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  #61  
Old 01-26-2018, 08:21 PM
Kevin Kevin is offline
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Originally Posted by hockeyfan View Post
I am also wary of the notion, often brought up by fraternity men on my campus who question the new member process for sororities, that a new member experience without hazing cannot possibly "bond" people together.
That's ridiculous. If they're hazing as part of their new member experience and discussing it openly with non members.... well, the first rule of fight club applies. Joking aside, I don't think most fraternities haze anymore. A not insignificant minority still do, but our national organizations (mostly) have spent years trying to eradicate the practice.
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  #62  
Old 01-26-2018, 09:41 PM
ASTalumna06 ASTalumna06 is offline
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Originally Posted by FSUZeta View Post
Old broad here who has spent many years advising chapters. It is not yearning for the "good ol' days" we base our opinion of the current abbreviated pledge period on, but the fact that initiation is no longer worked for; short pledge, excuse me, new member periods, showering the new members with gift, after gift, after gift, makes for members who don't fully appreciate the gift of membership. Heck,many of them don't fully know the history of the org. they were just initiated into! It should be looked on as a privilege, but many these days look on initiation as an entitlement. And please understand that earning initiation does not necessarily mean hazing.

We were told that the shortened new member period was, in part, inacted to help cut down on hazing, yet we still see chapters on probation or closed for hazing. If I had a vote, I would vote for a semester long "new member" period. It would allow the new members to learn more in-depth history of their sorority and chapter, as well as allow them to fully understand the obligation they were about to undertake, but would give them more time to decide if sorority life was for them, and would allow the chapter more time to get to know the new members and determine whether they were worthy of the gift of membership.
All of this. Ideally, I'd like to see (for my own organization):

1. At least a 10-week new member period.
2. More education on the history of Greek life, as well as AST.
3. In addition to anti-hazing, alcohol awareness, and sexual assault and abuse programming, hold educational sessions - maybe presented by a professional or experienced alumna - geared toward leadership, time management, etiquette (business or otherwise), study skills, resume building, etc.
4. Team-building exercises and activities. It could be something as simple as doing one of those hour-long escape rooms together.

And ultimately, I'd like to see organizations give chapters a little more leeway in building a new member program that fits them and their circumstances. Maybe it would require submission to and approval from national officers to keep everyone in check. But I don't think the short, simplistic, gift-filled new member programs are doing chapters any favors.
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  #63  
Old 01-26-2018, 10:04 PM
Kevin Kevin is offline
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It depends on whether your organization is about forming lifelong bonds or whether they are into operating revenue neutral, campus adjacent glorified dorms.
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  #64  
Old 01-26-2018, 10:41 PM
clemsongirl clemsongirl is offline
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Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
That's ridiculous. If they're hazing as part of their new member experience and discussing it openly with non members.... well, the first rule of fight club applies. Joking aside, I don't think most fraternities haze anymore. A not insignificant minority still do, but our national organizations (mostly) have spent years trying to eradicate the practice.
I know we're all just spouting anecdotes here, but by the definitions of hazing we've mentioned every single fraternity I ever encountered was doing it at Clemson. Every single one I knew someone in (which was most but admittedly not all, although several of the ones I didn't know anyone in were closed for risk violations), from the lowliest "bottom tier" chapter to the most prestigious ones. Not all of them were engaging in all forms of hazing at once, but I could give a dozen examples and not run out. I have zero faith that hazing is not still commonplace, especially at schools where it's an entrenched part of the culture.

