As the substantial part of our five-part series, we continue to break down the Phi Kappa Psi Creed and use it as the ultimate tool in showing how hazing has no place in our Fraternity. Part 1 of the overall series can be found here, while the first quarter of the Creed was broken down here.
"I believe that I am honor bound to strive manfully for intellectual, moral and spiritual excellence; to help and forgive my Brothers; to discharge promptly all just debts; to give aid and sympathy to all who are less fortunate;"
This is the heart and meat of our values-guiding essay. For our chapters familiar with the excellence (accreditation) program, almost all 11 areas of operation we measure can trace their origin to this section of the Creed. Its language shapes not only our motto, "The Great Joy of Serving Others," but also our current tagline of "A Tradition of Service and Excellence."
To simply summarize, we are to be good, selfless people.
Hazing is neither intellectual, moral or spiritual.
The first statement is not to imply that only stupid people haze, but it is certainly not the act of an intellectual person. Hazing is a lazy, easy way out of taking on the educational responsibility of teaching values. New members are given bids based on their character and worthiness of Phi Kappa Psi's principles. From there, the burden to get them initiated should fall on the brothers, NOT the pledges.
Those already initiated are to be the instructor, the teacher. It is their responsibility to teach what it means to be a Phi Psi, while also living those values as an example. For undergraduates, the active members are professors (intellectuals of Phi Psi) and the new members are students. So, ask yourself this: When was the last time your English professor made you do push ups when you failed a quiz? Or verbally assaulted you for an incorrect answer? Sounds silly, because it is. Being an intellectual guide is about guidance, patience and showing equality. It is not about belittling or harassing.
In terms of morality and spirituality, philosophers and theologians have spent thousands of years trying to pin down definitions about how we interact on this planet and beyond. One of the most unifying beliefs across almost all ways of life is the concept of the Golden Rule. It can be traced to ancient civilizations in every continent, not to mention written in the holy scrolls of every major religion on Earth. One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.
So, on a basic level of moral and spiritual excellence, you need merely treat another (any) person the way you would wish to be treated. And if you are in a group of peers that you deem to be even more special and valuable than all, you would likely treat them just as well, if not better, right? This is where hazing makes the least amount of sense. Not only does demeaning and ridiculing another violate the basic values of Phi Kappa Psi and the most widely accepting value of humanity, it is the most hypocritical act one could do when trying to welcome another into a special bond of friendship and brotherhood.
Hazing does not help your brothers, and it certainly provides the opposite of sympathy and aid to the less fortunate. Hazing actually creates less fortunate people. It takes young men and strips them of dignity, self worth and respect. It creates hollow members and spiteful brothers. This is a line in the sand area of our Creed. You are either in or out when it comes to your actions.
The beauty is the allowance it provides for change. The act of hazing may not be reversible, but the effects on friendship and fraternity can be changed. For in those same lines affords brothers the power to both forgive and hold their peers accountable. True Phi Psis will not ignore the missteps and poor behaviors of their brothers. Instead, they will work to improve them, their chapter and the Fraternity at large. We will explore more of that concept in the next section of the Creed and this online series....
Part III of this Creed series will focus on how our pact to counsel and guide our brothers can lead to a future without hazing. As always, the power is in your hands. If you feel your chapter is hazing, or you want to be a catalyst to change, contact our office at 317-632-1852 or anonymously to the anti-hazing hotline at 1-888-NOT-HAZE and online here.