MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - For the life of me I will never understand the age old tradition of hazing on college campuses. The most recent in a long list of hazing incidents happened at the University of Alabama Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. The University is no more or less to blame than most any other school as hazing happens everywhere and not just at fraternities. Incidents involving college bands have also been in the news but fraternities have always been the greatest offenders.
This latest incident has resulted in the arrests of five upper classmen on misdemeanor hazing charges for making pledges stand in buckets of ice water and salt. The act caused second and third degree burns. Almost immediately Phi Gamma Delta as well as the University both put our statements condemning the act and reiterating their policy of not tolerating hazing.
Is the misdemeanor punishment enough? Is expelling them from school enough? I don't know these kids but I can guess that they will end up at another university next semester and that will be their inconvenience. In the end the problem is simply a lack of respect for others and the strange need to impress your will on those that are defenseless.
Consider this, instead of a misdemeanor fine and some minor probation. Keep them in school make them work and I mean really work off their punishment by serving others while continuing their education. Require the entire fraternity to perform real community service, not the kind they want but the kind that needs to get done. Maybe that service will help the offenders to learn to respect others while maybe scaring the next possible offenders into making better choices.