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It’s on students to end hazing

The following reflects the majority opinion of the editorial board. 

The enacting of Collin’s Law last Thursday, a state law which made hazing a felony and the failure to report a misdemeanor in Ohio, is a big step toward progress. 

The law requires universities to enforce strict hazing penalties, increasing the severity of punishments and promoting accountability for members of  Greek organizations. 

While we applaud Ohio for taking this step, the work must not stop here. 

While Miami University has had its own self-led digital hazing course for all members of Greek life since 2018 and employs strict anti-hazing measures which could include personal and organizational suspension, hazing still persists at this school. It’s a cycle that is perpetuated year after year.

Miami can do everything in its power to stop hazing, but it will never be under control until students take the responsibility upon themselves. 

Fraternities who continue hazing will be caught. Delta Tau Delta’s 15-year suspension was just the latest high profile example. Laws like Collin’s Law will continue implementing harsher restrictions and more accountability. 

There is no reason to continue with these “traditions” in the first place. If the goal is to protect and maintain the integrity of the organization for future generations, continuing to haze new members only threatens that opportunity. 

The idea that trauma bonding forms brotherhood is an outdated and dangerous ideal to uphold. It’s a ritual that is born out of toxic masculinity, and the cycle persists because these boys feel it's within their right to do onto new members what was done to them. 

This logic feels paralleled with those who believe student loan debt shouldn’t be canceled for the sole reason that it wouldn’t be fair, since they already had to pay it off. 

It’s an entitled thought process that lacks empathy and cognitive reasoning.

Aside from an organization’s removal from campus for hazing, these members need to realize what else is at stake. 

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Students have died. Others have been severely injured.

Collin Wiant and Stone Foltz died for what they thought was a twisted form of brotherhood.

And it's impossible to forget Miami’s own Tyler Perino, who suffered internal bleeding at the hands of his Delta Tau Delta brothers two springs ago.

We need to understand the implications of being responsible for another's person's physical well-being. 

The power dynamics involved in hazing are one of the largest perpetrators for the dangers of it. The only reason younger members listen to older ones is because hazing often takes place before initiation. So, if they refuse to participate in hazing, they could be prevented from joining the organization. 

We need to normalize calling out this behavior. 

If you see something, say something – if you don't, it could be a misdemeanor. But it would also make you a contributor to a needless, toxic cycle.

That very cycle can be broken by just one pledge class deciding not to haze its new members. You can set a new standard. If you don’t do it, neither will the one’s after you. 

There are things worth preserving about fraternities and Greek life as a whole, but hazing isn’t one of them.

Normalize standing against hazing as the only way for these organizations to survive. 

And for the Greek organizations still participating in hazing, it’s either stop or be stopped. 

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