house tomfoolery and being treated badly or differently because of your child’s sexuality? Many frats have a tradition of hazing their students from that can range from cheeky fun to severe bullying. Gay frat hazing is a new version of hazing that sometimes makes it difficult to discern the line between fun and taking advantage.
There are many articles “related to college hazing rituals” asking about the dark side of hazing. Nevertheless,if the lines are unclear, here are some questions and tips that may help. Most of this information is from the hazing prevention.org website. The site helps to make sure that the people understand that hazing rituals are made to bring pledges together rather than punish or hurt them.
You can always say no.
This is the first rule of hazing, if those doing the hazing say saying no is not an option, then you know that this is about the hazers’ enjoying people’s pain and misery and not trying to bring pledges together. Which is supposed to be the point of hazing. For gay frats, because of their new status it often can be difficult to determine where that line is but, wanting to leave and not being able to is a big red flag that should not be ignored.
Would it be ok if someone found out that we did this:
Another way to figure out if this instance of hazing is a bad idea is simply wondering if a parent or a member of the school would be cool with what was happening if they chanced to walk in. Now some people may be looser than others with college hazing, but if it’s something, some could get suspended or expelled for, then it’s probably a bad idea.
Do they feel comfortable:
Unfortunately all this whether hazing takes a bad turn difficult to say one way or another. Even so, the biggest clue to a bad decision is the one being hazed feels uncomfortable. It doesn’t matter if everyone else is going along, and no one seems to mind. If a student has a problem with what is going down than it’s not a good idea and most likely the best choice to walk away.
Is this about hazing or bullying?
The biggest way to tell whether a situation is hazing or bullying is, hazing is inclusive and bullying is exclusive. Hazing is all about bringing pledges as well as brothers in the frat together, so that people will feel a part of the experience and each other years later. However, when hazing is done as a way to keep people apart and afraid, then it’s not hazing. Dominating other people, and singling people out for extra work for no other reason than a brother, or brothers’ dislikes someone is bullying. Which can happen just as easily in gay frats.
See something say something:
Say something if your child or you are disturbed with some of what they have seen or heard during their frats hazing rituals. If they feel troubled than there are probably others are as well. Remaining a bystander is the reason that frats, gay and straight are letting people do things to pledges who can create an atmosphere of bad decisions. That can be put people in emotion and physical harm’s way.
Is there a point to this hazing?
Usually hazing has a theme, like growing together, or showing that you can be there for your brothers when you are needed. Pledges are often designated drivers, and clean frat houses, to show their loyalty and their ability to be a part of the group. However, when the hazing seems to have no other point than to harm or demean others that can be another red flag.
For a parent how do you feel about the frat brothers?
Being a parent occasionally means letting your child make their own mistakes. Allowing them to get hurt, or struggle can be difficult and often even painful. However, creating a space where they can talk to you about their issues is very important. So when a parent sees something when hanging out with their child at the frat house, saying something to them may help them open up about things that they themselves are uncomfortable with.
There is no need to camp out at their house hoping to catch a glimpse of inappropriate behavior. However, keeping your eyes open, not only to their home but the demeanor while they are there can help them in many different ways.
The downside of all of this is that it is often a gray line of bullying and hazing. What is seen as unthinkable to one may just seem like a step over the line. At the end of the day it has to be how a person feels while being a part of or being in hazing. Gay frats are a newer incarnation of an ancient tradition. So they may often make mistakes trying to find the line for their students.
So it takes parents and students together to help them better find the line. Making sure that they understand that they may feel like they are the more enlightened of the frat houses, but they still can make the same mistakes. So helping guide them will benefit many in the future.