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  #16  
Old 07-01-2017, 03:18 AM
7Silver17 7Silver17 is offline
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Post Clarifying

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonInKC View Post
So you want to disaffiliate because your chapter might be hazing? You are an alum, what does this have to do with you? Why is this a necessary thing to do? Doesn't make much sense to me, but it's your life.
No, JonInKC.

I want to disaffiliate because my organization nationally does not believe what they are doing is considered hazing. & as an alumna, even though I am not heavily involved in the organization, I am thinking that I should cut off my association with the sorority. If something were to happen in the news on a national level, I am concerned for my career of being labelled of someone who "supported" an organization that hazes. I feel like I run the risk of people thinking that I support the organization and what it is doing, especially as a new member of the professional FSL community. I just want to secure my new and upcoming career as all. Even though this concern of mine takes priority, I have overall been mostly unhappy being a part of the organization.
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  #17  
Old 07-01-2017, 08:05 AM
Kevin Kevin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7Silver17 View Post
I was definitely thinking of recording a conversation if the opportunity arises. Currently going to see if my chapter is willing to create some dialogue/conversation that may hopefully spark more opportunities to have these subjects discussed on a national level. Wish me luck!

Thank you all so much for your help thus far. It has been really hard to express my thoughts to people about all this for years and I felt that Greek Chat was the only space where I could get the most unbiased answers anonymously.
Seek legal counsel before you record anything. This would be a crime in some states.
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  #18  
Old 07-01-2017, 04:38 PM
navane navane is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7Silver17 View Post
More specifically, many practices that my sorority is doing, according to my AD, may be "indicative of hazing." Prior to joining Greek Life, I told myself that I would never stand for anything related to hazing.

Hi 7Silver17,

Thank you for sharing some extra information. Your explanation of the general situation of what you're facing helps us better understand where you are coming from. I have been a very active alumna member of my NPC organization for 13 years. Prior to changing careers, I worked in higher education and specifically sent some time working in our FSL office. I do have some thoughts to share in all sincerity.


First, you said that your AD felt that some of the things you described "may be" indicative of hazing. Without you explaining the exact activity involved (and you don't have to), it's hard to pin down if this situation truly is hazing or not. Any FSL staff member worth their salt would know right off the bat if something was hazing. However, it sounds as if the activities described fall into a gray-ish area. (?) For example, "We were required to chug bottles of vodka and then circle each other's fat." That would be obvious hazing. "We were told we would have to be able to recite the 12 founders' names any time someone asks" or "our pledges do a scavenger hunt" would be a more gray area.


According to you, at the time you participated, you had it in mind that you would never stand for hazing; but, you imply that you did participate in activities that you now think "may be" hazing. Sincere question, did it occur to you at the time (as a collegian), that this activity was, or might be, hazing? I'm not criticizing, I'm just trying to understand because it seems like it didn't bother you at the time even though you said you "...would never stand for anything related to hazing"



Quote:
Originally Posted by 7Silver17 View Post
The things that my organization is doing is a national issue. Reporting it to my nationals would not do any good as every chapter has been basically doing the same thing for almost 30 years.

Is this issue "national" because it is literally printed in the new member education materials put out by headquarters or is it "national" because many chapters do this activity and no one's stopping them?


Here, I have to wonder why any national GLO would outright place or advertise hazing activities in their new member program. Again, is it a gray area activity that may be innocent on paper but implemented incorrectly by individual chapters? (see my examples above).


Quote:
Originally Posted by 7Silver17 View Post
As for alumnae relations, if I would hypothetically move to another place, reaching out to a fellow sister is not on my mind. While we may be in the same sisterhood, we are still strangers.

Respectfully, this doesn't hold water. Every friend starts out as a stranger. It's when we get to know people that we build relationships and they turn into friendships. So, it's probably not the strangers thing that gets you, it's more likely that you simply just don't want to reach out or associate because of your negative feelings towards the GLO. That's perfectly ok to feel that way.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 7Silver17 View Post
I want to disaffiliate because my organization nationally does not believe what they are doing is considered hazing. & as an alumna, even though I am not heavily involved in the organization, I am thinking that I should cut off my association with the sorority. If something were to happen in the news on a national level, I am concerned for my career of being labelled of someone who "supported" an organization that hazes. I feel like I run the risk of people thinking that I support the organization and what it is doing, especially as a new member of the professional FSL community. I just want to secure my new and upcoming career as all. Even though this concern of mine takes priority, I have overall been mostly unhappy being a part of the organization.

