I am a man different backgrounds. First and foremost, I am a United States Marine, second I am a Brother in the Bond of Phi Delta Theta, and last I am a college man at California State University, Chico. Through experiences with each of these organizations I have come in to contact with all sorts of people. I serve with Marines who are not in college; I serve with some that are. I meet active members and alumni of Phi Delta Theta. Of course, I also interact with a great number of Chico State students.
No matter whom I meet, it seems that hazing is a popular topic. I’ve found that a lot of the people can develop stereotypical images of both the Marines and the Greek system, with regards to hazing. Not only outside of these organizations, but also within I find that members of both these Brotherhoods have their own idea of what hazing can be. I may be talking to a marine about my fraternity, or sometimes a fraternity Brother about the Marines. No matter whom I talk to one question everyone seems to ask is: “Did you get hazed?”
Now I can recall some incidents in boot camp where our drill instructors walk a fine line between training and hazing, yet they never seem to cross it. I usually tell the person I’m talking to that, “No, it was alright.” However whenever I am talking to a Marine or someone else outside of my chapter, and they ask, “Does your Fraternity haze you?” I am proud to say that I can honestly answer no. There is absolutely no incident that I can recall that even came close to hazing. In fact I can still remember one of the first things our president, Justin Self, told me. He said, “We are not interested and breaking men down; we are interested in building them up.” This philosophy was ever present throughout my pledging process. Even though I did not get hazed, I know that it still goes on in other fraternities.
This last weekend I traveled to my Marine Corps unit for training. I received my annual class from my commanding officer on hazing in the Marine Corps. One of the first things he asked the group was, “Who here is in college?” Many hands went up, including my own. He then asked, “Who here is in a fraternity?” All but five hands went down. He then had the five of us stand up. The instructor then proceeded to ask each of us if we had been hazed by our fraternity Brothers.
Out of all the other Marines I was the only one who answered “No”. At first the instructor looked at me as if I was lying. Considering the fact that I plan to be a Marine for some time, lying to my commanding officer would not be a good idea. So he asked me again, “Are you sure you didn’t get hazed?” I looked him straight in the eyes and answered again, “No sir, not once.” He was convinced after that and the last thing he said to me was, “Well… I guess you picked an outstanding Fraternity to join.” I truly believe that Phi Delta Theta is that outstanding fraternity and it is experiences such as this that reminds me of it every day.
LCpl. Jordan Campbell
#328, California Xi
Chico State University