By Carly Berndt, For The Miami Student
Unpopular opinions are like awkward sex stories or embarrassing drunk texts; we've all had them and we've all said them, but a lot of times, we'd like to pretend that one 2 a.m. "I still love you" message and awkward RA situation maybe didn't happen.
However, it definitely did, and corridor meetings are definitely still the worst.
Regardless of what life decisions I may or may not have made, in light of recent events (think the oddly-well-done-for-a-bunch-of-drunk-college-kids block party video that went viral, or the recent articles surrounding the three-year suspension of Sigma Nu), I feel it important to take a stand on the less political, more Donald Trump-esque side of Greek Life - rushing and the hazing that inevitably comes with it all.
Because, yes, we all know it's inevitable.
Before I get in to all the details that will make authority figures squirm, I do want to deliver a disclaimer: I think hazing is stupid, and no matter how many times some guy decked out in an alphabet I don't understand explains it to me, I still don't get the "glamour" behind it.
That being said, I still don't see any value is simply getting rid of it for as long as possible and crossing some theoretical fingers, hoping it won't happen again.
It seems that every time I get on Yik Yak or talk to a friend with more connections than I have, there's been another social Greek organization put on probation or suspended, namely fraternities.
What's the point of having Greek life on campus if the righteous foot of the Interfraternity Council just keeps stomping them off?
I fully understand that there is more to Greek life than excessive drinking and partying and all the fun stuff no one wants to put down on an application somewhere, but chapters aren't getting suspended due to their sub-par dedications to a particular charity. So, for now let's pretend that aspect doesn't exist.
There are a few key points to Greek life and rushing and pledging that seem to largely be overlooked, probably because they don't favor mass suspension.
For starters, no matter how many "MUDon'tHaze" hashtags get spread around campus, it's no secret that pledges get hazed. If I, an unaffiliated sophomore girl who dropped out of rush last semester, knows what happens during pledging, I can guarantee you that the incoming pledges know what they're getting themselves into.
Not only do they know, but they are willing to pay hundreds of dollars in order to eventually become active brothers of their given chapter. They are quite literally paying for it.
Also, an important factor to note is that, if for whatever reason, a pledge decides they no longer want to be subject to hazing, the option to drop out is always available. There are also fraternities that offer and practice a very legitimate "No Hazing" policy.
You don't have to do it. No one is being forced.
Another important point that seems obvious to me, but apparently seems to be largely regarded as irrelevant, is that those choosing to go through pledging are adults - legal adults that, in theory, can make their own decisions.
Though I think it goes without saying, I'll go ahead and put it out there anyway. Obviously, if some sort of pledge-hazing or fraternity or sorority activity put someone/somebody's life in immediate grave danger, consequences are entirely deserved, justified and expected, no matter if someone is 13 or 30. But grave danger means grave danger, not "Wow, this really sucks and I would rather not be dealing with it."
My last point is sort of a challenge and is related to the "would rather not be dealing with it." Have you ever talked to a frat guy about hazing during pledging? I have, and I have never gotten a response that deviates even slightly from, "I wouldn't change it for the world, it brought my pledge class so close together."
I challenge you to talk to someone who's been through the process and ask them if they wish they hadn't done it. If they say no, come find me slumming around some bar and I'll use one of several IDs to buy you a drink.
All in all, hazing is probably not a morally sound choice. However, it is a choice, and it's a choice that nearly all "victims" make knowing that they are, in fact, going to be hazed. Truly, at the end of the day, the only thing that happens as a result of this sort of mass suspension epidemic on our campus is disbanding people who willingly chose to become brothers (or sisters) with one another.