Since you say that the organization's national entity does not believe what it's doing is hazing, then either the organization is horribly and dangerously off-base or the activity really may not be hazing like you think it is.


I dealt with a MCG sorority hazing case - the pledge came into my office sobbing, in clear distress, and outright asked me for help. That situation, based on her narrative, was an obvious case of hazing. There was no hesitation on my part that it "may be indicative of hazing". It WAS hazing and I reported the chapter to the FSL Director immediately. So, as a former FSL professional, I'm really getting stuck on that your AD didn't seem to know if it was hazing or not.


Also, I want to reassure you that your affiliation with your sorority will not ruin your student affairs career like you think it will. In my experience, no one really pays that much attention to it, even in the FSL segment of student affairs. In the FSL office, we were all GLO members. Yes, we knew who belonged to which fraternity and sorority; but, no one tripped on if one sorority was thought to be better than another or if one had made the news or not. If you look at the national news recently, there have been a number of really horrible high-profile embarrassments and tragedies for a few national GLOs. No one in FSL is going to look at you and say, "Oh, you're an XYZ? Isn't XYZ the sorority that <fill in the blank>?" FSL advisers are smart enough to know that one mistake or one bad chapter or one bad programming idea doesn't mean all members are bad. You will not be black-listed from FSL professional events or career opportunities. If anything, FSL practioners would likely be the MOST supportive of you and your GLO.


I think that the "my alumnae sisters are all strangers anyway" and "my national office only does phone calls" and "I'm afraid my Greek Life career could be hurt" are simply your attempts to justify your desire to disaffiliate from your GLO for whatever reason it is you really wanted to disaffiliate. If in your heart you truly believe that the activity is hazing, that the organization is a supporter of hazing, or that you otherwise have a moral or ethical objection to the values of the organization, then I support your decision to disaffiliate. Truly.
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Last edited by navane; 07-02-2017 at 01:03 AM. Reason: Typo
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  #19  
Old 07-02-2017, 12:02 AM
7Silver17 7Silver17 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
Seek legal counsel before you record anything. This would be a crime in some states.
Glad you told me that. Thank you!!!
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  #20  
Old 07-02-2017, 12:09 AM
7Silver17 7Silver17 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by navane View Post
Hi 7Silver17,

Thank you for sharing some extra information. Your explanation of the general situation of what you're facing helps us better understand where you are coming from. I have been a very active alumna member of my NPC organization for 13 years. Prior to changing careers, I worked in higher education and specifically sent some time working in our FSL office. I do have some thoughts to share in all sincerity.


First, you said that your AD felt that some of the things you described "may be" indicative of hazing. Without you explaining the exact activity involved (and you don't have to), it's hard to pin down if this situation truly is hazing or not. Any FSL staff member worth their salt would know right off the bat if something was hazing. However, it sounds as if the activities described fall into a gray-ish area. (?) For example, "We were required to chug bottles of vodka and then circle eat other's fat." That would be obvious hazing. "We were told we would have to be able to recite the 12 founders' names any time someone asks" or "our pledges do a scavenger hunt" would be a more gray area.


According to you, at the time you participated, you had it in mind that you would never stand for hazing; but, you imply that you did participate in activities that you now think "may be" hazing. Sincere question, did it occur to you at the time (as a collegian), that this activity was, or might be, hazing? I'm not criticizing, I'm just trying to understand because it seems like it didn't bother you at the time even though you said you "...would never stand for anything related to hazing"






Is this issue "national" because it is literally printed in the new member education materials put out by headquarters or is it "national" because many chapters do this activity and no one's stopping them?


Here, I have to wonder why any national GLO would outright place or advertise hazing activities in their new member program. Again, is it a gray area activity that may be innocent on paper but implemented incorrectly by individual chapters? (see my examples above).





Respectfully, this doesn't hold water. Every friend starts out as a stranger. It's when we get to know people that we build relationships and they turn into friendships. So, it's probably not the strangers thing that gets you, it's more likely that you simply just don't want to reach out or associate because of your negative feelings towards the GLO. That's perfectly ok to feel that way.





Since you say that the organization's national entity does not believe what it's doing is hazing, then either the organization is horribly and dangerously off-base or the activity really may not be hazing like you think it is.


