When people think of hazing at college campuses many people think of the 1970's movie Animal House. In a comedic scene, pledges get hit repeatedly with wooden paddles. This misconception about hazing has spread across college campuses nationwide. The truth is hazing is an issue about which all students need to learn. "Each year during college fraternity and sorority pledgeships across the country, incidents of violence and mental cruelty are reported to law enforcement officials and campus administration" (Wolf). Hazing continues today due to the fact that most students think of hazing as the norm, fraternities have different views about hazing, and these organizations have different initiation methods.
In order to end hazing, we must learn about what happened in the past and what is still going on in fraternities today. Hazing is a practice that has been around ever since the time of slavery. Only recently has this practice been found by courts to be unethical and banned from college campuses. People today still generalize fraternities with hazing, but few know anything more about it than what they see on the news. At the university level, hazing is basically any action that "denies a person of his or her individual rights" (Duggan and Taylor). Hazing can range from petty chores such as picking up trash, to actions which cause: "physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment or endangerment" (Duggan and Taylor). Many extreme hazing cases reported involve the use of "a weapon to threaten or inflict harm," or a "use of alcohol and/or drugs" (Duggan and Taylor). Granted, almost every initiation method can be picked apart to involve some minor form of hazing, but it's the outright servitude that needs to be stopped. As a culture we have risen above race and ethnic discriminations, physical beatings of children, and other horribly abusive tasks. As long as this medieval ritual exists we are no better off than we were a few centuries ago.