Careful! OSPEK can be a platform for hazing under the guise of friendly activities!

Hi, learners! The euphoria of being a student is undoubtedly well-known for new students or first-year students. Unfortunately, this euphoria is often overshadowed by concerns about hazing during initiation activities. Have you ever experienced this, or are you experiencing this now?

OSPEK: Definition & Purposes

So, what exactly is OSPEK? OSPEK, or Study Orientation and Campus Introduction, as the name suggests, is an activity specifically for new students to become more familiar with the lecture system and the institution where they will study.

Another term that is often associated with OSPEK is initiation. In KBBI, it is defined as introducing and appreciating the new environment by precipitating (eroding) the previously held thought system.

Based on these two definitions, OSPEK does not have a negative meaning or purpose but a positive connotation. The point is to bridge newbies adapt to the world of lectures more easily.

From an educational perspective, OSPEK is used to educate new students, among others, about the university's credit system, how to contract courses, and perhaps the introduction of clubs at the university.

In addition, also get acquainted with seniors who may provide helpful information, as well as tips and tricks in dealing with specific courses or lecturers.

Hazing Cases in OSPEK

Although the purpose of OSPEK is educational, it is undeniable that digression often occurs during these activities, including bullying or hazing by seniors.

Actually, hazing doesn't just happen to first-year students in college. This also happens in schools and initiations when you want to join a particular club or association. However, this article will only discuss cases that occurred in universities, which have occurred since decades ago in Indonesia (Nurhadi, 2022).

What are the cases of hazing or bullying that have happened during OSPEK in universities? Here are some cases of hazing during OSPEK.

Verbal Violence

They were being yelled at, insulted, or verbally abused. For example, when someone does not wear an attribute by the provisions. The actual reprimand can be done without yelling or is often accompanied by hitting the table (Ningrum, 2019). Some say that seniors snapped right in front of their faces.

Another form of verbal violence is calling offensive names and showing discrimination. Furthermore, intentionally humiliating acts include verbal abuse, such as being asked to wear embarrassing attributes. 

Physical Violence

In addition to verbal violence, there is also hazing in the form of physical violence, including running long distances, push-ups or sit-ups, and even slapping and hitting. Maybe running, push-ups or sit-ups will be accepted if it is not excessive and is not accompanied by a prohibition of drinking when necessary.

Not all first-year students are in good physical condition or are used to doing exercises regularly. A sudden compulsion to engage in excessively strenuous physical activity can be dangerous. Moreover, there is some hazing accompanied by the prohibition of drinking until lunchtime, causing the possibility of dehydration to increase.

Regarding eating and drinking, some are forced to consume food or drink that is not supposed to be. For example, drinking the saliva of seniors or other first-year students' friends, being forced to drink alcohol, eating for an unnatural duration (eating in a hurry), or even eating faeces.

Some even stated they were allowed to drink only in groups with other new students in the same container. Health problems do not seem to be given much attention here.

Why did it happen?

There are several reasons why each generation of hazing occurs, such as revenge. Maybe you are familiar with the expression, "We used to be like this; it's okay; you guys are weak!"

I want to say our country was once colonized, and the people were able to survive. But that doesn't mean the current generation must also be colonized to prove they can survive, right?

The following reason is to normalize acts of violence during OSPEK because it is considered natural and has been carried out for generations. Culture is important. Many educational cultures deserve to be passed down between generations. However, oppressive behaviour is not part of this culture.

Furthermore, the reason for training is the mental strength of freshmen or juniors (Wulaningtyas, 2015). The excuse that being shouted at will increase mental strength is absurd and out-of-date. Mental strength is complex between genetics and environmental factors (Lin, dkk., 2017).

Everyone has a different meaning of mental strength. Personality, potential, and competence are also varied. Is it true that yelling can increase mental strength or, on the opposite, instil hatred? Isn't OSPEK a way to familiarize yourself instead of adding enemies?

Consistency and persistence are essential components of mental health. James Clear (2019) reveals one way to increase mental strength: habituation in everyday life. Meanwhile, Angela Duckworth (2018) uses the term grit.

Another reason is to get respect from juniors or freshmen. However, we must remember that respect and authority are not present because of fear. Fear does bring faster obedience. However, although respect is harder to earn, it will last longer than fear.

Impact of Hazing in OSPEK

There are various impacts of hazing and bullying in OSPEK for perpetrators, victims, and the public.

For Perpetrators

The most common things that will impact the perpetrators of hazing are social sanctions, such as tainted names, shunned, and loss of relationships in the future. Remember that higher education institutions are not just places to gain academic experience. But also build relationships according to the field we are engaged in.