I dealt with a MCG sorority hazing case - the pledge came into my office sobbing, in clear distress, and outright asked me for help. That situation, based on her narrative, was an obvious case of hazing. There was no hesitation on my part that it "may be indicative of hazing". It WAS hazing and I reported the chapter to the FSL Director immediately. So, as a former FSL professional, I'm really getting stuck on that your AD didn't seem to know if it was hazing or not.


Also, I want to reassure you that your affiliation with your sorority will not ruin your student affairs career like you think it will. In my experience, no one really pays that much attention to it, even in the FSL segment of student affairs. In the FSL office, we were all GLO members. Yes, we knew who belonged to which fraternity and sorority; but, no one tripped on if one sorority was thought to be better than another or if one had made the news or not. If you look at the national news recently, there have been a number of really horrible high-profile embarrassments and tragedies for a few national GLOs. No one in FSL is going to look at you and say, "Oh, you're an XYZ? Isn't XYZ the sorority that <fill in the blank>?" FSL advisers are smart enough to know that one mistake or one bad chapter or one bad programming idea doesn't mean all members are bad. You will not be black-listed from FSL professional events or career opportunities. If anything, FSL practioners would likely be the MOST supportive of you and your GLO.


I think that the "my alumnae sisters are all strangers anyway" and "my national office only does phone calls" and "I'm afraid my Greek Life career could be hurt" are simply your attempts to justify your desire to disaffiliate from your GLO for whatever reason it is you really wanted to disaffiliate. If in your heart you truly believe that the activity is hazing, that the organization is a supporter of hazing, or that you otherwise have a moral or ethical objection to the values of the organization, then I support your decision to disaffiliate. Truly.
To navane,

Thank you so much for your message. To clarify, when I was in undergrad, I DID NOT believe what I was doing was considered hazing. It wasn't until last semester when I went to my FSL office and asked my AD in person if activities XYZ were hazing and she flat out said yes. I then communicated to her that the activities are written on a national level, as in EVERYONE in EVERY chapter is expected to conduct basically the same activities in the same way. I asked a fellow sister if we could change things on a chapter level, but person X responded to me saying that our chapter would not be recognized if we did our own thing. The people are different in every chapter, but everything in our manual/book is meant for every chapter to perform such activities. It is also meant to be "read as if an administrator is reading it," as similarly quoted by another fellow sister who explained it to me. To me, hearing that sounded suspicious, which made me want to ask more questions.

So to also double clarify, I did not think what I was doing was hazing before I asked my AD a few questions last semester, which at the time, I was getting ready to go into the field of FSL. And, I believed that I needed to have my personal thoughts/feelings about the activities discussed as I need to know what is truly hazing or not as a newly rising professional.
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  #21  
Old 07-02-2017, 01:18 AM
clemsongirl clemsongirl is offline
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Without touching on the hazing bit, which others have covered, you'll probably be limited in jobs in FSL without a fraternal affiliation. Many positions I see posted have a requirement or expectation that applicants be a member of an inter/national fraternity or sorority.
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  #22  
Old 07-02-2017, 03:25 AM
33girl 33girl is offline
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^Unless OPis trying to clear the way to AI into something else.
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  #23  
Old 07-02-2017, 07:54 AM
Titchou Titchou is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7Silver17 View Post
To navane,

Thank you so much for your message. To clarify, when I was in undergrad, I DID NOT believe what I was doing was considered hazing. It wasn't until last semester when I went to my FSL office and asked my AD in person if activities XYZ were hazing and she flat out said yes. I then communicated to her that the activities are written on a national level, as in EVERYONE in EVERY chapter is expected to conduct basically the same activities in the same way. I asked a fellow sister if we could change things on a chapter level, but person X responded to me saying that our chapter would not be recognized if we did our own thing. The people are different in every chapter, but everything in our manual/book is meant for every chapter to perform such activities. It is also meant to be "read as if an administrator is reading it," as similarly quoted by another fellow sister who explained it to me. To me, hearing that sounded suspicious, which made me want to ask more questions.

