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  #1  
Old 11-07-2016, 03:45 PM
2greekkids 2greekkids is offline
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Dropped by fraternity on initiation day???

I need to be discreet here but I would love feedback.

I have a very close relative who pledged a fraternity this fall as a freshman. Everything seemed to be going well. His grades were fine and he held a position in his pledge class. Pledges had been let go along the way but none recently. However, when my relative showed up for initiation at 5 am (after a tough semester of pledging) he was met outside and told by 2 of his close friends (brothers) that he had been dropped. They were in tears as they took his pledge pin back. He was in shock. The only explanation given was that one of the brothers had voted against initiating him and that 2 of that brother's friends had backed him up. He had heard that this brother didn't like him but he didn't know why and they had always been cordial (its a pretty large house). To make matters worse, they told him that the only way to potentially "save" himself was to get his whole pledge class to threaten to drop if he wasn't initiated. He then had to plead his case and his class voted. He was told by a few pledge friends that one pledge refused to fall on the sword after completing hell week. Needless to say, he feels confused, betrayed and heartbroken.

I spoke to my son (an alum of another chapter at a different school). He said that although his fraternity had to unanimously agree to extend a bid, pledges were rarely dropped and there was a rule against doing so within 2 weeks of initiation. My sorority daughter at another university said she has never heard of anything like this from her fraternity friends.

My question is whether a reputable, national fraternity would allow this. There is not much to be done and the poor kid was told to try to win the brother over and rush again in the spring-which he unbelievably wants to do. He can't rush another house for a year since he accepted a bid. The whole situation seems very barbaric.

Any input would be appreciated.








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  #2  
Old 11-07-2016, 04:21 PM
LaneSig LaneSig is offline
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The only way that he can truly find out if the fraternity did not follow their rules is by contacting the national office and asking to speak with someone. He can tell what happened and see if they can give him more information.

My 2 cents: It is a terrible thing to drop somebody before right before initiation. The only circumstances that I know of are where the pledge did something so egregious right before the ceremony that the membership voted to drop him.

Also, in my own experience, especially with a large chapter, it usually takes a percentage of the chapter to vote to drop a pledge. The chapter I advise actually requires a larger percentage to drop (25%), than to no bid (15%).
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  #3  
Old 11-07-2016, 04:34 PM
PhilTau PhilTau is offline
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"However, when my relative showed up for initiation at 5 am (after a tough semester of pledging) he was met outside and told by 2 of his close friends (brothers) that he had been dropped. They were in tears as they took his pledge pin back. He was in shock. The only explanation given was that one of the brothers had voted against initiating him and that 2 of that brother's friends had backed him up. "



Wait a minute, is this 2016 or 1916?

I thought all national fraternities now prohibited blackballing, which is definitely what is happening here.

In the long ago past, this kind of stuff was kinda common, at least in my experience. But it would happen weeks before the initiation ceremony and way before the initiation fee was paid to national.

Today, I can't believe any reputable national fraternity would let this type of stuff go on. They can step in and fix this if they knew what happened but, depending on the fraternity, I could be wrong. If the chapter's executive officers had any sense or backbone, they could probably fix this.

[As an aside, (and I'm not saying that this is what happened here) in the mid 20th Century, a fraternity would sometimes test a pledge class by telling them after the last blackball session that one of the pledges wasn't cutting it and he was out unless the class agreed to two more weeks of pledging. They would typically agree to do it. Then they would immediately be told they had all made it - celebration time.]


I'd be interested in someone with national experience to chime in on the OP's post.
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  #4  
Old 11-07-2016, 05:01 PM
2greekkids 2greekkids is offline
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We actually thought maybe it was a test gone bad but that doesn't appear to be the case. They handed him his initiation fee back on the spot. I would love to contact nationals and so would his mother. Sadly, I fear that would make things worse for him. He still has a lot of friends in the chapter. I purposefully have avoided naming the fraternity or the school for fear of overstepping. I think time will have to heal this one. It's just heartbreaking. Thank
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  #5  
Old 11-07-2016, 05:11 PM
FSUZeta FSUZeta is offline
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My daughter had a male HS friend attending a different college who had a very similar experience several years ago. No explanation was given to the young man. He ended up becoming a charter member of a different fraternity the following semester.
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  #6  
Old 11-07-2016, 05:16 PM
2greekkids 2greekkids is offline
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He was told he can't accept a bid from another fraternity for a year (next fall) since he signed a bid card. He's also had expenses that will not be recouped. He already considered this house his home.
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  #7  
Old 11-07-2016, 06:12 PM
Titchou Titchou is offline
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Originally Posted by 2greekkids View Post
He was told he can't accept a bid from another fraternity for a year (next fall) since he signed a bid card. He's also had expenses that will not be recouped. He already considered this house his home.
I would have him check with the national HQ about this part since they dropped him.
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  #8  
Old 11-07-2016, 06:49 PM
PhilTau PhilTau is offline
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Having heard about, participated and survived many a blackball session, I'd like to assure your relative that he may have done absolutely nothing to deserve the treatment he received.

