I certainly have seen the worst of what fraternity life can be. But despite that experience, I believe in the positive potential of fraternities and sororities, and I have worked for 20 years to protect them from the dangerous, dysfunctional, and destructive forces of hazing.
After the announcement of the ban this week, the bold move by the NIC was (deservedly) praised for being a much needed, albeit long overdue, step in the fight against hazing and other alcohol-related issues that have plagued fraternities throughout their history. In the wake of what may have been fraternities' deadliest year on record, the collective call for a significant changes was deafening.
But make no mistake: this is only a step toward a solution, not the be-all, end-all solution.
To be sure, regardless of whether or not the behavior was hazing or not, it was clearly wrong. It was homophobic, racist, and sexist, and it is being rightfully condemned by the school, the fraternity, the media, and the general public.
With that said, does it really matter if we call it hazing or not?
When we actively disengage our leadership and leave the future of our groups to little more than a roll of the dice, those "if's" become "intentional failures" (IFs) because the house always wins. If you play long enough, the house takes you down.