Let the rusher beware

LeeAnne Bates, Sports Editor

He tumbles down a flight of stairs and lays unconscious in a bundled heap at the bottom of the stairs. His fraternity brothers pump more alcohol into his system as he fades in and out of reality.

Nearly 12 hours after his fall, Penn State student Timothy Piazza dies.

“Although this terrible tragedy did occur, and unfortunately, probably won’t be the last time something like this happens, the reality is, it’s fairly rare, especially for sororities, for something so extreme and sad to occur,” Cathedral Catholic High School teacher Mrs. Christi Harrington, a University of San Diego alumna and Alpha Delta Pi member, said.

But students at Penn State are not alone.

The University of Maryland reported that there has been at least one hazing-related death on a college campus each year since 1970. While it is rare, Piazza was one of them.

With many CCHS seniors spreading their wings and moving onto different colleges, many kids have decided to join a sorority or fraternity at college.

One of the big problems with joining greek life lies in the horrors of hazing. According to the University of Maryland, more than half of college students are involved in some kind of hazing.

“Hazing is illegal and not really practiced anymore,” CCHS student and sorority hopeful Kayleen Afsahi ‘17 said.

While it is illegal in at least 44 states, the law does not always prevent some sororities and fraternities from practicing unsafe hazing rituals.

On one hand, greek life comes with many fun opportunities, including networking, social and identity skill development, and diversity training, according to the article “The Best Schools.”  

“I have made some lifelong friendships with wonderful women that I otherwise probably would have never met,” Mrs. Harrington said.  “I have also discovered a passion for volunteering. I volunteer my time in different capacities with five different organizations/causes. I have also had the opportunity to network with some very talented women.”

However, there are a lot of cons, including hazing, cost, and alcohol and drug abuse. In fact, According to the University of Maryland, 82 percent of deaths from hazing involve alcohol, according to the University of Maryland.

Just as Piazza’s death had.

In total, there are so many great opportunities associated with joining greek life as long as one is aware of potential pratfalls. While I am personally all for greek life, I cannot help but remember Piazza’s story so as not to fall subject to the same such injustices.

A lesson my aspiring Greek cronies would do well to remember, too.