PLEDGING AND HAZING ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS!
Hazing of any kind is strictly prohibited and not to be tolerated!!
I know that D9 organizations are moving away from using the word "pledge" but I wanted to give my opinion on the age old "paper vs pledge" argument.
A "pledge" is someone who is currently involved in the initiation process of a Greek letter organization. If someone enters an organization without what is perceived to be a challenging initiation process, they are seen as "paper" or "skater". In some organizations, "paper" members are shunned because they are not "made".
ALL OF YOUR FOUNDERS WERE PAPER!!!
I can almost bet that your (and my) founders did not go around pledging each other. They definitely DID NOT HAZE each other.
Now, back to my opinion.
There is nothing wrong in learning information, attending meetings and building bonds with other "pledges" in your membership class (what we used to call a "line"). This builds character and teaches you how to run and operate the organization. This is what I would consider "pledging". Your "pledging" experience would also include you learning the routine for your "Neophyte Presentation" (what we used to call a "Probate").
Keep in mind that NPHC (D9's governing council) has mostly gotten rid of using the word "pledging" and "pledge" so don't go into the interest meeting talking about you want to pledge!
WHAT IS WRONG is if you are being humiliated, screamed at, hit, spit at, pushed, punched, ridiculed, paddled etc.
THAT IS HAZING AND SHOULD BE REPORTED.
DON'T LET "SNITCHES GET STITCHES" SCARE YOU INTO BEING HAZED. YOUR LIFE IS MORE VALUABLE THAN JOINING AN ORGANIZATION.
The best practice is to follow the rules by the book when it comes to joining any Greek letter organization.
If you are being hazed and/or participating in hazing, you are engaged in criminal activity and could possibly lose your scholarships, get kicked out of your university, go to jail and be banned from your organization or be banned from seeking membership within any Greek letter organization for life. They will actually list your name as a banned member or prospective member on their national website.
THE VAST MAJORITY OF GREEK LETTER ORGANIZATIONS DO NOT ALLOW HAZING.
Most organizations are compliant with anti-hazing laws because they don't want to get sued or banned from universities.
If you are interesting in joining a Black Greek Letter Organization (BGLO), make sure that the upcoming membership class is authorized by their national headquarters.
DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE, "PLEDGE" UNDERGROUND. IF YOU HAVE TO PLEDGE UNDERGROUND TO "EARN LETTERS", IT'S NOT A NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED PROCESS SO YOU WILL NOT BE RECOGNIZED AS AN OFFICIAL MEMBER BY HEADQUARTERS.
My opinion on hazing and pledging is my own and is in no way a reflection of my organization.
I am a grown woman with responsibilities and I don't have to time to be hazing somebody so they can "earn my letters".
HAZING IS FOOLISH and is the main reason why less and less people are joining the Divine 9. So don't do it. It's not worth it.