Hazing at Pomona?

<p>"note about pomona: they haze you at the beginning, just a heads up."</p>

<p>i probably dont have to worry about that until after i apply and (if i get lucky) get accepted. but thanks for the heads up.</p>

<p>Would you mind giving a little descriptive note about the form hazing might take? How did you deal with it? Thanks</p>

<p>Well, I'll preface this by saying that most people didn't mind the "hazing," and that probably a lot of people wouldn't even call it that. But I was very offended and remain resentful.</p>

<p>This year, they lined up all the freshmen in front of the school's gates. They handed out carnations to everyone. They had music playing in the background, so everyone assumed it was just another one of the introduction parties. </p>

<p>But then came the water.</p>

<p>All the upper classmen that were there started hurling water balloons at us. I was at the back, so at first I didn't know what was going on; I just saw everyone running forward and since I was new on campus and unsure of direction I followed suit. Unfortunately I, like many of my fellow freshmen, was in flipflops, which made it very difficult to run. As I ran I saw a trail of other people's sandals lost on the street. I tried to run anyway and cut up my feet pretty bad. The water balloons were one thing, but some of the upperclassmen had high-powered water shooters that stung my skin pretty bad. </p>

<p>At the end of the event my feet were bloody and my arms red from the sting. I felt really bad for some of the girls there that had white clothing on...</p>

<p>In case I've failed to convey my irritation with the whole event, let me bring it home. Had I known about this tradition (and the one in which your sponsor group throws you into a fountain on your birthday) I would not have chosen to attend Pomona.</p>

<p>those actually sound fun</p>

<p>I'm sorry you had such a bad experience during Orientation week Sanyo, but speaking as another member of the class of 2008 at Pomona, I really feel like you're doing the school and the upperclassmen a disservice by describing what is a benign school tradiiton as hazing.</p>

<p>I can't speak for your experiences but I can tell you that my sponsors and the sponsors of the other sponsor groups in my dorm told us in advance about the event so that we knew not to wear flip-flops. As I recall, it was also listed in the schedule in the orientation booklet that we got when we arrived on campus.</p>

<p>At the event itself, I ended up pretty near the front of the freshman crowd and so I did get wet (I got hit by one water balloon) but I only talked to two other people who got even a little bit wet during the proceedings. From what I heard from my friends near the middle and back of the crowd, each upperclassman only had one or two waterballoons and they had already thrown them by the time that the majority of the freshman walked through the street. Again, I really don't know what your experience was but if you were at the back of the crowd, I'm surprised that there were any waterballoons left for you to be hit with.</p>

<p>Finally, I guess I'm surprised that you chose this tradition to attack. I kind of agree with you about the ponding (I'm guessing that your sponsor group didn't let you change into a bathing suit like some groups do) but I look back on the waterballoon thing with a sense of fondness. It was a warm evening, people were ready to stretch their legs after the long orientation lectures that took place earlier that day, and everybody (I thought) knew what was going to happen (my friends and I were actually planning to catch the waterballoons thrown at us and throw them back at the upperclassmen).</p>

<p>Well, as I've said, I had a horrible experience. So I just want to put it out there because I <em>wish</em> someone would have warned me before I agreed to attend.</p>

<p>And, in the orientation booklet schedule all it said was "Enter Here." No way to tell from that title that I would be put through such a terrible experience. And no, not everyone knew ahead of time. I didn't. I was plenty soaked by the time it was through.</p>

<p>A definition of hazing from Hank Nuwer's book Wrongs of Passage:
"Hazing is an activity that a high-status member orders other members to engage in or suggests that they engage in that in some way humbles a newcomer who lacks the power to resist, because he or she want to gain admission to a group."</p>

<p>School tradition or not, it's hazing. Not in a violent way, necessarily (although, like I said I was bleeding and in pain by the end), but it definitely attempts to humble freshmen, and I am not one to be humbled by people simply because they've been in college longer than I.</p>

<p>As I said in my previous post Sanyo, I'm truly sorry that you had such a bad experience but I believe that you are using solely your own experience to categorize an entire event.</p>

<p>You have a right to your own beliefs but I do have a problem with you calling the event hazing.</p>

