Philander Smith College President Dr. Walter Kimbrough led a discussion last Wednesday on the history of fraternalism in the United States, at a Black History Month event held on the campus of Lehigh University. A significant portion of his talk was dedicated to the culture of hazing in campus organizational initiations, and its adverse effects on student relations with college administration.
Hazing was a practice that began as a way to torture freshmen in college and was then adopted by fraternal organizations, Kimbrough said.
He later shocked the audience with graphic images of hazing-related injuries and several cases of hazing-related deaths.
Kimbrough discussed many of the detrimental effects hazing has on fraternalism in America and the relationship Greek organizations have with their school boards and administration.
“What are we going to do to foster a good relationship? How do we lessen the tension?” Kimbrough asked.
This is a discussion that, in earnest, needs to be held across the country on college and university campuses. The culture of hazing is not just one that creates friction between students and administration, but amongst the entire student body. Aside from the elitist and separatist themes that emerge from a pledging process involving hazing, the incidents of violence, injury, and some times death have significantly impacted student relations and cooperation on many black college campuses.