As the fall semester comes to a close, both fraternities and sororities are handing out their bids, which means pledging is near.
For men that are already pledging and women who will be soon, it is important to remember that safety should be everyone’s number one priority. It is no secret that underground pledging and hazing activities happen on our campus. They happen on every campus. But pledges must remember that, while it seems like the activities are mandatory, they aren’t.
If you are asked to break mask and social distancing protocols, you don’t have to. If you are asked to participate in activities that are clearly hazing, you don’t have to. If you are asked to participate in pledging activities after the break starts, you do not have to.
At any time when you are doing things that make you uncomfortable, you are allowed to stop and your club will let you. Social clubs are all about having fun and making friends, and even through the crazy pledging activities, that is still the goal.
If pledging activities where people aren’t following mask and social distancing guidelines cause a spike in COVID-19 cases like we saw earlier this semester, events, sports and even in-person classes will be canceled. We have to make sure that we follow these guidelines regardless of reason, or our spring semester could end up just like last year.
Robin McPherson, senior coordinator of fraternities and sororities, announced in an email earlier this month that, “There will be no pledging taking place between November 23 – January 8. If any pledging takes place during this time, they will be in direct violation of the university policy and could be removed from campus.”
Through this and mandatory hazing training, the university has made a clear stance on when pledging is allowed and how it is allowed. Mandatory anti-hazing online training and strict rules about when events can occur are for your safety and the safety of those around you. Listening to these rules and saying no to activities that can harm you and those around you allows us to continue doing the academic, social and athletic activities that we love.