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  #1  
Old 10-02-2001, 11:26 PM
Betarulz! Betarulz! is offline
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Sorority initiation...what the??

Okay, this is something that is somewhat strange in the minds of me and my pledge brothers, and me particularly b/c I've seen so many GC ladies say they love their letters because they've "earned" them.

Anyway, several of the sororities here are beginning to initiate--I know that Gamma Phi is doing so this Friday, and I think tri-Delt is next week, and I wouldn't be surprised if they are more houses doing so.

Now we here at Beta--we don't initiate until the first week of second semester: after grades come in, and we also have to filled a bunch of other requirements in community service, intramurals, Beta Lore, Beta songs, and outside involvement. Plus you throw in things like study hours, and we become prepared for the rest of college.

Basically, all the g-phis that I've talked to are surprised that we have weekly tests on songs and lore, and it seems that none of them have any idea of their history.

It seems that sorority initiation is like this:
Actives: Okay we're going to give you a bunch of presents, and as long as you go to some parties and don't screw up too bad, and say thank you for the gifts and then we'll initiate.

Pledges Okay!!! Thank you! Where are our badges?

I know of no fraternity that initiates before Thanksgiving on my campus, can someone explain to me why things are this way. Seriously, I'm glad that we have such an indepth pledge program, and I know that an understanding of Beta, along with the completion of tasks that will help me in the future, so dont' take this as jealousy. It just doesn't make that much sense.
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  #2  
Old 10-02-2001, 11:40 PM
Turtlegirl Turtlegirl is offline
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Well most sororities have very strict hazing policies and many nationals consider an extended pledging or new member period to be a subtle form of hazing. I know we have a national rule that our new member period cannot be longer than 8 weeks and I am pretty sure this is why.
You're definitely not the only one who has noticed this. Many fraternities on my campus have asked why all the sororities initiate so early (early to them because they don't do it until late 1st or early 2nd semester.
But even though our new member period may be shorter, I feel it is just as productive. (Yes our big sisters spoil us, but it is not all about presents)
Anyway, thats my take on the subject.
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  #3  
Old 10-03-2001, 12:57 AM
amycat412 amycat412 is offline
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And the shorter pledge period for sororities is a fairly recent thing. I pledged 10 years ago--we pledged labor day weekend and initiation wasn't until the last week in january or first week in february and we had weekly tests, community service, etc. that had to be fulfilled.
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  #4  
Old 10-03-2001, 01:17 AM
erniegurl00 erniegurl00 is offline
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Well, I guess my pledgeship wasn't too long, but I definitely earned my letters. I was expected to know my heritage and pass a pledge test. I hate the fact that we may be abolishing pledge tests because I think it's a great way to learn the sorority history! Anyway, pledgeship isn't that simple. As pledges are also expected to uphold a lot of duties that the actives have (such as philanthropy work and all campus events).
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  #5  
Old 10-03-2001, 04:46 AM
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I know I can't speak for the Gamma Phi's on your campus and I don't know how Greek life is like where you're from, but I know that the 8 week new member period like the one you've described sounds really ridiculous.

I remember hearing our MD Advisor saying that the new member period could not be more than 8 weeks as this was a national rule. I'm not sure if it's an NPC rule, but I wouldn't be surprised if it is.

SO MANY THINGS HAPPEN DURING THOSE 8 WEEKS. Each week we would have Fraternity Education and that was when we learned everything we needed to know about Alpha Gamma Delta. In addition to that we had the 14 Pearl Program (named after the jewels on our badge), and that program is designed to make the NM personally involved in the community, the campus, and our chapter. It's basically a personal development program. Each time a NM fulfills one of the pearl categories she receives a "pearl".

In addition to that, our NMs hold offices within their class, organize a NM fundraiser, attend our sisterhood events, are expected to keep their grades up, etc etc. Initiation takes place in mid-November. There's a lot more I could add to this but I think I'd be up typing till morning.

We do not allow a NM to wear our badge unless she knows everything about AGD that she can possibly learn within the 8 weeks. Why give them a badge if they don't know what their sorority is all about? This is why I love NM tests. I really do not understand how this could be considered hazing...but that's another story. This semester our sisterhood retreat is the weekend before the NM test, so our baby squirrels will be immersed in AGD and hopefully they'll be fresh for the test!

While the other 25 NPC organizations may not hold their frat eds this same way, I can bet that it's somewhat similar. So...earning one's letters isn't a piece of cake after all.
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  #6  
Old 10-03-2001, 10:41 AM
AlphaChiS2K AlphaChiS2K is offline
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My nationals as well mandates a less-than-8-week pledgeship... it's hard, but our NMs definitely learn the foundations of AXO and sisterhood before they are initiated. While it may seem like the girls do nothing more than "bake cookies, make posters, and sing songs," be assured that there's so much more.

