By Lawrence Rogers
It’s a familiar sight, freshmen toddling around campus with pub to-go boxes stacked eye-level in the weeks and months following Shake Day. Watch that pledge try to open the frat house door with six styrofoam containers full of Grangers in his arms! As long as this tradition has been perpetuated, so, too, has the question Are pub runs a form of hazing?
Associate Dean of Students Hagi Bradley takes a strong anti-pub-runs stance, assuring The Purple that he and his office “have worked over the years with Jim in the pub to try to stop pub runs. Any time we are specifically told about them, we have made attempts to end them.” He adds, “Although people like to only look at hazing through the Greek lens, it is something that must constantly be battled on campuses throughout the country in numerous areas. Research on hazing shows that it occurs in sports teams, clubs, Greek life, cheerleading, honor societies and more. Keeping our students safe is our highest priority. In Greek Life, we are constantly working to educate on hazing and do sessions on it throughout the year with different students.”
PKE pledge India Rhinehardt (C’20) took no particularly strong stance stance on pub runs, remarking only, “They’re kind of annoying. I don’t wanna use my own pub bucks to buy someone else food.” Therein lies the issue for an anonymous source at the Tiger Bay Pub, who maintained, “Yes, I do [think pub runs qualify as hazing], and the reason I think so is that the pledge has to use his own pub bucks.”
For Theta Pi pledge Morgan Jennings (C’20), “It’s only hazing if they don’t pay you back.” But for our anonymous pub worker, the issue isn’t purely monetary: “Pledge pub runs are always unfair, because—you’ve been here on a crowded Thursday or Friday night—when the line’s all the way back [into the Student Post Office] and you’ve got one ticket with five orders of chicken wings, it slows everything down. You make everyone else wait.”
Not everyone, however, is ready to oppose the tradition, including those whom it most directly affects. A pledge of a campus fraternity who wished to remain anonymous stated, “I don’t think of them as hazing; they’re nothing that you’re forced into. Anytime I have another obligation, no one is saying that a pub run takes priority. pub runs are just a way of showing that you want to be there and that you are willing to help brothers when you can.” Another anonymous pledge of the same fraternity claimed that, while pub runs probably qualify as hazing, he considered them a socially acceptable form thereof, adding, “It’s not that bad, honestly.” A more revealing question, then, might be Whether or not they qualify as hazing, are pub runs socially acceptable, and under what circumstances?