The benefits I’ve seen from Greek life in the workplace have nothing to do with hazing. I’ve gained real, tangible experiences that have led me to my career as a reporter and photographer. I learned how to talk to people I didn’t know by recruiting new members to share in my sisterhood. I made sure I attended class and kept up my grade point average because of the scholarship and study hour requirements. I learned how to budget money. The business meetings and national conventions helped develop my professionalism in a more formal setting. Serving as president taught me to delegate tasks to others and manage a group of women from an array of backgrounds with vastly different personalities. Continuing to volunteer for my sorority has taught me the value of coaching others instead of managing them.
When I took my sorority’s vows, I didn’t promise to berate and belittle other women by hazing them. I didn’t swear I would make sure others would have to prove their worth through trivial, physical acts, instead of by the values they already possess. I didn’t vow to make sure women felt the need to be hazed as a rite of passage. Founders of both fraternities and sororities are men and women who came together during extraordinary times and organized against all odds. They weren’t running around campus cleaning apartments or cars to have “pledge” books signed. They were too busy forging a path to the sisterhoods and brotherhoods we have the privilege to carry on today.
The Greek experience, in my opinion, is meant to empower others. We volunteer and give back to the community, we develop bonds that reach deeper than friendship, and we learn to see the value of others and ourselves. Hazing has no part of this vision.
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