Hazing shows community, not hate

Everyone knows exactly what it is. You know it when you see it. It’s a joy for the upperclassmen and an embarrassment for the underclassmen.

Yep, I’m talking about hazing.

Here at JBU however, hazing hasn’t been taken to great extremes – at least not while I’ve been here. As a freshmen, I had to endure what the upperclassmen called “initiation.” I was woken up before the sun, blindfolded, and taken to a room. It was there that I and the other freshman were dressed up in weird costumes, our faces were painted, our hair was done in funky hairdos, and worst of all we weren’t allowed to take it off until practice that day.

The only plus side I saw at first was the donuts and orange juice the other girls gave us.

As much as I thought I didn’t like it, I did find it quite funny. I laughed at myself in the mirror a few times and took some funny pictures with my soccer team. It was actually a bonding experience.

This year, hazing has been taken out of the JBU athletics program. This is because hazing does not come with a good connotation.

We have all heard those stories about the freshmen who were stripped of their clothes, taken off campus, and left to find their way back, or something crazy like that. Hazing can easily get out of hand or hurt someone who is being treated unfairly.

I have a high respect for the idea of hazing being taken out of the athletic program. I agree that it does not always have good intentions. However, I haven’t seen it completely disappear.

Now, if hazing isn’t going to completely be taken out, I believe it should be allowed but kept to a minimum. Hazing does have its positives: it’s a great team bonding experience, a way to allow freshmen to become a better part of their athletic team, and a way to show everyone else on campus who the freshmen on your team are. There are ways to initiate your freshmen onto your athletic team without putting them in an awkward or uncomfortable situation. And, if the freshmen just don’t want to participate, then don’t make them. That’s where hazing goes wrong – forcing people to do something they don’t want to do.

I don’t mean to complain at all about hazing being taken out of the athletic program. Like I said, I highly respect the decision and will not do anything that might contradict the decision of no hazing. I do believe, however, that if it is going to be taken out, it should be taken out of every sport.

I believe that there can be problems or frustrations when one sports team is following the rules, yet watches another sports team not do the same.