MASTERING MONDAY: OVERCOMING HAZING
Take a look at the picture above. It’s easy to think that the only person being hazed is blind to it. However, even though we might not notice, most of us are unable to see what exactly hazing is and how it takes place. If we are not well informed, we can be just as blind as those who allow the hazing to take place. So, how are we supposed to help others? Well, by knowing the terms, symptoms, and ways to prevent it through awareness-raising tactics, we can work as a team to end hazing.
In this video, Julia Wilde from DNews explains “Why we let hazing happen?” Along with an explanation of what hazing is, she provides us with a variety of facts. One of the studies shown explains how people who went through severe initiation successfully were more likely to describe the organization they entered as “significantly more attractive” than the ones that did not. Julia then describes the psychological process going on in our heads that allow hazing to seem harmless.
The University of Massachusetts Amherst published the linked paper below to divide hazing behavior into three types. These are Subtle Hazing, Harassment Hazing, and Violent Hazing. After reading this paper, you can become more aware as to how different examples of hazing can relate to your everyday college life. You may also be shocked when reading some examples of hazing. Just be aware that this is an informative paper, but not a fully realized compilation of every characteristic of hazing. It doesn’t mean that those examples provided are always the case or that those are the only hazing behaviors that can be found. Instead, it just goes on to list a few of what hazing can encompass.
If you know someone that is being hazed, don’t ignore it – you can make the difference in that person’s life. Below are some basic tips to help you address the issue.
- Approach the person. There is nothing better than a discussion with someone who you think is being harmed. Ask them about the things they are expected to do to get into the group. If you still think it is hazing, let them know that you are concerned about them. Don’t forget to mention the reasons why you think they are being hazed so that they can start thinking about it for themselves.
- Support the person. Remind the person that they can change their mind whenever they want. They have the option to leave the organization/club they are trying to get into without consequence. Let them know that you are willing to help them out with anything. Knowing that someone is there for you can make the difference in every decision we make.
- Tell them about the resources on campus. It is always good to reach out to others that could help the person out. SUNY Oswego offers different resources to help out in these kinds of situations. Resources like the Counseling Center and Lifestyles are great first steps if you’re unsure where to go from here.
If you or someone you know is being hazed, don’t be afraid to seek help. Reach out to someone. Express your feelings and the situation you are in. We are all a big family on this campus. It’s time to take off the blindfold and start seeing what is in front of us.
Written By Stacy Palacios, Peer Educator
Photo Cred: Hazing Blindfold