"Thank you, Sir! May I have another?" This line, immortalized in 1978's quintessential fraternity/hazing movie Animal House, essentially summarizes how young male college students - pledges - respond to extreme obstacles in order to join a fraternity. Men desperate for the status of an elite brotherhood go to such great lengths to show loyalty that many have ended up sick, injured, terribly hungover, or even worse: dead.
Why do fraternities haze? What is fraternity hazing?
At its best, fraternity hazing builds camaraderie, creating a common experience shared by a select group of young men. It passes along tradition and get a few chuckles, too. It's a way of acknowledging hierarchy, blending in, and proving one's worth to a brotherhood. At its worst, fraternity hazing usually involves alcohol, physical or sexual violence, and bad decisions. Sometimes, hazing stories even end with a completely unnecessary and sobering death. To this end, many college campuses and even states have officially banned hazing, but secret societies and pure testosterone will often make sure some of the fraternal traditions are still carried out on the sly.