By Alex Stanley ’12
Whether it is eating a gallon of mayonnaise in 15 minutes or chasing after a freshman who “took your dollar,” freshman hazing is a serious problem at schools around the country.
Many schools, whether at the high school or college level, have freshman harassment take place on their campus.
However, this runs contrary to what Brophy is about, says Dean Mr. Jim Bopp, who has noticed an all-round lack of the harassment of Brophy freshmen.
“Every student that comes here needs to feel like it is a safe place for them, physically, emotionally and psychologically, because if they don’t feel that way they can’t become who it is they want to become, and who we are asking them to become,” Mr. Bopp said.
He has seen particular games diminish like the dollar game, where upperclassmen lay out a dollar on the ground and chase after whomever picks it up.
“This year I haven’t seen it at all,” Mr. Bopp said.
Much of this is due to his and other teacher’s harsh punishments for partaking in the “game” in recent years.
Freshman Jackson Sipes ’14 is a testament to the lack of harassment at Brophy, as he has never been harassed by any upperclassmen.
He said that he has seen some roughhousing towards other freshman, but only as a “joke.”
Mr. Bopp credits the heavy emphasis on brotherhood and community as to why Brophy has consistently seen an absence of freshmen hazing in recent years.
“I think it goes beyond their concern about consequences,” Mr. Bopp said about the matter.
He also recognizes the importance of retreats and the Big Brother program.
“We teach then to mentor the freshmen, not torture them,” said teacher and faculty moderator of Big Brother’s Mr. Stephan Johnson about the organization.
“What qualifies you to be a Big Brother is the ability to nurture,” he added.
For now, Mr. Bopp said that he is focusing more so on decreasing harassment within classes, rather than between classes.
However, there are still small incidents of freshman hazing.
According to the student handbook, if an individual is harassed he must “report all incidents … to the Principal or Dean of Students,” after that person has told the harasser to stop.
If the harasser does not stop, there are penalties ranging from suspension to “immediate dismissal.”