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“We were a 

 “Charter Line”  

By: Mark Spivey
Author of column series “Before I lay it down”

back in the 70s; the first one on our campus.  With no local fraternity brothers to teach us what to do, we were hauled all over Texas and hazed by members of other chapters in our fraternity. We visited campuses at the University of Texas (Arlington), East Texas State University, North Texas State University, Prairie View A&M University, Texas Southern University, and the University of Houston.  On “Hell Night” we rode down Main Street in Houston covered in “Croker Sacks”  with “Karo Syrup” and “Corn Flakes” poured all over us.  It was hell cleaning all of that stuff off us and out of our cars; but that wasn’t even the worst of it…

-Big Red

“When I got selected to be interviewed I was nervous.  The interview itself was very intense.  After the interview I got the phone call that I made the line, which is when my journey began.  I was number 2 on line of 12.  After being taught some “local” history, our “line” was supposed to remember some of the information prior to the first “set”Many of us didn’t know the history.  We got “necked” several times to the point of where I was dizzy.  Despite being “touched” or hit repeatedly, I said “I’m not going anywhere.  I’m going to do whatever it takes to finish the “process”The line “dropped” from 12 to 10.  We traveled out of town to a football game and were forced to stay in the same room where we were hazed religiously for not knowing all of our “information”.

When we got back to our home campus we had another “set” out in the woods.  The line dropped from 10 to 8 afterwards.  It would later go from 8 to 4.  We got “wood” everyday.  Crossing the “burning sands” took all night.  We “passed” peanut butter from mouth to mouth, drank hot sauce, and got more wood.  After I crossed, this experience made me a stronger person.  I know I could survive anything and show perseverance…”                

-High Stepper

“It was the most terrible experience I’ve ever been through, but I wasn’t gonna let those assholes defeat me.  I thought it was supposed to be about “sisterhood” and what the sorority was all about.  They literally assaulted me throughout the entire “process” but I really wanted to be a “member” so I took it.  My momma taught me at an early age that if “someone hits me, I better hit them back” Therefore, it was hard for me to continually let them do it.  I never knew what to expect “crossing the burning sands” but I was determined to see it through.  After I made it, all I could think of was whupping that one bitch’s ass.  I can’t stand her even till today.  I pledged 25 years ago…”


The names have been changed to protect the innocent, but the stories are true.  So are the perspectives.  I cringed at some of the stories given to me as the facial expressions from those being interviewed went from delight to anger.  I asked them each would they do it again if they had to.  2 out of the 3 said “no”Such are the memories when individuals decide to cross the burning sands at their own risks.  But, these stories don’t stop here…”

What happens when someone is seriously injured or dies? 

We’ll find out in Part 3 on next week.  God bless, good night, and keep yo families together.