Isnare Free Articles
Authors Contents [Add OpenSearch]
Distribute your articles to more than 6,000+ sites and 40,000+ email group publisher subscribers for as low as $2 / article...
Index  Article Directory  Society
Embed this Article  
Pamela Sherrod

Pamela Sherrod x 1 articles

Liked the article? Consider buying me a beer!

Most Recent Videos Most Recent Videos

Tears rolled down my cheeks when I read about the death of Penn State student, Timothy Piazza. This happened every time there was news about a fraternity or sorority hazing incident that had ended in tragedy. I knew that many people wondered how these horrific ‘accidents’ happened, and why college students would put themselves at risk for physical injuries, emotional abuses, and very dangerous situations. I thought of the students who’d been hurt over the years and left college carrying emotional scars that they’d kept silent about. Then, I thought about my own.

My relatives always believed in getting a higher education and when they attended college, several of them chose to become members of Greek letter organizations. They were proud of their affiliations and encouraged me to pledge a sorority when I, too, attended college. This was because, in the African-American community, many of the most highly regarded professionals and community leaders belonged to Greek fraternities and sororities. From the earliest years of their existence, their accomplishments had always provided a great deal of pride and inspiration to the young and old, alike.

So, when I headed to Howard University in 1977, my mind was already made up. Like many women, my greatest dream was of my future wedding day, but my daydreams about Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority came very close behind it. I’d had several hip surgeries which had disrupted my schooling and social life and it left me with a strong need to feel accepted. I was sure that being a sorority girl, with all the popularity that provided, would compensate for all of my inadequacies. It would help repair my damaged sense of self-esteem.

Back then, I was very naïve about what I was getting into. As I prepared for my initiation, I had no idea that I’d one day record write a book about my stormy life experiences and that my hazing ordeal would be near the top of the list. I would never have believed that I’d break my vow of secrecy to share insights about pledging and warn youths about the dangers involved.

Unfortunately, I’d never received such a warning. When I attended the AKA Rush, no one prepared me for the violence that I’d encounter and the exhaustive all-night hazing sessions. Nor was I warned of the grueling hours I’d spend standing in the snow or the brutal emotional abuses I’d face. Like many other prospective members, I’d seen only a group of stunning women, their impressive sorority house, and the glow of their smiles as they spoke of their accomplishments. So, what was there to fear?

I never knew that pledging could lead to emotional scars that would remain for many years. I never thought that my school grades would drop, along with my attention to my work. I didn’t expect to deal with severe depression or the replaying of traumatizing encounters. However, I’d quickly learn that joining a sorority could be a very expensive undertaking and the dues you paid weren’t limited to the financial costs.

Even years after my initiation, I’d still hear the terrifying echo of a woman’s frantic screams during one of the most shocking experiences I’d ever witness. One night, a sorority member suffered a complete nervous breakdown right in the middle of a hazing stunt. During those frightful moments, the sadistic game that they’d begun suddenly turned into a crisis that they weren’t prepared to handle. If this scene wasn’t horrific enough, about a week later, another woman who was pledging with me ended up in the hospital.

To this day, I’m not sure how I managed to get through that grueling experience. It was already a harrowing season when one of the worst blizzards to hit the Washington D.C. area began. All the major businesses were shut down and our classes were canceled.

During that week, a few of my ‘line sisters’ and I went to McDonald's to get food for two sorority sisters, but then we discovered that one order of French fries was missing. Terrified, we quickly apologized and offered to return to McDonald's. As I started to put my coat on, I felt a sudden shock. Ice cold fluids ran down my face, neck, and back. I realized that one of the women had emptied her large Coca-Cola over my head. Paralyzed, I stood there as she screamed, stamped her feet and cursed at me. I was too stunned to even speak.

The reality was, I couldn’t do anything, anyway. We weren’t allowed to defend ourselves. The soror then grabbed me by the collar with her wrists and slammed me against a wall. Pinning me there, and screaming in my face, she looked angry enough to kill me.