There's a good deal of pledging that is not made public to the campus community, fraternities in particular. The reason for this is that they are SISTERHOOD events, designed by sisters for sisters with no room for boys or anyone else. There are sisterhood events at the house or a sister's apartment where NMs are exposed to the friendships generated by the Bond. There are sisterhood retreats where NM's leadership and organizational skills are encouraged. There are workshops held after chapter for the NMs to learn about our criteria and background. There are off-campus cultural events designed to cultivate an appreciation for music, the arts, and history. There are events held with & for alumnae, to give NMs a sense of what came before them, of who built the chapter.

The thing is, with a short pledge period, you must create a program that incorporates all the values of your chapter. No sister wants to see someone wearing letters when they have no idea what they mean... so you then have them pledge so they DO know what they mean.

The pledges, also, will only be as good as the sisterhood. If no sisters show up to events, if the only older sisters they know are their pledge moms, then, well.... no, they probably won't know what AXO or any other letters mean. BUT, if you have an active, dedicated chapter that participates fully in the pledge process... then you will build active, dedicated NMs and, as a result, new sisters.
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  #7  
Old 10-03-2001, 10:55 AM
Sue_XO Sue_XO is offline
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I don't like the 8 week pledge period at all. What if they do not make grades and have to de-activate? They have already learned all the ritual and spent $300.00 on a pin that they have to give back to Nationals. That just seems unfair to both the girl and the sorority. My opinion though.
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  #8  
Old 10-03-2001, 11:15 AM
AlphaChiS2K AlphaChiS2K is offline
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Sue XO-

I understand your concern, and for that reason we have an Intellectual Development chair who works with the whole chapter (and especially the new girls) to make sure EVERYONE'S grades stay up. We just increased our minimum GPA for sisters and new members to a 2.5, so she's working harder than ever. The ID chair sets up intersorority tutorial programs so older sisters can be resources for younger sisters, and if a girl may be in danger of slipping grades the ID chair gets her syllabi and works with her to set up a schedule for studying and paper writing. The chapter should be there not only to catch you if you fall, but to prevent you from falling in the first place.
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  #9  
Old 10-03-2001, 11:43 AM
The1calledTKE The1calledTKE is offline
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I know most fraternities have a 8 week period but no one follows it fraternity wise.
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  #10  
Old 10-03-2001, 12:01 PM
damasa damasa is offline
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8 weeks is a long time..imo

d
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  #11  
Old 10-03-2001, 12:36 PM
UMgirl
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Its funny cuz for my Alpha Gam chapter ( and Im sure all the others) you dont learn rituals until you are initiated.
Michigan Process:
Get your bid, and the same night have the new member (not pledges) ceremony.
Start Fraternity Ed (know all 11 founders, what the symbols mean, how we got started etc.)
Carry -In (Where a fraternity carries girls over the threshold of their new house)
14 Pearls have to be completed like a week before initiation.
3 Ceremonies that are mandatory (unless you have class or something)
Fraternity Ed Test (yes we have to take a test)
Fireside
then....Initiation.

As far as grades go, you still are initiated before they come on, but afterwards if they arent up , your not on good standing with headquarters. Finances do have caught up before you can though.

I think my chapter feels there isnt enough time to do it.

Last edited by UMgirl; 10-03-2001 at 01:11 PM.
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  #12  
Old 10-03-2001, 12:40 PM
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Sorry, but I just thought of something, are we maybe getting pledging mixed up with Initiation? Even if school started in Aug its still seems a wee bit early for initiation.
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  #13  
Old 10-03-2001, 01:04 PM
xok85xo xok85xo is offline
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Okay, don't quote me on this, but i'm pretty sure that what Chi Omega has adopted is that the actual new member program(meetings, etc..) does only last 8 weeks, however, we still wait until fall grades come in to initiate..I know that on my campus, Chi-O is also the only house that still waits for grades to come in before initiating..
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  #14  
Old 10-03-2001, 01:28 PM
veruca76 veruca76 is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by xok85xo
Okay, don't quote me on this, but i'm pretty sure that what Chi Omega has adopted is that the actual new member program(meetings, etc..) does only last 8 weeks, however, we still wait until fall grades come in to initiate..I know that on my campus, Chi-O is also the only house that still waits for grades to come in before initiating..
It was the same at CU-Boulder last I knew. Most of us initiated around Thanksgiving but Chi-O waited for grades and initiated the first week of the spring semester. Girls who didn't make grades were held over as "diamond pledges" or something like that.
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  #15  
Old 10-03-2001, 02:25 PM
shadokat shadokat is offline
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Our new member period can only be 6 weeks, in accordance with our CAMPUS rules. So, everyone has to be in after 6 weeks. Rush ended 2 weeks ago, so they are around 1 1/2 weeks of pledging gone by. We don't initiate until the following semester, before the next new member class starts. This gives us the opportunity to get grades and work with folks who may be in danger of missing that cutoff. But we don't make someone learn rituals and pay money for a badge and then not initiate them. They just stay in that limbo status until they bring their grades up. Financially, they are just as obligated as regular active sisters. Also, an Academic Improvement Plan is set up for the sister so that her grades become her top priority.
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