Dying to Belong: What Every Student Should Know Before Joining an Organization

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High school and college students often look for ways to join in and be accepted as part of the mainstream crowd in their school. Many times, their process of assimilation includes joining clubs, fraternities, and other organizations where they can meet new people, have fun, and volunteer in the community.

However, as well intentioned as these organizations may be, they can still present a danger to unsuspecting students who are not aware of the dangers of hazing. Before they join in an organization, students and their parents should do their research, and students should only join organizations that have good reputations for being safe, and know what to do if they are exposed to or become the victim of hazing.

Greek Organizations

Most people assume that hazing incidences are isolated to Greek fraternities and sororities who use this form of initiation to terrorize and subdue new recruits. It is true that many of the mainstream news stories regarding hazing are tied to these organizations.

As frequent as it may seem, however, most Greek organizations are on record as condemning hazing and urging charters to avoid breaking established hazing laws in their communities. Greek organizations that violate these laws could have their charters revoked.

Students who want to join fraternities and sororities are urged to consider those who have alumni sponsorship and are adequately monitored by the university. Rogue fraternities and sororities, particularly those without official chapters or houses, may be less reliable.

Marching Bands

Many people do not associate hazing with marching band membership. However, high school and collegiate marching is a competitive activity where only the best of the best are seen to be worthy enough for joining in these bands.

Students who plan to join in a marching band at school are urged to know whom the sponsors for their band are and only participate in rehearsals and performances when these sponsors are on hand to supervise. Joining in after-hours marching band gatherings that are not sanctioned by the school could allow students to put themselves at risk of being hazed.

Drunk Driving a Common Issue

Since alcohol often plays a huge part in hazing, driving under the influence (DUI) is a common problem among participants. Oftentimes, hazing initiations take place in remote, off campus areas, causing participants to drive to and from the site. With the prevalence of alcohol-induced tasks, students are put in the awkward position of driving back while under the influence of alcohol.

The state of Florida has several colleges with at least one making headlines concerning a hazing death in recent years. In college cities like Tampa DUI Attorney firms may find themselves very busy as school kicks into full gear.

Athletics and Sports

It used to be that older high school and collegiate athletes were allowed to haze younger members of the team by making them engage in humiliating activities. New athletes were forced to scrub the toilets with their toothbrushes, run out on the court during practice in their underwear, or go through any other number of hazing activities before they were viewed as full-fledged members of the team.

However, athletic hazing today is not tolerated by any high school or collegiate governing board. Students who plan to join in high school or college athletics should only join teams that are overseen by the state’s high school athletic association or the collegiate division to which their school belongs.

As careful as students are in choosing their school-related activities, they may still become the victim of hazing. If they suspect that they have been or are in danger of being hazed, or if they have sustained an illness or injury because of hazing, it is important that they know what to do to protect themselves.

Retain an Attorney

Someone who has been the victim of hazing can get justice for his or her injuries or illness by hiring a good attorney. The attorney can pursue the best course of action against the school, the organization, and the perpetrators themselves.

Going up against a school or chartered organization, let alone the perpetrators, can be difficult. Victims will have better success when they rely on an attorney to help them.

Knowing the dangers of hazing and the possibility that this activity still goes on in high school and college can help students protect themselves. They can choose the best activities while also looking out for their safety. They can also take care of themselves by hiring an attorney if they have been caught drinking and driving while being hazed.

Jamica Bell is a freelance writer and mother to 2 college students. As a concerned parent she contributes this article to alert parents and students about all the dangers associated with hazing. Tampa DUI Attorney, Katz & Phillips, P.A, has spent years litigating on behalf of individuals who have been charged with DUIs.

 


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