During that same period, another sorority member who knew that I’d had hip surgery and battled with arthritis, demanded that I run up and down several flights of stairs of a dormitory. She jumped into an elevator and told me and a few of my line sisters to race with her. We had to run up to the third floor before her elevator reached it. When we accomplished this, she ordered us to run back to the first floor. She repeated her orders several times until I was so worn out that I was nearly out of breath. At that point, she rushed over to me, yelling and calling me a loser and demanded that I quit. That day, the word, ‘loser,’ took on a life of its own and would diminish my sense of confidence on many levels.

It pains me to know that, after all these years, the same type of hazing practices that made my life so miserable, are still used today. It shouldn’t be surprising, however, because hazing is very much like cancer. Unless it’s eliminated at the root, it simply continues to spread. It’s very difficult to supervise a fraternity or sorority’s initiation, especially an undergraduate chapter’s. In fact, there’s rarely an effective way to monitor hazing from the outside. It can only be stopped from within it, and enforced by the members. However, anyone who’s been involved in hazing knows that there’s a corruptive force that takes place. Although abused new members may have said, “I’d never do this to anyone,” they often inflict the same cruelty that they suffered on the next line of pledges. The rituals, unfortunately, continue to spread.

The anonymity that forms with the ‘group mentality’ plays a major role in this. Someone who’d never lash out at anyone else can suddenly become very aggressive when surrounded by fraternity brothers or sorority sisters. The lack of accountability, coupled with the use of alcohol and drugs, adds still another dimension to an already dangerous scenario. When people are abusing substances and have substantial power over others, things can rapidly spiral out of control. It can become an explosive situation.

Many ask why hazing is so pervasive and difficult to harness. I can offer my own observations. Even after the ugly incidents and the threat of a lawsuit led to my chapter’s suspension, within a few years, the hazing returned. It flourished because there’s a great deal of nostalgia and tradition that’s interwoven into the Greek experience. The intrigue that’s associated with the secrecy of an initiation draws students like a magnet.

People have an insatiable need to belong, especially young people who’re just starting out on your own. Membership in a popular fraternity or sorority carries enormous clout on campus, and it can also open doors for one’s career after graduation. People long for a strong sense of identity and many assume that they can satisfy this need by being part of a specific group. So, when one considers the powerful presence of Greek organizations, their impressive houses, and attractive images, they can appear as grand as the half-time show at homecoming. In fact, they are often featured at major homecoming events. It’s all very seductive and it entices students to join them.

It’s not until they’ve actually started the pledging process that they learn of the real nature of the group, and what they’ve actually signed up for. At this point, though, it’s hard to quit because there’s an ugly stigma attached to dropping out. Those who do are usually ostracized by the entire Greek community and treated like outcasts in their own college.

I should mention that not everyone has a terrible sorority or fraternity experience. To label all of them as dangerous is completely inaccurate. There are hundreds of outstanding organizations that make valuable contributions to their communities and beyond. Many chapters offer initiation programs that are deeply rewarding, educational and socially enriching.

In fact, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority is a highly respected organization and enjoys a long and wonderful history of notable accomplishments. I was just unfortunate to have pledged at the wrong time under the wrong women.

Over the years, I’d reflect on my motivations for joining a sorority. I knew that I was searching for acceptance, purpose and an affirmation of who I was. After experiencing many of life’s trials and struggles, I’d eventually embark on a spiritual journey that offered the answers I was seeking. Now, when I share the lessons that I learned, it’s with a desire to help others avoid the mistakes that I made and offer encouragement to those who’re healing from similar experiences.

