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Hazing: Adapt Or Die

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The pledging game’s done changed.

I safely speak for everyone when I say that no pledge was hazed harder than me. ‘Bows and toes on bottle caps is all fun and games until some fifth year pours habanero sauce across the basement floor. My future brothers were monsters with an appetite for amputation.

We all have a love-hate relationship with hazing. You can see it in the sadist, bourbon-fueled eyes of alumni returning during Hell Week. Just check out the way their nostalgic pupils light up at the sight of beer-gutted pledges during We’re Pretty Sure This Is Technically Food Night. No matter how many years removed from undergrad, sadism never skips a beat.

The saying goes that pledge term hazing is the best time we never want to have again. For many of today’s goats, however, pledging, in the traditional sense at least, will simply be the best time they never had to begin with.

With increased fervor over the past decade, ivy tower-dwelling goodie-goodies in university administration offices throughout America started doing nut-taps on Greek tradition, and apparently a bunch of fraternities currently on probation forgot to wear a cup.

As much as the pledges kick and scream, though, there is simply no going back to the good old days of Stockholm Syndrome-induced pledge class bonding. Too many lines have been both snorted and crossed. Fraternal hazing needs to make changes before every pledge’s mother with a lawyer starts pressing charges because poor Pink Eye Johnny was given used toilet paper as a blindfold, and Greek life is no more. Adapt or die.

It’s possible to keep the pledges on their toes without the ‘bows. With years of tradition being thrown out the window along with the accompanying funny, penis-revealing robes, we just have to get creative.

/ gets deep in thought

// can’t come up with anything

/// has pledge do wall-sits over candles until he comes up with a way to mentally fuck himself

This is harder than I thought it would be. How do you reconcile pledge class bonding with a world that views fraternities making pledges show up to study hours as somehow constituting as hazing, while at the same time avoiding preschool activities like arranging Skittles by color?

Just know this anti-Greek storm is going to pass. After all, at the end of the day, money talks. And when the administration starts getting complacent after all the whining about unnecessary pledge fatalities dies down? It’s back to the pile for the worst pledge class ever.


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J Parks Caldwell

J. Parks Caldwell is a senior contributing writer for Total Frat Move, Rowdy Gentleman, and Post Grad Problems. He frequently blesses the rains down in Africa.

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