Civil rights attorney and legal and justice speaker Joseph Richardson spoke to St. Joseph’s students this month about hazing and how initiation rituals can cross the line to criminality.
Richardson, who regularly contributes legal insight and commentary on current events in the media, presented his power point presentation, “Sprains, Strains, and Fractures” to about 100 students — most of whom are fraternity or sorority members at St. Joseph’s — during a live Zoom call.
He explained the reason behind the presentation’s name is the connection strains and fractures has to hazing and breaking the law; sometimes you don’t know when a bone is broken, just like how sometimes you don’t know you have broken the law.
“It happened so fast, I didn’t feel anything,” Richardson told the students during the Feb. 10 seminar, sharing a story about the time he broke his pinky finger playing basketball.
“You can’t keep from putting it back where it belongs just because it’s going to hurt for you to do so,” he added, noting that if something goes wrong in a sorority or fraternity, doing the right thing is crucial, regardless of the struggle.
Sometimes, a crime happens so fast, you didn’t even see it coming, said Richardson, who also addressed the perils of groupthink mentality.
St. Joseph’s has an array of sororities and fraternities, including Alpha Gamma Delta women’s fraternity, Alpha Phi Delta fraternity, Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, Delta Phi Epsilon sorority, Kappa Beta Gamma sorority, Theta Phi Alpha Women’s fraternity, and Beta Upsilon Delta sorority.