Sorority Hazing (Washing Machine)


Regarding a particular legend surrounding sorority hazing: “you have girls sit on washing machines naked and girls circle parts on their body that jiggle.” The legend goes that all of the new (or potential) members of the sorority would go through this process and then be labeled as fat based on the circled (in marker) parts of their body. They would then be insulted and chastised to work out and eat healthier to get rid of those spots.

Informant & Context:

My informant for this piece heard this legend from another member of her sorority, though this story is not specifically linked to her sorority. Rather, this story is linked to sororities in general surrounding their practices from several decades ago.  Specific houses and people are not named to retain anonymity. The informant stated that there aren’t many more details because the story is “pretty dated” and this method of hazing is “not used anymore”.


I find that many of these dated hazing stories provide an interesting array of scare tactics that essentially equate to new members being asked to show how badly they want to be a member of this club; how much are they willing to endure. Stories such as this mostly date back to the 1960s-1980s which by all accounts that I’ve heard, sound like a really good time to have been involved in Greek life at USC. Essentially everything from that era seems to have been exaggerated: the parties were epic and the hazing was cruel. Though I cannot speak to the authenticity of any of these stories.