And that attitude hockeyfan mentioned that without hazing, a chapter is worthless is still very, very common at the schools I've been at and know people from. If you don't have some sort of "process", and that phrase is left vague intentionally, then you're not a "real" fraternity. I've seen this for IFC, NPHC, commuter schools through Alabama itself. I don't think that's gone away.
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  #65  
Old 01-26-2018, 11:06 PM
ASTalumna06 ASTalumna06 is offline
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Originally Posted by clemsongirl View Post
I know we're all just spouting anecdotes here, but by the definitions of hazing we've mentioned every single fraternity I ever encountered was doing it at Clemson. Every single one I knew someone in (which was most but admittedly not all, although several of the ones I didn't know anyone in were closed for risk violations), from the lowliest "bottom tier" chapter to the most prestigious ones. Not all of them were engaging in all forms of hazing at once, but I could give a dozen examples and not run out. I have zero faith that hazing is not still commonplace, especially at schools where it's an entrenched part of the culture.

And that attitude hockeyfan mentioned that without hazing, a chapter is worthless is still very, very common at the schools I've been at and know people from. If you don't have some sort of "process", and that phrase is left vague intentionally, then you're not a "real" fraternity. I've seen this for IFC, NPHC, commuter schools through Alabama itself. I don't think that's gone away.
In my experience... same.
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  #66  
Old 01-27-2018, 12:12 AM
SoCalGirl SoCalGirl is offline
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NM Periods should prepare them to be Members. 6-8 weeks of being showered with gifts and 6-8 chapter meetings is not it. Members are generally filled with loads of required activities, committees, socials, etc. NMs that were "optional" for everything but NM meetings don't have a clue as to what they're in for as a full member. Then people quit because it's more time consuming and stressful than they realized.
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  #67  
Old 01-27-2018, 02:09 AM
JonInKC JonInKC is offline
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I'll add my anecdote here: I remember when I was in college talking to a young lady in a sorority about what her pledgeship entailed. She didn't even learn the Greek alphabet.

"What exactly did you do, then?" I asked.

She smiled sheepishly and said "They gave us gifts...?"
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  #68  
Old 01-27-2018, 09:55 AM
33girl 33girl is offline
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Originally Posted by SoCalGirl View Post
NM Periods should prepare them to be Members. 6-8 weeks of being showered with gifts and 6-8 chapter meetings is not it. Members are generally filled with loads of required activities, committees, socials, etc. NMs that were "optional" for everything but NM meetings don't have a clue as to what they're in for as a full member. Then people quit because it's more time consuming and stressful than they realized.
This is exactly it. I was not hazed, but I most certainly WORKED. I knew after my pledge period this organization was going to be something that took a lot of time. It wasn't my high school Quill and Scroll chapter.

Hockeyfan's post kind of proves all our points - she goes straight to hazing as if there were nothing in between that and 6 weeks of gifts. Again, I was not hazed, and never had fraternity men telling me my "process" wasn't hard enough - in fact, we had fraternity men express concerns in the other direction when a pledgemistress went a bit off the rails. Men and women do bond differently, but not that differently.

Also, dang, Kevin. Lol.
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  #69  
Old 01-27-2018, 10:24 AM
Kevin Kevin is offline
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So here's what I haven't heard--I haven't heard anyone from an NPC org state that the 'ol rule about not being able to require new members to do anything differently from initiates as being something actually written down anywhere. If you're following the FIPG guidelines, there are plenty of activities new members could do which are not hazing. You just have to work within those guidelines.
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  #70  
Old 01-27-2018, 01:15 PM
panhelrose panhelrose is offline
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I've heard it this way from a fraternity friend of mine: women's recruitment is difficult, but their new member process is easy. Men's recruitment is easy, but their new member process is difficult. How many times do we tell PNMs that they should stick with recruitment even when they get cut from chapters they love, because they'll find their home? I'm sure these fraternity pledges are hearing something similar when faced with pledge tasks.

