In March of 2010 I became a member of the Omicron Gamma (OG) chapter of Phi Mu Alpha at Florida A&M University. Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia is the oldest and largest national fraternal society in music. The object of the fraternity, founded in 1898, is to develop the mutual welfare and brotherhood of musical students, to advance music in America, and a loyalty to the Alma Mater. What I gained the most from my initiation process was striving to be a man of the highest type. To be and not seem; to do and not simply to talk; to have the right ideal, the true motive and patiently to transform conduct in accordance with it.
Greek life has duly faced increasing scrutiny. Many recent headlines involving fraternities have been related to hazing and other problematic behaviors. However, historically fraternities and sororities have played an influential role in society. These groups continue to provide positive experiences for many individuals and throughout various communities. Although the dangerous and unacceptable practice of hazing is commonly associated with fraternities, many of the positives associated with the fraternal experience, such as strong relationships, service, and leadership experiences aren’t as visible.
As we work to prevent and eradicate hazing in all forms, lets continue to promote healthy and safe participation in groups and organizations. Increasing and reinforcing the positive aspects of groups is a proactive approach to eliminate hazing.