Greek life members wrap up Hazing Prevention week with award winning speaker

Miranda Marinello

The academic year has just begun, yet already hazing has allegedly lead to two deaths nationwide — a figure given by Michelle Guobadia, the Director for Fraternity and Sorority Life at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and outspoken advocate for Greek life, while addressing members of Kent State’s fraternity and sorority life Friday.

In her presentation, “Hazing Makes You a Better Person & Other Stupid Myths,” Guobadia described her pledging process 17 years ago.

Guobadia said after hazing took place during her pledging process, her sorority had a reputation that left them with no one wanting to join.

She revealed that, according to a recent study, varsity athletics leads the way in hazing, followed by Greek life. She said this is unacceptable because fraternities and sororities are more educated on the risks and rules.

“If anyone should be leading the charge to actually stop hazing it’s us,” Guobadia said. “We should know better.”

Guobadia spent time debunking 10 of the most common myths she hears as a member of the Association of Fraternity and Sorority Advisors.

The first misconception is that hazing builds loyalty. Guobadia debunked this by explaining that people are loyal to things that are positive influences on their lives, and used her loyalty to her favorite brand of peanut butter as an example.

Another issue Guobadia tackled was the myth that hazing eliminates “bad apples.” Guobadia related this back to her pledging experience in which, after five days, two women pledging her sorority dropped. Guobadia said these women are now a neuroscientist and a lawyer and are “good apples” her chapter missed out on because of hazing. She continued through the list and explained why each reason to haze actually harms the organization.

“This is what makes us legit. In the dark of that room we promise to be better humans and that needs to manifest in our actions in the light of day,” Guobadia said, explaining why initiation rituals should be a safe environment.

“It’s like reading a love letter from the founders of your organization,” Guobadia said. “They’re telling you this is how you should live your life and be an amazing person.”

Miranda Marinello is the fraternity and sorority life reporter. Contact her at [email protected].