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U Missouri Alpha group sponsors hazing awareness seminar

Maneater student newspaper excerpt: Greek panel addresses hazing
By Samantha Balaski, Reporter.   Posted September 14, 2007.
Katie Woods/Staff Photographer
Master of ceremonies Jerico Riley adds to a point made by a board member during an anti-hazing forum in the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center on Thursday. The meeting, sponsored by Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, included discussions about the importance of appropriate behavior on campus, both inside and outside Greek houses.

Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity played host to an anti-hazing forum Thursday in the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture center to raise awareness in the traditionally black Greek community and throughout campus, Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity member Gerald McLemore said.

The event began with an address by Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity President Branden Gregory, who then introduced the master of ceremonies, senior Jerico Riley. The theme of the event was the prevalence of hazing in sororities and fraternities, particularly in the traditionally black chapters.

A panel of experts answered questions and addressed hazing issues to all Greek members to National Pan-Hellenic Council. The panel included long-term members of several traditionally black fraternities and sororities, many of whom went to MU.

The first topic of the forum was the history of hazing…
This ritual has continued in underground pledge rituals at campuses across the country. ..the floor was opened to questions and statements from the panel.

“When I pledged, everything was a process of development,” panelist Arnell Monroe said. “The older brothers used pledging as a time to expose a weakness in you and to help you overcome it. It was all a process of developing and growing into your full potential as a brother, as a student and as a person.”

Monroe said pledging today has turned to a “demented sense” of what he went through.

“There used to be pride on both sides,” Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority spokeswoman Linda Garth said. “When I pledged, the older sisters were proud to walk around campus with us wearing our pledge shirts. They were just as proud of us as we were to wear them.”

All of these statements ultimately brought attention to what some Greek groups are doing with their young pledges. University-approved activities such as pomping for Homecoming and other expected chores around Greek houses, such as bathroom cleaning, are exploited in many chapters.

“A Greek family will not make you anything you’re not,” Monroe said. “It will merely accentuate who you already are. You should join to accentuate the talents you already have, not to be subjected to abuse.”

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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