As the substantial part of our five-part series, we will break down the Phi Kappa Psi Creed and use it as the ultimate tool in showing how hazing has no place in our Fraternity. If you want to call yourself a Phi Psi, think about your actions, especially those towards your brothers.
"I believe that Phi Kappa Psi is a Brotherhood of honorable men, courteous and cultured, who pledge throughout their lives to be generous, compassionate and loyal comrades...."
The opening stanza of the manifesto that defines Phi Kappa Psi men past, present and future says a lot. In fact, if it stopped right there, one would be hard pressed to identify a more positive aspiration for living one's life. To put it simply, Phi Psis are gentlemen, as much to those they may come in contact with as to each other.
This isn't a hard lesson. Hazing aims to break down an individual, degrade them and put the hazer in a position of ultimate power.
Hazing is not honorable
Hazing is certainly not courteous
Hazing is also not cultured
The last statement can be contentious in the mind of one who chooses to haze. To them, hazing builds character, not breaks it down. It creates unity in their mind, not driving a wedge between individuals (and pledge classes). The truth is, hazing is barbaric and the furthest thing from cultured.
The greatest cultures in world history survived not because of victory in conflict, but in an ability to maintain an environment of respect. Those civilizations that failed to respect each other would inevitably fail from within. It may be extreme, but that is the same for any chapter. Hazing only creates an environment segregated by those who chose to haze and those who were victimized. This filters through all activities until the operations of the chapter erode into a malfunctioning unit. It is a culture of dominance and fear, not brotherhood.
Beyond the culture of hazing differing from that of an effective undergraduate chapter, you have how hazing contradicts the individual values of our members.
Hazing is not generous. It is, indeed, exactly the opposite. A hazer intends to strip one of his individuality. A Phi Psi generously provides to improve the quality of a brother's life.
Hazing is not compassionate. It is calculated, often violent and intended to humiliate.
Hazing does not prove or create loyalty. This has become so evident that the U.S. Marine Corps issued an order outlawing hazing practices for this very reason. If the most trusted military men of this country can't see the harm in hazing, why should any college student feel it has value?
Take a moment to read the Creed and reflect on the true meaning of brother-to-brother interaction. Are you honorable? Is your chapter full of compassionate and loyal comrades? If so, hazing is not a part of it.
Help us end hazing in Greek life nationwide. If you feel your chapter has a problem, take charge of your new member education program or seek out support from an alumnus or National Staff member. If you have been the victim of hazing, take a stand and call the Phi Kappa Psi National Office or the National Hazing Hotline at 1-888-NOT-HAZE. Or visit this anonymous website.
Part II of this series on hazing will feature a discussion on the intellectual and moral contradictions of hazing.