By: Amanda Cross
As members of Sigma Sigma Sigma we agree to live by our values of wisdom, power, faith, hope, and love. Each year as National Hazing Prevention Week rolls around and I take part in the activities associated with that. I like to look back at our values that we uphold in this organization and I am here today to tell you why hazing doesn’t match up with the values that this organization upholds.
When I think of wisdom I think of the wisdom that going through the new member education process gave me about myself and my organization. I was able to fully absorb all of the wisdom from the people who were older than me because of the way that my new member program was run. I didn’t have to fear for anything and I felt respected and loved all throughout my new member process. What is the basis of your new member program? Is it to give your new members wisdom about themselves and their sorority? Be careful of putting things in the program that don’t truly give someone an educational new member experience. Not everything in the program is worth keeping.
When I think of power I think of our vision statement which is “Sigma Sigma Sigma will provide exceptional experiences that will empower women to change the world.” I felt a sense of empowerment going through my new member experience with Sigma Sigma Sigma, and I still feel that to this day. Sigma has given me so many amazing experiences in my local chapter, in my state, and nationally. I cannot get over how amazing Sigma has been to me. Hazing makes people feel powerless. It makes people feel scared and like they don’t have control over their own fate. Tri Sigma is all about power with NOT power over and any activities that are contradictory to that don’t mesh with our values.
When I think of faith I think about the faith that I put in the older sisters of my chapter to show me the way and show me how a true and lawful Sigma Sigma Sigma should behave.When you are an older member of your organization you pave the way for your younger sisters and you are the people that they look up to. Hazing will continue until someone says that this is not the way our organization should be run and that it needs to change. In order to have those conversations certain important people in your organization need to be talked to. Check out this blog I did last year for details on having those conversations.
When I think of hope in this organization I immediately shift my attention to the hope that having a certain amount of empowerment gives me for the future. It’s hard to feel hopeful about the future and how amazing your life in a sorority will be if you don’t feel powerful in your organization. Being in a sorority should empower you and give you hope and being hazed will not give you any of those feelings. Be careful that your new member program is instilling hope into the hearts of your new members and not hopelessness.
The feelings you get from hazing are the exact opposite of feelings of love. Hazing stirs up feelings of hate and animosity and everything wrong in a Greek organization. Teaching new members to love themselves and love their sisters old and young should be at the forefront of your mind when you are going through you are teaching anything to new members. Love is so important in this organization. You have to have love for your sisters, because in my opinion everything else builds on top of that love–all the faith in your sisters, all the hope for your future, all the knowledge and empowerment; start with love.
As an organization we value five things: wisdom, power, faith, hope, and love. By hazing new members you are going against the very things that we value as an organization and that’s not fair to the new members of your organization. By hazing your new members you are going against the very core of this organization and by default teaching your new members the wrong values of this organization. No matter what happened in the past, think about how you can create a better new member experience for anyone walking through your doors right now.