Hazing is often used to ‘initiate’ someone into a group or team and is supposed to be a fun way to include new members. But often times it is humiliating and those involved have to perform dangerous tasks. Since 1969 there has been at least one university hazing-related death per year.
On September 17, 2017, Alpha Delta Pi Alumna sister, Rae Ann Gruver lost her son, Max Gruver, due to a tragic hazing incident. Max Gruver was only 29 days into his college career at Louisianna State University before passing. Following the incident, the Gruver family established The Max Gruver Foundation to spread awareness and try to bring an end to hazing. The non-profit foundation strongly believes hazing has no place on a college campus.
For Hazing Prevention week, Alpha Delta Phi partnered with The Max Gruver Foundation to raise awareness directly on college campuses. Their week-long event consisted of table-ing in front of the Santos Manuel Student Union and having students go over to sign a pledge card stating that they would take their part in “#Stop the hazing, #Fly High Max” and leave their handprint on a poster.
A good question to ask is ‘why is hazing still so popular among not only the Greek community but also other sports and clubs, knowing that it can lead to someone getting injured’.
“I personally believe it’s an act of superiority within social groups. When in larger groups may want to be seen as a leader especially to younger members; however, this can easily be taken advantage of as we’ve seen on many college campuses” said Audrey Huizar, president of CSUSB’s Alpha Delta Pi Sorority.
Often times new members are afraid to say that they don’t want to participate in the activities because they do not want to seem like buzzkills. They also might feel like their loyalty to the group might be questioned. Maybe these groups think that something like this could never happen to one of their own. But the reality is that this can happen at any school and according to statistics has happened at least once a year for the past 48 years.
Overall there are many reasons as to why hazing continues to happen and a lot of it comes from being peer presured and not wanting to feel excluded.
“In order to continue to spread awareness on this issue. I believe we need to keep each other accountable. Although it seems cliche ‘See something, say something‘ because you may be the one to save someone’s life. I strongly believe that when an issue is brought to light people are more likely to get involved to make a difference,” Huizar said.
More universities are starting to take hazing seriously and are taking the initiative to raise awareness. It all starts from within the organizations and having the members say that it’s not the ‘cool’ thing to do anymore. The more awareness brought to hazing will hopefully have an impact. Joining a group should be something that should be fun and welcoming rather than full of intimidation factors.