What about pledging or hazing?

Hazing is defined as any action taken which produces bodily harm or danger, mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, fright, or ridicule. All national fraternal organizations and institutions of higher education strictly forbid hazing. Ball State University and the Greek councils rigorously enforce hazing policies and organizations that violate them are subject to immediate suspension of campus and Greek council recognition and privileges.

All new fraternity and sorority members experience a period of orientation. During this time, your son or daughter and other new members will participate in weekly meetings to learn about Ball State, and the fraternity or sorority history, leadership retreats, community service projects and projects designed to build friendships among new members and initiated members.

It is understandable that you might be concerned if you hear that some of the things that go on during initiation are to be kept secret. Initiation into a fraternity or sorority is an exciting, yet serious, ceremony that conveys the purposes and special values of the respective fraternity or sorority. These ceremonies often are referred to as rituals. Greek chapters pride themselves on the rituals that their chapters were founded upon. These rituals are full of the traditions and values that make the chapters unique. However, these rituals should not be confused with hazing, and other inappropriate activities. The rituals of Greek organizations have nothing to do with hazing; they are not scary, shameful, or degrading. Although it is the most important part of membership, ritual is nothing more than symbols, heraldry, and common ideals.

Ball State University and the Greek Councils also take a zero tolerance stance on hazing and enforce policies rigorously. Fraternity and sorority initiation ceremonies are, in most cases, single day events. If your son or daughter has not been permitted to talk to friends or family for extended periods of time, hazing may be an issue. If you believe your child is being hazed or if you suspect hazing is happening in a Greek fraternity or sorority at Ball State, please contact the Office of Student Life immediately at 765-285-2621. Or call toll-free 888-NOT-HAZE, or 888-668-4293, an antihazing hotline established by fraternities or sororities that anyone can use to report incidents of hazing anonymously.