Hazing is the ritualistic harassment, abuse, or persecution of prospective “new members” or “pledges” of a group as a means of initiation. In such practices, pledges are required to complete often (physically and/or psychologically) meaningless, difficult, or humiliating tasks. The activities which evolved into modern hazing originated as legitimate team-building techniques; some are still used today in the US military. In their essence, they are meant to make the individual fail as an individual, but succeed as part of a team. Thus the individual learns to become a valuable asset to the team and be loyal to its success. This philosophy of team development continued to be used in fraternal organizations as each subsequent war refreshed the pool of ex-military students.
Hazing became widespread after World War I. Soldiers returning from the war re-entered colleges, and brought with them the discipline and techniques learned in boot camp. From the 1960s through the 1980s, however, most organizations (especially those governed by alumni at the National level such as Lambda Theta Phi) implemented clear no-hazing policies. The North-American Interfraternity Conference, of which Lambda Theta Phi is a member, also requires anti-hazing education for members, as do most universities.
In most jurisdictions hazing is considered both a violation of campus rules and a crime. The laws concerning hazing are sometimes unclear and may include innocuous rituals that are considered perfectly fine if conducted by a school (such as wearing uniforms in some jurisdictions). Although the definitions, in terms of specifics, may vary from university to university, Lambda Theta Phi is committed to complying with the law and protecting the safety and dignity of its members and those seeking membership into the organization.
BE IT RESOLVED THAT Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity, Inc. fully endorses the “Resolution Against Hazing” as developed by the National Interfraternity Conference, Inc
FURTHER, that all member chapter endorse this resolution, found below, with full accountability for its provisions, and that of all current pledging guidelines:
“BE IT RESOLVED THAT the National Interfraternity Conference hereby unequivocally repeats its historic repudiation of any pre-initiation or initiation practices antithetical to the laws and underlying principles for which each member fraternity stands;
FURTHER, that this body expects each fraternity to take appropriate action to implement the intent of this resolution;
FURTHER, that the Conference not only records its continuing disapproval of hazing in the strongest possible terms, but declares its intention to monitor closely the incidents of this activity through the establishment of a special ad hoc committee for such purpose, and
FURTHER, that all member fraternities endorse this resolution.”
Any brother who engages in hazing a prospective brother does not represent Lambda Theta Phi nor its ideals. Brothers involved in hazing will be subject to disciplinary action by the Fraternity. Furthermore, any brother who engages in hazing is in violation of the law and may be criminally prosecuted and/or sued in a civil court of law for monetary damages.