Aug 302009
Authors: Andy Kruse

It’s about rush time again in the Greek world. Fraternities are out throwing barbeques. Sororities gather in front of their houses and practice cheers. These are the fun time days of social events geared towards promoting new members.

But once the days of rush are over and pledging begins, it’s not all fun and games anymore, especially behind closed doors. As seen with the Omicron Omicron chapter of the Zeta Phi Beta sorority that was recently booted from campus for hazing activities such as sleep deprivation, physically straining activities and the forced eating of cat food.

Well, I say to those who complain about hazing, if you can’t handle the heat, get out of the kitchen.

Pledging to a fraternity or sorority is not supposed to be an easy thing. It’s a challenge, and that’s one reason you do it. You form a bond with your brothers or sisters because of what you go through to gain your membership.

It sounds twisted, but that’s only if you look at it that way.

So what if you had to eat some cat food? That’s hilarious. I ate cat food a couple times as a kid with my sister for fun.

So you had to recite the history of the house while in a one armed push-up position. That’s a great workout. Would you sign up for the army and file a complaint because you had to do sit-ups while your commander yelled in your face?

If they try to make you do something that will physically harm you or will permanently scar your pride, be a man or woman. Get up and walk out.

Now there may be some Greek organizations that take things too far, but as an ex frat boy, I understand the mentality and think that as a general rule, these organizations get an unfair bad rap from many.

Yeah, I had to put on a suit, stand up in front of a room full of screaming brothers and recite each and every member’s personal attributes and interests. But what great public speaking practice that was. I’ll never have a more difficult audience.

Yeah, I got boxing gloves taped on my hands, was given a bunch of change, and told to go down the street and buy drinks for the brothers. But that was really funny and actually a good time.

And yeah, I went through a hellish week with little sleep doing all kinds of teamwork challenges. But it improved my work ethic and ability to handle difficult tasks in adverse conditions while working in a group. It was good for me.

One time a brother told me to eat a gold fish. I simply said no.

So don’t complain and claim “torture” like one pledge did from Zeta Phi Beta. If you want to know about torture, ask John McCain. Obama wouldn’t even say this was torture, and Dick Cheney definitely would not.

Despite the challenges, my fraternal experience ended up being great. I learned about making a large organization run and had a lot of fun doing it. So if you can’t do it for positive reasons or can’t handle the challenge, then just get out.

Go Greek and have fun with it or go do your own thing.

Andy Kruse is an anthropology graduate student. His column appears occasionally in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to

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