So to also double clarify, I did not think what I was doing was hazing before I asked my AD a few questions last semester, which at the time, I was getting ready to go into the field of FSL. And, I believed that I needed to have my personal thoughts/feelings about the activities discussed as I need to know what is truly hazing or not as a newly rising professional.
Have you read the NPC Manual of Information (aka The Green Book) for that definition of hazing? If you are going to work in FSL you need to be very conversant with that book. I know that some other Councils don't consider some of the activities listed as hazing. One of them is scavenger hunts. You hardly ever see paddles any more with NPC groups just because of the "idea" of it relating to hazing. So perhaps what you need to do is to investigate what the other Councils say about hazing- NPC,IFC, NPHC, etc - and then make a determination. Also, if you know an attorney in your state, asking about the legal definition in your state might be helpful as well.
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  #24  
Old 07-02-2017, 10:14 AM
Kevin Kevin is offline
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As an attorney, the legal definition and the Sigma Nu (which I assume is the FIPG) definition of hazing are very different.
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  #25  
Old 07-02-2017, 11:23 AM
Titchou Titchou is offline
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Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
As an attorney, the legal definition and the Sigma Nu (which I assume is the FIPG) definition of hazing are very different.
You know what happens when you assume.....
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  #26  
Old 07-02-2017, 12:03 PM
Kevin Kevin is offline
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Originally Posted by Titchou View Post
You know what happens when you assume.....
FIPG:

http://fipg.org/

Quote:
Any action taken or situation created, intentionally, whether on or off fraternity premises, to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule. Such activities may include but are not limited to the following: use of alcohol, paddling in any form, creation of excessive fatigue, physical and psychological shocks, quests, treasure hunts, scavenger hunts, road trips or any other such activities carried on outside or inside of the confines of the chapter house; wearing of public apparel which is conspicuous and not normally in good taste, engaging in public stunts and buffoonery, morally degrading or humiliating games and activities, and other activities which are not consistent with academic achievement, fraternal law, ritual or policy or the regulations and policies of the educational institution or applicable state law.

Sigma Nu:

http://www.sigmanu.org/file/collegia...guidelines.pdf

Quote:
Any action taken or situation created, intentionally, whether on or off fraternity premises, to produce mental or physical discomfort, embarrassment, harassment, or ridicule. Such activities may include but are not limited to the following: use of alcohol, paddling in any form, creation of excessive fatigue, physical and psychological shocks, quests, treasure hunts, scavenger hunts, road trips or any other such activities carried on outside or inside of the confines of the chapter house; wearing of public apparel which is conspicuous and not normally in good taste, engaging in public stunts and buffoonery, morally degrading or humiliating games and activities, and other activities which are not consistent with academic achievement, fraternal law, ritual or policy or the regulations and policies of the educational institution or applicable state law.
Sometimes, it's pretty safe to assume. Most NIC and NPC (maybe all) are insured through the FIPG. I can't imagine having a different hazing policy than the company which provides you liability insurance.
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  #27  
Old 07-02-2017, 04:14 PM
Titchou Titchou is offline
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Most NPC groups use MJ Insurance now. And my statement was vis-a-vis state law which you didn't quote.
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  #28  
Old 07-02-2017, 05:48 PM
7Silver17 7Silver17 is offline
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Since we are on the topic of defining hazing. I know that my organization believes what it is doing is not hazing, yet FSL professionals have told me it is.

In our new member education, there is NO paddling, physical/emotional/mental abuse, or anything very obvious of the like. What is currently in place that is debatable is how the information during new member education is presented.

As a member of an MGC organization, I want to know what is the true definition of hazing. My FSL AD told me that it is up to an individual's interpretation, but that just makes it harder for me to prove or explain whether something is hazing or not, esp when it comes to subtle hazing.

Any more thoughts or advice?
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  #29  
Old 07-02-2017, 10:47 PM
Titchou Titchou is offline
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That is very true if it isn't spelled out by your insurance company or the state. You might check those two but I would imagine your national org is following their insurance - at least in writing. But what I might think is hazing, you might not and vice versa. It's often hard to say. We have to write "happy notes" to people at work on their birthdays. I absolutely HATE doing it. I would consider that hazing if it was my sorority....but someone else might not.
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  #30  
Old 07-02-2017, 10:54 PM
Kevin Kevin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7Silver17 View Post
As a member of an MGC organization, I want to know what is the true definition of hazing. My FSL AD told me that it is up to an individual's interpretation, but that just makes it harder for me to prove or explain whether something is hazing or not, esp when it comes to subtle hazing.

Any more thoughts or advice?
Sure. Run the facts through these three lenses: The organization in question's own policies, state law and the Student Code of Conduct. All three will probably be different.

If things are still unclear, you might find that the chapter in question's national office will be extremely helpful in cooperating with you and responding to your concerns. Absent a willing/helpful national organization, you might collect more facts or bring things to your superiors or to the university general counsel.

With most NIC groups (not all), you will find a national office which is probably even more eager than you are to get to the bottom of things and take appropriate action.
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