Rate this article:
Pamela Sherrod is an author, life coach, and producer who’s established a ministry to offer art therapy to people struggling with depression, PTSD, and devastating losses. She’s produced inspirational documentaries about miracles and looks forward to producing films for youth. With the release of her new memoir, Pamela reveals the tragic events that plagued her life and triggered depression with hopes of offering encouragement to others who’re battling similar problems. Her coming of age story also serves as a frightening warning to the youth about the dangers that are often present, especially where you least expect them. The book is entitled, Rough Journey to God: Scars and Memories of Bullies, Spies and Celebrities. The e-book is now available at and the paperback version will be available by mid-June 2017. Proceeds are used to support the Academy of Arts and Healing. For more information about Pamela’s life coaching and ministry work, click here To order the e-book, Rough Journey to God: Scars and Memories of Bullies, Spies and Celebrities, click here
Important NoticeDISCLAIMER: All information, content, and data in this article are sole opinions and/or findings of the individual user or organization that registered and submitted this article at without any fee. The article is strictly for educational or entertainment purposes only and should not be used in any way, implemented or applied without consultation from a professional. We at do not, in anyway, contribute or include our own findings, facts and opinions in any articles presented in this site. Publishing this article does not constitute's support or sponsorship for this article. is an article publishing service. Please read our Terms of Service for more information.

Most Recent Articles

Start School in Time by Using Automatic School Bell

An Article by Vivency Global in Education

48 minutes ago

School is first place where children learn discipline, good manners and punctuality. The automatic school bell solutions are really important and makes away from manual errors. Humans may ring the bell at in appropriate time but the machine cannot. The most of the school are digitalized with interactive boards, automatic bells, CCTV and many...

Applying For No Credit Check Mortgage Loan? – Expert Tips to Follow

An Article by Roy Robbins in Finances

1 day ago

Interestingly, the option of no credit check mortgage loan has been made available by some lenders. So, one does not need to undergo tedious process of credit assessment. However getting quick approval for an affordable mortgage no credit check loan is not easy. Some stringent approval criteria may apply...

70-345 Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 Study Books

An Article by Chung Crissler in Internet

1 day ago

Examunion offers you a comprehensive look at the best prospects available in 70-345 exam questions throughout the Industry. Not only will you be given theoretical, but also given 70-345 Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 study books which will give you even more practice than before. Try our Designing and Deploying Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 70-345 exam test today and succeed in your Designing and Deploying Microsoft Exchange Server 2016 70-345 exam...

Microsoft MCSE 70-339 Practice Exam SharePoint Server 2016 70-339 Questions Material

An Article by Chung Crissler in Education

1 day ago

Maybe on other web sites or books, you can also see the related training materials. But as long as you compare Examunion product with theirs, you will find that our product has a broader coverage of the certification exam's outline. You can free download part of Microsoft MCSE 70-339 exam books from Examunion website as a try to detect the quality of our products...

Gain Weight and Build Muscle

An Article by Arati Shah in Wellness, Fitness and Diet

1 day ago

Several individuals do not succeed in their passion to maintain a healthy diet due to the lack of knowledge of eating healthy at work. When at work, many find it difficult to stay committed to a diet plan due to several unavoidable reasons such as colleagues might request to eat with them, availability of lots of delicious food at workplace, etc...

XenApp and XenDesktop 7.6 LTSR 1Y0-202 Questions

An Article by Kruis Barry in Education

1 day ago

1Y0-202 is a challenging exam, with our XenApp and XenDesktop 7. 6 LTSR 1Y0-202 questions; you can feel safe with our question and answers that will help you in obtaining your successful completion of your 1Y0-202 exam. All of our practice exams including the 1Y0-202 exam will prepare you for success...

VSphere 6.5 Foundations Exam 2V0-602 Dumps

An Article by Kruis Barry in Education

1 day ago

Passcert vSphere 6. 5 Foundations 2V0-602 dumps 2V0-602 help you to save a lot of time and effort. You 2V0-602 also use the extra time and effort to earn more money. Passcert provide you the product with high quality and reliability. You 2V0-602 free download online part of Passcert providing vSphere 6...

Citrix Certification 1Y0-202 Exam Answers Passtcert

An Article by Nigel Reyez in Computers and Technology

1 day ago

Passtcert is a website which can help you save time and energy to rapidly and efficiently master the Citrix certification 1Y0-202 exam related knowledge. If you are interested in Passtcert, you can first free download part of Passtcert Citrix Certification 1Y0-202 exam answers on the Internet as a try...

