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.