The perpetrator's actions of the hazing may unknowingly break the ties of relationships that may be beneficial for his future career. Although the OSPEK activities only lasted a few days, some sources state that the experience is embedded in memories or has a long-term impact (Ningrum, 2019; Syakirah & Fardiyan, 2017; Wulaningtyas, 2015).

Furthermore, the perpetrators of hazing may be penalized by the educational institution where they are hazing. Sanctions can be in the form of a warning, advice, suspension, to expulsion.

For Victims

Victims of hazing are reported to have suffered both physical and psychological impacts. Physically, for example, fatigue, dehydration, illness (Wulaningtyas, 2015), bruising, and even death. While the psychological consequences are trauma (Ningrum, 2019), social disorders, and mental illness (Wulaningtyas, 2015).

Another impact is continuing the 'tradition' of hazing. Some don't want this to happen to their juniors, and some feel that their juniors will need to feel the same way later. Think of it as a survivor who can have a different view.

For the Public

What about the public? The public cannot be separated from the impact of hazing. For example, belittling wrong behaviour, as long as the system considers it correct. That is, it might be a blind follower of the wrong system (Syakirah & Fardiyan, 2017).

Another impact is that the 'tradition' of hazing will be increasingly prevalent, not only in universities. However, younger students who see the example may apply it in the school environment. Bullying and hazing can also occur in kindergarten and high school environments.

What should be done?

What should we do in dealing with cases of hazing?

Several sanctions have been given to the perpetrators of hazing, such as reprimands or warnings, suspensions, and even expelled. However, the 'culture' of hazing during OSPEK still seems to be a vicious circle in universities.

On the other hand, there is hazing behaviour that may go unreported. When experiencing hazing, the reason new students don't report it is not just because they think it's normal. But also partly because of fear of other actions seniors will take when new students report them.

Therefore, education about hazing behaviour should be given from an early age. Children need to be introduced to hazing and bullying and the risks of their actions. It is also essential to be prepared to deal with hazing and bullying, namely the courage to fight, report, and ask for help when experiencing it (Gordon, 2021).

What about education for senior students? Senior students, especially those on the OSPEK activity committee, need to be equipped with an understanding of the impact of bullying or hazing. It is the same with education for children.

Emphasize that OSPEK is a platform for new students to adapt to higher education. Not a vehicle to emphasize or glorify seniority and superiority.

Furthermore, suppose the focus of hazing action is to increase mental strength. In that case, perhaps higher education institutions can facilitate senior students with mental strength training that does not conflict with human values and is appropriate for implementation. The hope is that the training results will equip them to train the mental strength of juniors or first-year students. 


So, learners, it doesn't matter if you do OSPEK, primarily when it aims to introduce the institutional environment and build friendships between freshmen and senior students. However, be careful with inappropriate behaviour. Because hazing can impact perpetrators, victims, and society in general, hold OSPEK that is educative and positive, not the other way around!

Treat people the way you want to be treated. Talk to people the way you want to be talked to. Respect is earned, not given. -Hussein Nishah-


References

Clear, J. (2019). Atomic Habit: Perubahan Kecil yang Memberikan Hasil Luar Biasa. Jakarta: Gramedia Pustaka Utama.

Duckworth, A. (2018). Grit: Kekuatan Hasrat dan Kegigihan. Jakarta: Gramedia Pustaka Utama.

Gordon, S. (2021). Bullying and Hazing Differences: exploring the connections between bullying and hazing. Tersedia: https://www.verywellfamily.com/bullying-and-hazing-is-there-a-difference-460505

Lin, Y., dkk. (2017). Mental Toughness and Individual Differences in Learning, Education and Work Performance, Psychological Well-Being, and Personality: Systematic Review. Frontiers in Psychology, August 2017. Vol. 8, Article 1345.

Ningrum, A.I. (2019). Bullying dan Kekerasan(Studi Kualitatif Ospek di Fakultas Universitas Airlangga). Skripsi thesis, UNIVERSITAS AIRLANGGA.

Syakirah, F. dan Fardiyan, A.R. (2017). Kekerasan Verbal Mahasiswa Senior Terhadap Mahasiswa Junior dalam Relasi Intersubjektif. Jurnal MetaKom Vol. 1., No.1., Maret 2017.

Wulaningtyas, F.P.A. (2015). Praktik Bullying Mahasiswa Jurusan Pendidikan Sejarah Pada Masa PPKMB Mahasiswa Angkatan 2012.  Jurnal Paradigma, Vol. 03, No. 02, tahun 2015.

Nurhadi. (2022). Identik dengan Perpeloncoan dan Kekerasan, Berikut Sejarah OSPEK.  Tersedia: https://tekno.tempo.co/read/1622290/identik-dengan-perpeloncoan-dan-kekerasan-berikut-sejarah-ospek 

https://kbbi.web.id/pelonco

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