Saturday, November 29, 2008
The fraternity house of Fmr. Innovate Presidential Candidate, Scott Kennelly, as reported in IFAlligator, will prepare to begin a suspension period January 2009.
The issue of hazing goes all the way back to August 2005 (the very first post of this blog, then dealing with the KA suspension).
Hazing is a touchy subject. Pledges are hand-picked by each fraternity and from a pool of candidates that visit the houses during Fall or Spring Rush Week. Pledges are expected to earn their keep, impress the brothers, and do as they're told - no questions asked. A good pledge keeps his mouth shut and acts in the best interest of the house. Pledges that rat out their brothers should never have been in the process to begin with. And this is coming from a guy hated by the majority of his brothers (mainly because of Access and electing one of four African American SBP's in UF history).
On the fraternity end, the E-Board is expected to keep its Pledge Masters (the brothers in charge of pledges) in line. In many houses, the President will operate with as little knowledge regarding the pledges as possible -- this is a popular strategy.
Popular hazing techniques of the current decade at UF include sleep deprivation, confinement, compulsary domestic services, paddling, and other more distinct acts reserved from comment that tend to strike fear and humiliation into the pledge. The more prestigious the fraternity - the harder the pledging; many times the Pledge Masters oppose a single member from crossing, but if blackballing is not an option, they will raise the bar as high as possible to get the target member to either drop off or have the Pledge Class take care of the matter on their own. Sometimes, for as much as a member may be disliked, if he's able to meet all demands of a rigorous pledging process, he will have earned sufficient respect to be allowed to cross. (We see this phenomenon occur often with racial minorities & suspected gay pledges)
In the houses...these tactics are not silly, they are not backward. The Pledge Master expects complete subservience, often times barking orders with a straight face and turning [genuinely] angry when anything less than what's asked for is produced. In a very real way, the fraternity answers to the House President and the pledges answer to the Pledge Master - it's a house within a house - a separate but very much unequal one.
All this having been said, fraternity's should not be engaging in off color practices. All men orgies, the elephant walk, and/or the practices of which TEP is being accused of -- fall very short of even hardnosed hazing. Laxatives and intense exercise...that's for another day, maybe another week.
I believe what is called "hazing" serves an important purpose. However, what TEP is accused of, does not seem to serve any kind of a team-building, fraternity-respecting, endurance-oriented goal. It seems to be couched solely on humiliation - again, this is not where, when, and how hazing should be used.