CSUN incident proves that fraternity hazing needs to end
September 1, 2014
We’ve all seen college movies like Animal House or Old School where freshmen have to run through the quad naked, or get spanked by a paddle from elder members. However, hazing also has the possibility to become much more violent. At what point do these activities become cliches or far worse and do they have any place in modern culture?
Earlier this summer, the Pi Kappa Phi chapter of Cal State Northridge took a camping trip through Angeles National Forest, when 19-year-old pledge Armando Villa collapsed and lost consciousness. He was later transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Despite the fact, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has not determined whether or not his death was the result of hazing. Villa’s aunt claimed that he was left stranded in the forest to find his way out as a means of initiation. He was left without water, shoes or a cellphone.
As a result, the national fraternity has suspended the CSUN chapter from activity until further notice. So far, no fraternity members have stepped forward and said anything about the incident, even though there were three members and five associate members on the trip.
Much of fraternity life includes respecting tradition and with older fraternities comes older traditions which might have been more socially acceptable in past years. In this day and age the idea of being hazed seems a bit barbaric.
The school has changed its policy on hazing, but the impact of that will be marginal at best. Rules often get ignored and are rarely enforced.
Even though the fraternity was suspended, none of its members are being held responsible for Villa’s death, which raises the question of whether CSUN is underreacting to the situation.
In response to the death of Villa, his aunt Maria Castenayda, said, “No one should have to die because they want to join your group. If they want to join, let them join.”
Hazing is not a necessary tradition. Greek life could continue to progress for years to come without it. Some alternatives for initiation could be things such as sporting events or contests that don’t threaten the lives of its pledges.
While some fraternity members might think that it’s weak to not allow the so-called fraternity experience to move forth in its full capacity. However, others use Greek life as a means of meeting new people and creating relationships instead of continuing outdated traditions based on their Greek organization idealistic image.
Even though it is the student’s decision to join a fraternity and the rituals and behaviors of those fraternities should be considered prior to rushing. Wouldn’t be nice if students didn’t have to fear for their life when thinking about getting involved in Greek life.