At a very minimum, your relative should be entitled to know in detail exactly why he was kicked out after completing his pledging. He should not accept any "this is secret" BS. He does hold some cards here.

It's kind of embarrassing to admit knowing a lot about blackball sessions. But more times than not, it's the big brother's fault a pledge gets blackballed. There can be a lot of score settling in those sessions. For example, Joe pledged XYZ. Joe's big brother, Jake, decides to blackball Hal's little brother. So Hal blackball's Joe to settle the score with Jake. Very typical - Joe was out of XYZ. This actually happened to a friend of mine.

The big brother didn't look out for him, protect him or warn him - like he should. I could go on, but you get the picture.

Also, your relative has very little to lose by contacting the national fraternity. His friends in that fraternity failed to come through for him when he needed them the most. He needs new friends.
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  #9  
Old 11-07-2016, 07:08 PM
FSUZeta FSUZeta is offline
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I have never heard of men being held to a year moratorium on pledging another group, especially when it was the fraternity that cancelled the membership. Have him check with the campus GL office and/or the fraternity's national headquarters.
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  #10  
Old 11-07-2016, 08:50 PM
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thetalady thetalady is offline
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Originally Posted by FSUZeta View Post
I have never heard of men being held to a year moratorium on pledging another group, especially when it was the fraternity that cancelled the membership. Have him check with the campus GL office and/or the fraternity's national headquarters.
I was going to post the same thing. Being committed/ unable to join another organization for 1 year after signing a bid card is generally an NPC (sorority) thing. I have never heard of it applying to fraternities.
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  #11  
Old 11-08-2016, 08:05 AM
Kevin Kevin is offline
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Unless we knew the particular fraternity, we could hardly begin to unravel this. Different groups have different membership criteria and procedures and not all of it gets to be public knowledge. I know that in my undergrad days (well over a decade ago), we once had a parent call HQ on behalf of their son who we had just expelled. It was treated by our HQ as a joke. If your son thinks he's been done wrong, he's an adult, he needs to look into that and be responsible for himself. No respectable international fraternity exists in a universe where we have to answer to the mommies and daddies of actual adults.

Sorry this happened. There's probably a perfectly logical explanation, but you may never know--and you're not really entitled to know.
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  #12  
Old 11-08-2016, 10:28 AM
2greekkids 2greekkids is offline
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I really don't want to share the group. That's his call. This is not my son. My son is a Sigma Nu alum (graduated last year) and thankfully all of his fraternity experiences have been positive. My daughter is an AE Phi at another school and they mix with this fraternity (totally different chapter). This is my nephew and we aren't trying to step in. We are just trying to understand. This was unlike anything I have ever heard of and I can't imagine it would be sanctioned. Had they cut him weeks before I'd understand better, but to let him come dressed for initiation and subject him to what occurred seems cruel.
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  #13  
Old 11-08-2016, 12:06 PM
NWguy NWguy is offline
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I feel very bad for your nephew and hope for a better ending to this unusual circumstance.

Our chapter did a last-minute vote just before Initiation began. That was the last time we could drop anyone from continuing - and it required a substantial vote + pledge master approval - so, this situation sounds odd and warrants an explanation.
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  #14  
Old 11-08-2016, 12:52 PM
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DGTess DGTess is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilTau View Post
Also, your relative has very little to lose by contacting the national fraternity. His friends in that fraternity failed to come through for him when he needed them the most. He needs new friends.

He could have A LOT to lose if you, or his mother, or anyone but he himself, contacts the fraternity. Time to be a man, not a boy.
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  #15  
Old 11-08-2016, 01:32 PM
Tom Earp Tom Earp is offline
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UNLESS it was a very major problem, the chapter calls the National and notes what they are doing and why.
If the National agrees, then it is a done deal or they are told to reinstate said pledge who can then be initiated at a later date and not held over.

As to banning said pledge from joining another Fraternity, I do not see how they can do that? Check with the Greek Life Adviser and get a clarification on this subject!! With that said, good luck to this young man!!!
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