Thursday, September 11, 2008

Connect the Dots: Conspiracy Theories on Harding's Campus

Over the past week, I have heard many different people speak with "scorn" (for lack of a better word) about Harding University's policies and regulations. Some of these discussions were with students of other universities. Many of these students couldn't understand why Harding was so strict on so many issues. However I have also had some discussions with Harding grads recently, who wouldn't trade their Harding experience for anything else. This got me thinking, and eventually investigating. I have delved down to the bottom of this phenomena. Hold on until you've read the whole theory: Harding is a giant degradation ceremony for a secret society. Consider what someone would do to join a fraternity. That person would give away all rights to any dignifying individuality in order to be identified with the group later and the benefits of the association. Harding does basically the same thing on a much more grandiose scale. Upon arrival you sign a contract agreeing to abide by their rules. You loose your right to drink at age 21, to use tobacco products, to express all of your ideas without censorship. You might say, "But it is legal for me to drink if I'm 21! C'mon Harding!" Well, often times degradation ceremonies pay no mind to the law. Technically hazing is illegal. Consider your own pledge experience at Harding. It should have been much more tame than any pledge process at a state school. After all, harding can't loose your blossoming new identity to internal divisions and smaller identities. I know that my pledge process for Knights Social Club was very rough on me mentally, but once it was over and I was identified as a Knight I would do it again in a heartbeat. This is common with survivors of any degradation ceremony. Members of national fraternal orders would go through three times what they endured originally in order to receive the benefits again. Not to mention the bonding that occurs with other pledges. This same thing happens at Harding. As students we enter this process to become the illustrious graduate, and thus we go through frustrating tribulations which in the process shape us and grow us closer together as a student body. And if you speak to any graduates they largely look back upon Harding with such fond memories. This is exactly what Harding wants to happen, they want us to loose our identity and then find it again on the other side. "But wait, this is terrible! It's like conformity camp!" I must disagree with this outcry. You can resist, you can even refuse, you can even leave or get kicked out. Harding wants this to happen it ensures the effectiveness of their program. The adversity that we feel as students shapes us. I'm sure that a few of you will agree with me as you read this, and our rebelling minds will share a bond that cannot be broken, which means it is working. The fact that I've realized this and am sharing it doesn't make me a heretic, simply someone who is enlightened about the process. "But what are the benefits of going through this 'Harding Machine'?" With fraternities you have business connections after graduation and a reputation associated with you do to your organizations reputation. These are both offered with Harding, who is held in high esteem by many across the world. So overall we are simply pledges right now. We are going through all of the regulations that we sometimes roll our eyes at for a reason, so take heart. Next time you are talking to one of your friends who goes to a state school and they make fun of Harding for not having fraternities you can let them know that their school is the lame one, after all our whole school is one giant greek experience.

Sir Knight Patrick Baird, Esquire
Editor In Chief,
Harding Humor

PRB '11


Becca said...

Hahaha, this is great. It totally makes sense.

Heyyyyy I think you should bring me on as editor as there were some spelling and grammar errors in this.

prb said...

Richard was my "editor", but since I no longer live with him I just go and see what is incorrect later. If you would like to send me all the corrections that need to be made, I will edit the post. Thanks.

Becca said...

Facebook isn't working and I don't know your email, so I just uploaded it to MU as a .txt document.

Dr. Burt said...

Well, as I always tell folks about HU's strictness:

1. There are worse situations for undergraduate personal freedom (

2. You know what you're getting when you sign up at HU. If you didn't know then you must not have read the fine print.

The only time I think it might be valid for a student to complain about freedom is when they had no choice about where they will attend school (like "my mom and dad would only pay for HU" situations). I don't know your situation but you may or may not fall into this category.

prb said...

Well, I happen to love Harding, so I don't mind the rules. I'm with you, Dr. B, and I have received flak in the past for defending Harding. This post was to be an example of being able to laugh at the strictness and look on the bright side. I know lots of kids need encouragement about choosing Harding from time to time. There are plenty of kids who get out of Harding and realize it was a stupid mistake. This was a humorous way of getting kids to realize the positive spin of the situation.

prb said...

I would like to add that this is also an example to the fact that you don't have to be The Weather Report to be humorous and relative to campus. I know that sometimes when I really wanted to just burn harding on this website, but I realized that doing so wouldn't help anything, and would actually discourage some people so I restrained myself. That's why so many of my posts are just absurd, it provides more laughs with less divisiveness.

Dr. Burt said...

I'm a big fan of sarcasm so keep going wit cho bad self

Joyce said...

I totally agree! Thank you for discovering & communicating the mystery! I graduated in 1976...nice to know that somethings never change!

Coleman Yoakum said...

Is there a conspiracy against paragraph breaks as well?