Emminger, Karen (2014 /April /06). Paddles: A Greek Tradition. Retrieved May, 07, 2018 from https://theodyssey.com)
History of the Greek Paddle. The Great Selection. Period. Retrieved May, 07, 2018 from https://www.greekgear.com)
Lehman, Alexandrea, S. (2018). A Brief History of Fraternity/Sorority Paddles and Recommendations. Retrieved May, 07,2018
Nguyen, Brittany (2012/ 11/07). Greek Paddles aren't made for hazing. Retrieved May, 07, 2018 from https://www.dailyemerald.com
The History of the Greek Paddle
BETA MU CHAPTER OF
LAMBDA PI ALPHA SORORITY
The history of the use of the paddle in Greek Fraternity and Sorority organizations is obscure and poorly documented. There is a lack of written information on the introduction of the paddle into the traditions of Fraternities and Sororities. Many Greek organizations have written their own interpretation of the history of the paddle. Others have admitted that they have no idea as to when or how the paddle became an integral part of their organizations history and initiating practices. (History of the Greek Paddle. Retrieved May 7, 2018 from https://www.greekgear.com).
Lehman, A.S. (2018) states the history of paddling is " rooted in corporal punishment and abuse such as hazing ". Paddling has been used as corporal punishment and humiliation of younger class men beginning as far back as the mid 1600's. The Fraternities and Sororities began to organize in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and incorporated the use of paddles for punishment and hazing of new recruits. (Lehman, A.S.(2018). A brief History of Fraternity and Sorority Paddles and Recommendations.
During the latter half of the 20th century, the tradition gradually disappeared. In modern Greek life, the paddle has become a traditional symbol of sisterhood/brotherhood and a memorial of the induction into the Sorority or Fraternity local chapter. The paddle has become a more positive symbol. the pledging members prepare creative decorative paddles to memorialize brotherhood/sisterhood and friendship with their big brothers or sisters. Greek Gear (2008), states on its website that "a paddle as a decorative gift that is given to you from a brother or sister is a powerful sentiment."
In conclusion, although in the early 19th and 20th centuries the paddle symbolized cruelty and fear, the tradition of the paddle has evolved from representing dissension and punishment to one of unity and community. The Greek paddle has now become a gift offering that demonstrates a personal statement of loyalty, legacy and life-long friendships.