alabama fraternity

My article on hell week got this reaction from a brother from the University of Alabama and many emails that are pretty similar.

I completely disagree with this opinion.  I posted it because I believe it is important to see the other side of the argument.  I believe the paragraphs below only strengthens the argument against having a hell week.

The benefits of Hell Week:

I guess you would have to start with the summary of all the other hellacious weeks preceding the final Hell Week of pledgeship. The previous weeks are made up of all your time being stolen away by the people who gave their time so freely before you were a “pledge.” It is a real mind game. And you do all that to prove that you are worthy of being in their fraternity. So needless to say, you are questioning your commitment to this fraternity more and more as each day passes. At the end, you’re more ready than ever to get initiated and here comes Hell Week. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse and Hell Week comes out of no where to beat you down.

Hell Week is just that, a week of Hell. But the tough aspect is what makes it work. Hell Week’s purpose is to break the pledges like a drill sargent breaks a soldier. And like a soldier, there comes a time when you stop caring. You just, out of no where, realize that you will do whatever they tell you to do. From that point on there isn’t one thing that could make you question your commitment to your fraternity. When you are doing something that you usually wouldn’t want to do you have a calmness about it after you realize you don’t care. I can only compare it to when you are day dreaming and you do not even realize that someone is talking to you. Pledgeship teaches you lessons and instills values but without Hell Week to end it on you would never know the level of commitment you had to your fraternity. You would also not get to appreciate your initiation. Without knowing that you deserve to be in the Fraternity you cannot truly appreciate the initiation process and without Hell Week you wouldn’t have the indescribable feeling of freedom and accomplishment.

4 thoughts on “Fraternity Hell Week – A Reader’s Opinion

  1. I have to disagree with Hell Week and hazing being the definitive answer to building solidarity and dedication to the fraternity.  My pledge class went though a lot of stuff during our pledge period, all with the attention of proving our worth and building us into a single unit, all which led to Hell Week.  But after initiation, those two thing that Hell Week was suppose to solidify slowly faded away.  By the end of one year, most of my pledge class either did the bare minimun or nothing at all to improve the chapter.  In a class of 6 pledge brothers, I’m only close to 1 now.

    After seeing the Hell Week and hazing arguments from both sides, I’ve come to only one conclusion: If you need to haze a pledge in order to break them or get them in line, are they worth keeping in the first place?

  2. I tend to agree with the Guest poster. The calmness comes from finally solidifying in your head that this is what you want, and it doesn’t matter what anyone tries to do to you, because you’ve made up your mind.

    I don’t necessarily agree with physical hazing (including binge drinking), but certain rituals must be performed to put the pledge in the properly elevated mindstate in which they can not only believe in the decision they have made with their minds, but with their hearts. It is how one realizes he is a true brother, blood and spirit.

    • I also agree with the practice of a “Hell Week” all too often I see brothers in fraternities, including my own, say things as “Oh I should’ve joined this fraternity” or “Yeah I don’t really care about my fraternity”. What Hell Week actually does is solidify the commitment and brotherhood among a new pledge class. There does not have to be any physical or alcohol type hazing involved, the week just has to be challenging enough to get them to solidify their decision in joining your fraternity and strengthening their bonds with their pledge brothers like how a football team goes through two-a-days and develops a stronger bond with one another. I truly feel that a person cannot understand this relationship without having gone through the hardship that develops it. 

      • I would also like to point out that my fraternity does not practice a hell week but another chapter does and the proof can be seen by comparison. Their members are much more dedicated and passionate towards their fraternity and ours are more idle and wavering.

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