RefinED Character is an educational consulting company specializing in social emotional development for preK-12 and collegiate communities.
You Can't Be My Friend and Haze Me
Posted by Scott Heydt on Tuesday, January 14, 2014
I spent this past weekend in New Orleans for a fraternity Board of Directors meeting. During that time, we welcomed Dave Westol, founder of Limberlost Consulting, Inc., former Executive VP for Theta Chi Fraternity, and one damn fine dedicated Greek battling the hazing epidemic. Among his many useful remarks, this resonated beyond others, "You can't be my friend and haze me."
The definition of 'friend' explicitly states 'an interpersonal bond beyond simple association.' Those who haze will rationalize their behavior and say hazing establishes respect and strengthens bonds--both significant qualities cementing friendships. Let's consider this.
When you were a kid sleeping over at a friend's house, didn't you sneak out around 3:00 am so your friend could perform heavy calisthenics and consume alcohol until vomiting while you called him names like "useless" and "bitch?"
Don't you always text your friend the message, "Whenever I see you, you better be carrying that rock we found by the lake last year. Otherwise, I'll beat the shit out of you?"
I know I like nothing more than a deep, philosophical conversation with my bestie just before he tightens the blindfold, throws me from the vehicle, and leaves me miles from home in nothing but my underwear.
Why, right now, there's a circle of kindergarteners in a classroom somewhere, learning that Tommy the Turtle and Robbie the Rabbit are friends because Tommy picks up cigarettes and a Slurpie for Robbie when Robbie's too drunk, even when Tommy might be sleeping or studying for a big exam.
Let's be real. I don't call those who directly hazed me in high school and college my friends. We have no interpersonal connection. Often, I don't even associate with them any longer. It's because the rationales for hazing are deluded and misguided. You haze me--we can't be friends. And if we can't be friends, heck even friendLY, how in the world can we be teammates or brothers?
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