I've seen a difference in membership retention and involvement once initiated when a new member is treated like a china doll versus like an adult. New members who are given so many gifts and told they can just cheat on new member exams or miss meetings are often rudely awakened when they are initiated and need to buy a shirt for every philanthropy, need to come to not only chapter but recruitment, makeup ritual, workshops, and philanthropy. That's why I'm glad my chapter is very up front about what the expectations for membership are during recruitment, so that girls know what they're getting themselves into if they join a chapter. Yes, we love our new members and give them gifts for big little week and would never haze them, but the new member process is about learning about your new sorority, not just getting gifts and likes on your instagram. There needs to be a balance.
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  #71  
Old 01-27-2018, 02:51 PM
PhilTau PhilTau is offline
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Individual members being thrown out of their fraternity or sorority for misconduct is nothing new. Although 30 years ago nationals rarely (if ever) came in and eliminated the memberships of everyone in an entire chapter. So I'm talking about members being thrown out for individual conduct. I suspect that thirty years ago (other than nonpayment of dues) most adverse membership actions for fraternities and sororities typically involved, without going into detail, some type of alleged sexual misconduct. This happened fairly often and to even long-time active members who did not conform the then cultural norms.

It is clearly a different world now and the reasons for ejecting active members are very different. My question, for those who are in a position to know, is this:

Do you see a greater number of ejections of initiated members for individual misconduct now than say thirty years ago when pledging was a longer process?
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  #72  
Old 01-27-2018, 03:02 PM
carnation carnation is offline
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I remember people being thrown out of fraternities and sororities back in the day, although it was usually for something egregious. Like one of our cheerleaders got thrown out of her sorority for running naked from her date's car to her sorority house.
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  #73  
Old 01-27-2018, 03:10 PM
AnchorAlumna AnchorAlumna is offline
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Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
Are national organizations about shorter pledge periods to maximize initiation fees paid or are they about quality brotherhood/sisterhood?
Neither.
From what I've been told, it was about university administrations pushing to shorten the pledge period as a way to deter hazing.
Never mind that sororities rarely have hazing issues, and that all sororities forbid hazing. College administrators lump all Greeks - men and women - together.
That is, so I'm told, we now have the three-syllable "recruitment" for the single syllable "rush," "new member" instead of "pledge" and short new member periods that barely expose members to history, policies, and procedures instead of thoroughly grounding them.
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  #74  
Old 01-27-2018, 04:41 PM
NYCMS NYCMS is offline
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Originally Posted by AnchorAlumna View Post
Neither.
From what I've been told, it was about university administrations pushing to shorten the pledge period as a way to deter hazing.
Never mind that sororities rarely have hazing issues, and that all sororities forbid hazing. College administrators lump all Greeks - men and women - together.
That is, so I'm told, we now have the three-syllable "recruitment" for the single syllable "rush," "new member" instead of "pledge" and short new member periods that barely expose members to history, policies, and procedures instead of thoroughly grounding them.
This is what saddens me. I know one poster thought "earning" membership sounded like younger members aren't "as good" as those from decades ago, but as many have posted, it's not. It's about earning membership through learning the responsibilities of membership, bonding with your pledge and active sisters over time, making your grades, going through the "day-to-day" of your pledge-ship, not just the "thrill of six weeks and boom! you're initiated." It was also about finding out if membership really was for you so you could de-pledge versus de-activate.

I wonder what retention rates are these days because everything is so fast and many young women might not be as fully aware of what membership entails -- through no fault of their own, but through the changes of how things are done now. I think that's when members and parents stress about membership costs and time invested in events that houses participate in to a degree I never saw during my chapter days. No wonder some moms post here about their concern of their daughters achieving good grades.

I'm sorry that today's members aren't getting the full immersion via a longer pledge-ship and for many/most, just a lot of fanfare before initiation. I liken that to dating a guy for six weeks versus six months. How well can you know and appreciate him in such a short time? Some might think that's a silly comparison but I like it. It speaks to our "instantaneous" society where things can be gotten fast and often without the investment that would be best for the long run.

There are, no doubt, many outstanding younger members these days, so to any younger members reading this, I am not saying that there aren't. But some things do make for a richer experience and there's no substitute for time, in my experience and opinion.

Last edited by NYCMS; 01-27-2018 at 09:56 PM.
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  #75  
Old 01-27-2018, 05:20 PM
PGD-GRAD PGD-GRAD is offline
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^^^VERY well said....
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