I want to talk to you about a serious matter. Last night I watched an episode of Deadly Devotion on Investigation Discovery. This episode was specifically about the pledge process of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated at Eastern Carolina University.
To be clear, I am not saying anything here that was not aired on national TV AND I do not speak for anyone but MYSELF.
In this episode called “Pledge for life”, 2 of 4 pledges died during “hell week” after being awake for approximately 60 hours.
One of the surviving pledges, a “designated driver” so to speak, pled guilty to misdemeanor manslaughter and received several hours of community service. None of the pledges or sorority members have been found guilty of any criminal charges however the story itself is disturbing and speaks to the stigma that organizations of the Divine Nine constantly face.
This story, others like it, and the stigma that follows us is NOTHING like my experience (or the experience of any member of a greek letter organization that I know personally) and yet there are those who continue to perpetuate it in one way or another.
I want to set the record straight that we are organizations of sister/brotherhood and service, academia and excellence. And when I see women and men behaving in such a way to gain what they believe to be respect or loyalty to the organization, it hurts us all.
I do not believe that any Divine Nine organization accepts or condones hazing. I do believe that there are those who want to be a part of something so badly that they question nothing and that those who are so power hungry that they tell nothing and protect no one. It is an unfortunate reality of life, happening in college, the corporate world, social circles and beyond.
But silence “by the code” or to die “by the code” is not what greek letter organizations are or have ever been about.
After watching the “Pledge for Life” episode of Deadly Devotion, I can only offer up this simple concept….
Know the history. Know your rights. Know the law.