National Hazing Prevention Week 2022: Day 2 - Sacred Purpose®
Our Sacred Purpose is integral to who we are as a Fraternity, and a portion of our health and safety initiative includes hazing prevention. On Day 2 of National Hazing Prevention Week 2022, we take a look back at Theta Chi Fraternity's anti-hazing roots, which stretches back more than 150 years - even prior to the founding of Theta Chi Society on April 10, 1856.
According to The History of Theta Chi Fraternity published in 1927 and written by Executive Secretary Robert H. Hoge, Cadet Arthur Chase (Alpha/Norwich 1856) took a stand against hazing. Hoge writes:
"At Norwich, Cadet Chase was a friend of a young cadet named Dewey, a member of a lower class. He roomed with him for a time, warding off the hazers who desired to have fun at the lad's expense. [Cadet Dewey] years afterward became an Admiral, and is known as the Hero of Manila Bay. Cadet Chase frequently mentioned him in his home letters..."
Though we do not know the circumstances, we do know that Arthur Chase, future Co-Founder of Theta Chi Fraternity, took a stand against hazing.
Another story of a Theta Chi member taking a stand against hazing comes from September 1881 - when Norwich University had barely over a dozen students enrolled, Theta Chi was reduced to one member, James Michael Holland (Alpha/Norwich 1883). Two of the newest cadets entering Norwich were Phil S. Randall (1885) and Henry B. Hersey (1885?). Randall recounted how, on their very first day at Norwich, Hersey arrived with long sideburns, which, unbeknownst to Hersey, were against cadet rules. A member of Theta Chi's rival fraternity, Alpha Sigma Pi, took it upon himself to try and "correct" Hersey and pulled Hersey's sideburns. Hersey won the ensuing fight...
When Phil S. Randall had the idea to ask Holland about joining Theta Chi, it was very easy to recruit and convince Hersey - he wanted nothing to do with the Alpha Sigma Pi Fraternity after the way one of their members had treated him. Hersey took a stand against hazing and worked with Randall and Holland to save Theta Chi for future generations.
Live our Sacred Purpose
If pledging a fraternity is viewed as a rite of passage, what is the desired outcome? Those who believe the point of hazing is to 'break a person down' in order to 'build them back up' never quite grasp the actual consequences and damage of that 'building up' process. They may say that that those joining need to prove themselves. How can one prove that they are "Resolute Men"? Think of it this way:
• Can you prove your manhood by wearing a pledge pin 24/7 or by saving the lives of strangers across the country and globe?
• Can you prove your manhood propped on your elbows and toes for hours or by getting up and putting those hands and feet to work?
• Can you prove your appreciation for Greek Life by being able to recite the Greek alphabet with an over-turned match or by being awarded your alma mater's alumni association's highest honor?
• Can you prove your worthiness for your organizations by wearing ridiculous costumes and uniforms or by symbolically walking across your campus promoting suicide prevention awareness?
• Can one prove their manhood through forced community service or pledge projects or by seeing a need, thinking of an idea, and acting for a cause that truly matters?
• Can you really measure the manhood of someone by forcibly putting them into difficult situations or, instead, by seeing how they truly react and respond when things are truly at their worst?
We hope that you take the time to click the links above to see true definitions of "Resolute Men" - true Theta Chi men. We must strive to recruit and initiate this type of man - one that does the right thing because it is the right thing to do - not because he was forced to - not because he learned it during pledging - he does the right thing because it is inherently in his character. And if we do recruit these men - we will ultimately eliminate hazing because these men will inherently strive to do the right thing. What are true rites of passage in Theta Chi? Rote memorization and sophomoric antics or living out our Sacred Purpose - our commitment to one another?
Though 2022's National Hazing Prevention Week is September 19-23, Theta Chi Fraternity's commitment against hazing remains in place each and every day. If you are being hazed or are aware of others being hazed, call our anti-hazing hotline at 1-855-824-4840. You may also report anonymously to the Interfraternal Anti-Hazing Hotline at 1-888-NOT-HAZE.