Because it’s the right thing to do. How many times have we heard that line before? That famous phrase did not fully resonate with me until about two years ago when I was faced with the toughest choice I had been given thus far.
I relied on this phrase when, as president of my chapter, the chapter was faced with an allegation of hazing. I remember reading a complaint that detailed an event that had taken place and thinking “what did I allow to happen?” There were multiple steps that needed to take place and the biggest step was deciding to either admit fault on behalf of my chapter or deny the allegation and endure an investigation to prove innocence. I knew the reality; those things happened and it was going to be really embarrassing to admit it.
The bottom line was that my chapter committed those actions and I knew about most of what had happened. Many of my sisters at the time did not feel it was wrong, but I knew that the accusation was exactly right. It was then that I was reminded that I had to take responsibility for our actions because it was the right thing to do. And, yes, telling a group of 100 sisters that I took responsibility for something we had done was one of the most difficult things I have done. But those sisters who now lead the chapter after I graduated are able to be proud of the fact that they are leaders of a chapter that does not haze and has overcome hard times to get rid of it.
You don’t have to be the president to make the decision to take that responsibility for your chapter either; anyone can overcome hazing in their own chapter. Hazing is wrong and it takes courage to stop hazing in your chapter. Take comfort in the fact that doing the right thing is enough justification. As Delta Gammas, it is our obligation to do the right thing and stand up for our sisters.
About Courtney: Courtney graduated in May, 2012. She is a Teach For America corps member in Delaware, where she teaches 5th grade math. She also serves as a Delta Gamma collegiate chapter adviser.