<p>First of all, the event was not mandatory. It's not like the school took role call and made sure that every single freshman ran through the gates. I believe it was assumed that if you didn't want to participate, you wouldn't. Thus you would not be "ordered" (to quote your previous post) to do anything. I understand that you weren't aware what exactly the event "Enter Here" was going to be but once again, I belive that your lack of information was an isolated case.</p>

<p>Second of all, by your own definition, the event couldn't be called hazing. According to your previous post, "hazing is an activity that... humbles a newcomer who lacks the power to resist, because he or she wants to gain admission to a group." When you participated in "Enter Here," you were already a member of the freshman class at Pomona and refusing to jog for half a block with most of the rest of the class would not have taken that away from you. It was an activity meant for those who wished to participate. </p>

<p>Once again, I'm sorry you had a bad experience with the "Enter Here" event but I have a hard time placing a voluntary event that took place on a warm summer night and consisted of laughing freshmen jogging half a block while laughing upper-classmen tossed water balloons at them in the same category with the violent and disgusting acts that are shown on the news under the label of hazing.</p>

<p>Kousuke, in addition to the places you should go that Sanyo mentioned, you might want to check out Seaver Theatre (personally my favorite building), the Greek Theatre, the Observatory, the Organic Farm, and the Courtyards on North Campus. Definitely have your host take you to snack Thursday night as well.</p>

<p>Btw, I'm truly sorry Sanyo that you had a bad experience during orientation. I don't think it was the college's and upperclassmen's intention for people to have a bad time.</p>

<p>I hold the dubious distinction of being the first 2008 sagehen to go into the fountain--on the first day of school, no less, plus they did this only a few minutes before the gate run--and it was nothing but fun. It's one of those things which makes Pomona such a tight-knit community, and it'll be one of those things you'll look back 10 years from now and just chuckle at the sheer silliness of it all.</p>

<p>well, tomorrow i will be staying with charles jhou (spelling?), dont know what kind of kid he is, he didnt answer his phone, but ill try later. anybody know anything about him?</p>

<p>Charlez Zhou is actually my sponsee - he lives across the hall from me. I won't say anything about him though - I'll let you form your own opinion about him.</p>

<p>lalal im here now
havent been on this forum for quite awhile
welcome to pomona!</p>

<p>hey, charlez... how much do you think you writing a recommendation would help, honestly? you said they tell you to say to can write recs for people you host, but how much do they care at all about those?</p>

<p>Wow, for any lurkers out there who are alarmed by the hazing discussion, I'd just like to clear up what exactly goes on.</p>

<p>Pomona has a beautiful gate with two messages inscribed on it. On the outside, it says "Let only the eager, thoughtful, and reverent enter here." On the inside, which you see as you are going out, it says something along the lines of "Only those are loyal to this college who, in departing, bear their added riches in trust for mankind." For first-years, there is an optional ceremony called "Enter here," which is what Sanyo is referring to. Basically, everyone lines up outside the gate and runs through it while being showered with water from balloons and water guns. For me (back in '99, when I was a first year), it was fun to get wet and silly with the kids in my sponsor group. </p>

<p>4 years later, the day before graduation, my classmates and I lined up again, this time on the INSIDE of the gate, and went out as our families and underclassmen watched. Carnations were passed around, there was a "band on a truck," and Cecil Sagehen was in rare form. In short, by exiting the gates like that, graduates promise to "bear their added riches." It's a lovely tradition, I think. </p>

<p>As for getting tossed in a fountain on your bday-- there's no rule that says that is mandatory. Your sponsors might try to convince you to do it, but if you REALLY don't want to, I certainly hope no one makes you. Most people find it fun; if you don't then tell your sponsors and they will probably respect your wishes. </p>

<p>Incidentally, I'm only 23 and I ALREADY like to look at old pictures of me and my friends in various fountains around campus-- it's one of my fondest memories of Pomona, and it reminds me of ALL the little ways that my Pomona experience was different from what I would have had at a large university. Sure, there are SOME traditions that need to be altered or stopped altogether-- at Pomona in the 60s, sophomore guys used to measure and weigh the freshman girls during orientation!!! But most traditions, as long as they are optional, give students and alumni a great sense of community.</p>

<p>Hope that clears up the discussion for potential sagehens!</p>

Pomona '03</p>