Benefits to Your Wedding Provided by Limo Service in Pittsburgh, PA

An Article by Iris K. Allen in Marriage

2 days ago

Using professional transportation on your wedding day may seem like a given and a basic booking to make, but considering the effect that it can have, you’d serve your wedding day well to be selective with your booking. Find a worthwhile company and secure every wedding transportation need with a suitable Pittsburgh Limousine...

Mark the Family Wedding With a Denver Bus Rental

An Article by Lucille W. Hill in Travel

2 days ago

The obligatory family wedding comes with challenges, but it also offers opportunities. A Coach Bus Denver will make it possible for your extended family to reconnect, save some cash, and all attend the family wedding as part of a group. Take Note of Transportation NecessitiesComprehensive research into all elements of transportation should come before you make reservation from any of the Charter Bus Companies Denver...

Killtest 2017 Microsoft MCSA 70-764 Test Questions Microsoft 70-764 Practice Test

An Article by Delia Green in Education

2 days ago

70-764 Administering a SQL Database Infrastructure is among the many most respected exams so you can get good work opportunities. We can complete devoid of much frantic use the particular help regarding Microsoft MCSA 70-764 Test Questions Microsoft 70-764 Practice Test that are exclusively made for people who will need advice...

2V0-602 VSphere 6.5 Foundations VMware VCP6.5-DCV 2V0-602 Exam Test Prep

An Article by Morris Porreca in Education

2 days ago

About VMware 2V0-602 exam, you can find these questions from different web sites or books, but the key is logical and connected. Our questions and answers will not only allow you effortlessly through the exam first time, but also can save your valuable time. Examgood can provide professional and high quality products...

Citrix CCA-V 1Y0-202 Training Material Pdf

An Article by Morris Porreca in Education

2 days ago

If you are also one of the members in the IT industry, quickly add the Examgood Citrix CCA-V 1Y0-202 preparation guide to your shoppingcart please. Do not hesitate, do not hovering. Examgood Citrix CCA-V 1Y0-202 preparation guide are the best companion with your success. Examgood Citrix CCA-V 1Y0-202 preparation guide are the necessities of each of candidates who participating in the IT certification...

Cisco CCNP Collaboration 300-070 CIPTV1 Exam Dumps Certpark

An Article by Jayson Bowdoin in Computers and Technology

2 days ago

Certpark Cisco CCNP Collaboration 300-070 CIPTV1 exam dumps have a high quality, which its practice questions have 95% similarity with real examination. If you use Certpark Cisco CCNP Collaboration 300-070 CIPTV1 exam dumps to do some simulation test, you can 100% pass your first time to attend IT certification exam...

E20-007 Training Material, EMC Data Science E20-007 Questions

An Article by Kruis Barry in Education

2 days ago

The E20-007 certification will definitely makes you believe that you have achieved the highest degree in the ing and have met the standards of being an expert professional in IT. Hence, do not miss this opportunity of getting yourself at the top most level by passing the E20-007 exam with good grades...

MLA Style Citation:
Sherrod, Pamela "The Hazards of Hazing." The Hazards of Hazing. 14 May. 2017 17 Aug. 2017 <>.
APA Style Citation:
Sherrod, Pamela (2017, May 14). The Hazards of Hazing. Retrieved August 17, 2017, from
Chicago Style Citation:
Sherrod, Pamela "The Hazards of Hazing." The Hazards of Hazing
Copy and paste the code below to embed this article:
<a class="embedly-card" href="">The Hazards of Hazing</a> <script>!function(a){var b="embedly-platform",c="script";if(!a.getElementById(b)){ var d=a.createElement(c);,d.src=("https:"===document.location.protocol?"https":"http")+"://"; var e=document.getElementsByTagName(c)[0];e.parentNode.insertBefore(d,e)}}(document);</script>