Email L. Henry Platt, Jr.
Hazing is meant to be a test to determine that a candidate is worthy of being accepted into a club or other group. Christians are Baptized. Fraternities and sororities have other tests. Seventy-five years ago a young man named Platt was given a simple task to demonstrate his fitness: he was given a book to be returned to the college library. It was thirty YEARS over-due. Twenty years ago another man named Platt was working at McDonald's when a mob of high school girls each kissed him and ran off. Their sorority had required these pledges to kiss someone at McDonald's. Other tests were required, but these forms of Hazing were both fun and non-toxic.
Unfortunately, not everyone is teased with the benign types of Hazing. Any form of Hazing that you wouldn't do to your mother is out. No Hazing should put anyone at risk of injury or disgrace. A football player might be required to throw a pass at least thirty yards, or a baseball player might be required to catch flies. A basketball player might be required to stay at the foul line until he had sunk five fouls in a row.
There are other forms of Hazing which are both acceptable and beneficial: A pledge might be asked to give a pint of blood at the Red Cross Blood Drive or the local hospital. Perhaps a pledge might be required to pick up a grocery bag (packed) of litter from the campus or nearby park or recreational area. Other tests might include, but are not limited to the following: Volunteering for two meals at a soup kitchen, Carrying food and conversation to several shut-ins, Donating an afternoon to clean the yard or home of someone who is sick or elderly, Providing coffee and snacks after church on some Sunday morning. There are still many acts of kindness which test the mettle of a pledge.
Choose the form of Hazing that you can feel good about!
© L. Henry Platt, Jr.