Look: we get it. Hazing is part of longstanding traditions for some of these fraternities, and as far as the elder members are, if they went through it, why should they turn soft now and go easy on their future members? It’s a vicious cycle, it’s not something we would ever want for ourselves, but from a certain point of view, it makes sense – even if we don’t agree with it.
The thing is, beating someone to a pulp isn’t the only way to assure utter loyalty out of your brads. Crushing them to within an inch of their life isn’t the only way to foster camaraderie among your ranks. There are so many more ways that range from the silliest to the most profound – without putting any lives at risk.
So if any fraternities looking to turn over a new leaf are listening, we have 8 suggestions to make how you could initiate your members without having to almost kill them.
8. Make them look silly for weeks.
The common initiation that you get from other groups would be for the neophytes to wear ridiculous costumes or do random idiotic things in public. While it’s not exactly the most constructive thing ever, there is an implicit understanding between the neophytes and the outside world that they’re only doing this to get into something. In the long run, it’s not as big a deal as, say, actual bullying.
7. Make them production assistants during events.
Whenever a frat puts together a kickass party, make sure that the bulk of the manpower is carried out by the neophytes. There is nothing embarrassing about manual labor, and it certainly builds character. At the very least, every single brod of a frat that incorporates this practice would be pretty handy around the frathouse.
6. Turn it into a reality show.
If a fraternity only has a limited number of slots for acceptance amongst their ranks, why not make a webshow reality contest out of it? It would be pretty entertaining to see what kind of challenges and hurdles there would be for all these neophytes to go through, and with it being on public record via YouTube, we can be sure that the proceedings will have a kind of transparency that would allay any worries about their practices.
5. Give them financial obligations.
Nothing backbreaking, but at least something that would ensure that being part of the brotherhood would make for a self-sustaining endeavor. That, and the accounting for this obviously has to be transparent, and if it is, then you have a naturally growing organization that has deep pockets to accomplish so much.
4. Make them have a (deliberately horrible) talent showcase.
You have a great singer in your group? Make him breakdance. You have a skilled magician? Have him belt out to Adele. Put these people together in what would arguably be the most embarrassing yet fun night of their lives in a frat talent showcase.
The thing is, no matter how emasculating these activities may look, at the end of the day, these people will still stick with each other. They don’t need to kick each other’s asses just to earn the right to watch them afterwards.
3. Put on a pro wrestling show.
With enough professionals in the country now to train people, you can have all that beat-em-up action without the actual risk of lasting bodily harm (we hope). Considering how popular pro wrestling has been lately, why not have them pull this one off?
2. Put on an MMA card.
Orrrr if you really wanted actual fights, then make sure they’re sanctioned in the middle of the cage. You want the neophytes to be tough? Well, here it is. It’s an open requirement that these neophytes are built up for, and with proper precautions, nobody has to risk death, as is the case in the vast majority of MMA events.
That, and publicizing the MMA event means parents aren’t going to be caught by surprise by the goings-on in the group, either. Take it out from behind the scenes, legitimize it, and if you see a massive drop in your membership, then it should be obvious these were things you had no business doing in the first place.
1. Have them work for Habitat for Humanity for an entire weekend.
You know how painful hazing can get, right? Well, that’s nothing compared to the aches and pains of working for 16 or more hours building houses for Habitat for Humanity, which is both safer than hazing, and far more productive in the long run.
Got any more suggestions? Tell us about them below!