Home Campus The Counter Opinion: Reflections on decisions made after hazing allegations

The Counter Opinion: Reflections on decisions made after hazing allegations

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Athens residents may have noticed that the Ohio University Homecoming Parade on Saturday morning was shorter than usual in the midst of more than a dozen student group suspensions because of hazing allegations. 

Although the Marching 110 is included in the suspension, they were still allowed to participate in the parade and play at the game because the 110 counts for academic credit.

We asked our opinion writers whether they think this was fair and their thoughts on how the university is handling the situation. Contributing are Charlotte Caldwell, a sophomore journalism major and Emma Stefanick, a freshman journalism major.  

Should the Marching 110 have been allowed to participate in homecoming activities?

Emma: Anyone who’s in any sort of a leadership position needs to be treating everything they do with the same set of standards, no matter what or who is in violation. Since all 15 of the fraternities on campus were prevented from participating in the Homecoming activities; it only makes sense to do the same for the Marching 110, since it was also suspended. 

The decision to allow the 110 to participate, not only during Homecoming Weekend, but also in all upcoming football games, is incredibly biased. It conveys that the university cares more about the reputation of the Marching 110 and American football culture than it does about treating every student with fairness and ensuring their ultimate safety. The university should have provided an academic alternative for Marching 110 students in order to ensure their class credits, while still maintaining a sense of impartiality between groups. 

Charlotte: It is unfair that the Marching 110 was allowed to participate in Homecoming activities and no other organization that was suspended, yet the parade may not have been the same without them. A big highlight of Homecoming festivities is the opportunity to see the 110 and the alumni perform together and relive their time on campus by being a part of the parade and the halftime show. If the 110 was prohibited from participating in the game and the parade, there would be little reason for the alumni to return. 

The main takeaway that people should get from Homecoming is school spirit and pride in their school. This cannot happen if every organization on campus is in fear of receiving a cease-and-desist order. The Homecoming Parade should have been the one exception that suspended organizations could participate in so students and alumni alike could get away from the suspension frenzy for a weekend.

 

Do you think the allegations change the respect the public has toward the Marching 110?

Emma: With the circulation of so many hazing allegations and suspensions that have occurred on campus as a result of these, it’s become hard for people to recognize that this is a serious issue being investigated within the university. 

Instead of students recognizing hazing as a serious issue on campus, the allegations have irritated students because every day another organization is getting suspended due to an overreaction to solvable issues. Quite frankly, it’s just a bad look for Ohio U. 

That being said, I believe that the Marching 110’s reputation with the public will remain unchanged simply because of the currently released information from the university on the fraternity suspension investigation, showing no signs of criminal activity and the fact that the public considers the Marching 110 as part of the identity of Ohio U.

Charlotte: The allegations will not change the respect the Marching 110 as earned over the years. The 110 has worked hard to earn the respect of the community and put on performances that keep the community entertained, and it seemed that many were shocked when they found out that the 110 was accused of hazing. If nothing comes out of the allegations and the cease-and-desist is removed, then the 110’s reputation will be preserved. The same may not be able to be said for the university and the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life.

Do you agree with how the university is handling the hazing situation?

Emma: Again, this comes down to the idea of what is fair to Ohio U students. After the fraternities were suspended, a spokesperson from Ohio U made the statement that none of the fraternities have “risen to the level of actionable criminal activity” and “at this time, we do not have reason to believe there is a systemic culture issue” within the sororities and professional fraternities. 

Based on these statements, it is easy to believe that the university is acting very harshly toward their students as they continue to suspend student organizations for minor hazing allegations that, upon investigation, yield primarily harmless results.

It’s not that the school shouldn’t be investigating allegations, but maybe instead of hastily issuing suspensions for everyone associated with the program, they could be more selective in those they choose to investigate and only dissolve the programs that reflect a legitimate or criminal concern. 

Charlotte: It is good on the university that they are releasing the hazing allegations, especially because they have not released them in the past. Since the allegations have received a lot of attention from the student body and the alumni community, the results should be made public so false rumors don’t spread. However, the new social rule that all events with alcohol be registered with the Office of Sorority and Fraternity Life does not seem like a legitimate rule that will be followed by most sororities and fraternities. Instead, many sororities and fraternities will call official events that fall outside of the limit of events that they can have with alcohol as a “social gathering between friends.” The new rules, along with the suspensions of other organizations like the men’s rugby team and the Marching 110, seem a little extreme.

 

Please note these views and opinions do not reflect those of The New Political.

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