Sep 23, 2009

Hazing in Phi Delta Theta – Stop the Madness

Hazing Prevention Phi Delt General Council
Hazing in Phi Delta Theta – Stop the Madness


I know what many of you are already thinking – “Oh no, here we go again.  The General Council President is preaching to us, one-more-time, about hazing.”  If you are a chapter that does not haze, I can understand and I appreciate your leadership to eradicate hazing in your chapter.  However, not all chapters have stepped up to the leadership challenge to stop hazing.  If you are one of those chapters that continue to haze, I hope you will finish this letter with an open mind and find the courage to stand up to those brothers who risk your existence as a chapter and as a Phi each and every day.  Hazing must stop now.

Brothers, the General Council has an obligation to protect Phi Delta Theta against factors that pose a threat to its existence.  Hazing is one of those factors.  Hazing is a threat.  It is plain and simple, irresponsible drinking and hazing are a threat to the existence of Phi Delta Theta.  Why on earth would a brother, who supposedly loves this great Fraternity, commit acts that will cost him his membership, close his chapter and harm Phi Delta Theta?  It makes absolutely no sense to me.  What does it take to stop the madness?  We recruit outstanding potential new members to be a part of the best Fraternity in the world and then some brothers want to haze them. I say again, it makes absolutely no sense to me.

When we conduct hazing prevention education at our conferences we get condemnation on the surveys because our students are “sick of hearing about hazing.”  Yet, we still have chapters out there hazing their potential new members.  I am of the philosophy that if it has not been said in six months, it hasn’t been said.  Our Fraternity will continue to educate our Brotherhood about hazing as well as other threats.  Why do we have a Phikeia program?  Is it to haze or teach the Phikeias about the history of our fraternity and their chapter?  Let me state the obvious – it is to teach the Phikeias about our fraternity and the local chapter.

When discussing hazing and your chapter’s Phikeia education program, always consider the following questions: What are your risks in doing an activity (both as a chapter and as individuals) and are you willing to pay the consequences if you are caught hazing?  If you are willing to accept this risk, I can promise you that your days are limited before something goes wrong and your charter is suspended.  If you work to minimize or eliminate this risk, I applaud you for doing what ought to be done and exuding leadership.

Brothers, I love this Fraternity and hope that it is still making a positive impact on men 100 years from now.  It’s stories like Jordan Campbell’s that make me proud to be a Phi every day.  Do me and your chapter one favor this week – Place the word “HAZING” on your executive board and chapter meeting agendas and begin discussions about the topic within your membership. Ask those who are in favor of hazing what is more important – degrading another individual or having a chapter to come back to following graduation.   If you need assistance, we are here to help.  If there is a hazing culture within your chapter, we will help you find a solution.

Protect your chapter, protect your brothers and the bonds you make with them, and protect Phi Delta Theta by eliminating hazing. By doing so, you will leave a legacy of brotherhood that will transcend many future generations of Phis.  The madness stops now.

Yours in the Bond,

Mark Ochsenbein
General Council President

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