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Old 01-24-2018, 07:43 PM
clemsongirl clemsongirl is offline
GreekChat Member
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: roe dyelin
Posts: 2,009
Alpha Delta Pi defines hazing, pulled straight from our national bylaws, as "any situation that creates mental or physical abuse, discomfort, embarrassment, ridicule, or harassment, whether on or away from sorority property."

I understand the concerns regarding the shortness of the new member period, but I chafe at little at all the war stories told of "the good ole days" where pledge semesters were longer and pledge classes were expected to do more to earn initiation. The implication is that members these days are somehow not as good as they were before, but I haven't seen anything to back this up besides the occasional undergrad coming on this board and asking if they can change sororities or fraternities. Are we seeing declines in membership retention, either in the new member period and as actives? Are current members not paying their dues and becoming financially delinquent with increasing regularity? Essentially, what negative impacts from shortened new member periods and less responsibilities being placed exclusively on new members are we seeing? From my vantage point, fraternities and sororities across all councils are larger, raising more money for philanthropy and donating more service hours than they ever have before. I can't claim that shortened new member periods and responsibilities caused this growth, but clearly these changes haven't hurt it.

I see the limiting of length of pledge periods and of activities within them as a shifting of risk on behalf of the national orgs, and I don't think it's entirely unwarranted. Here's a quote from an article that references Pi Delta Psi's fraternity lawyer during the sentencing of the national org:

The fraternity’s “Crossing Over” initiation rituals “involved some physicality, but they certainly did not involve the level of physicality, the level of inhumanity, and the depravity of the individuals who are also coming before the court,” he said.

As we've discussed on here, what does "some physicality" mean? Where is that line drawn? While obviously physical hazing and requiring tasks of new members are not equivalent in severity, I can see why national organizations would create an engaging new member experience that does not involve tasks exclusive to new members. It's a reduction of risk in a field that has had so many lawsuits some fraternities have almost lost insurance coverage over it. Then, when a chapter does do something that violates these policies, the national org can cut that chapter loose and say "we have a zero-tolerance policy for what they did and they therefore should not be covered by our insurance".

I don't doubt that the experiences y'all had as new members were educational and rewarding, and I don't feel like I'm being personally attacked in any way, but as the youngest regular poster on here and the only one (that I know of) who went through a modern new member experience I felt compelled to stand up for myself and the incredible fraternity and sorority members my age I know.
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