We can’t prevent initiations, so I think we should embrace them
Do it for the lads
Sober, you wouldn’t dream of downing a mayonaise cocktail. Add alcohol and a braying group of friends and it’s a completely different story.
Initiations are tragically banned by the university, but they’re intrinsically characteristic of any normal social life.
They can take any form, but their cultish essence is crucial for creating tight-knit communities between societies. They make fantastic stories of your disgusting achievements, and the association of those stories with a specific society makes you feel a swelling sense of belonging.
The collective horror and embarrassment you feel with your peers when you vomit after your eighth strawpedoed WKD creates a mutual trust which shatters the tensions that arise when confronted with a large group of strangers.
This is precisely why initiations are so important. They provide a brutal but controlled means to ease tensions, make friends and strengthen relationships. For societies, they’re a fantastic way to involve freshers and get them engaged with a group. Being willing to endure the torment internalises people’s loyalty to they society, it cements their commitment.
For freshers, along with the social benefit, it’s a sneaky opportunity to grab some free alcohol, whether you remember drinking it or not. Social status and free booze – what more could you want?
Let’s face it, nobody was that morally outraged by #piggate. Doesn’t the idea that our hard, old conservative PM once got a blowie from Peppa make him seem far more human? Don’t we all have disgusting private vices?
There’s no denying that some societal ceremonies may be too transgressional. Our presidents and captains need to take responsibility, and be careful in their considerations of where to draw the line. Although the point of initiations is to push people past their boundaries, due to the massive variety of personalities and background of our students, we need to respect personal limits.
There is no place in any of our societies for initiations that force people to perform or recieve sexual acts they’re not comfortable with, or to put pressure on those who might suffer from anxiety.
These ethical lines need to be drawn, but such transgressions are the only things that need to be regulated – not the initiations themselves. There is nothing unethical about encouraging people to drink until they’re well up for a mixture of piss and baked beans to be poured over them. If it was, the majority of the student population of Liverpool have unethical Friday nights every week.
Initiations aren’t the compulsory rituals of elite groups which require strict discipline – they’re there for everybody’s benefit and enjoyment. There’s no need to be militant dicks and ban them.
Besides, not every initiation for every society has to revolve around drinking or doing something borderline illegal. They can be as creative or as wild as the society pleases, as long as they encourage the involvement of freshers.
Essentially, it’s all for a bit of fun at the start of the year – so go hard or go home, fresher.