New Member Education
This area will discuss the goals of a new member education program, elements that make a program strong, and considerations to reduce hazing.
Goals of a New Member Program
As a result of their transition into fraternity/sorority life, new members should be able to demonstrate the following knowledge, skills, and attitudes:
- List expectations of the greater fraternal community
- Describe the organization’s structure
- Know where to get information, resources, and assistance
- Manage their behavior in accordance with their organization’s principles
- Identify and address problems related to the organization’s principles
- Aspire to higher standards of conduct and achievement
- Maintain openness to personal development experiences
- Feel pride in and affinity for the organization and the greater Fraternal community
Adapted from Analysis Report completed by RISE Partnership, LLC.
Key Elements of a New Member Program
The list below articulates key elements that a strong New Member Education Program incorporates into its curriculum:
- Make sure the program poses no mental or physical harm
- Describes the structure and activities of the program
- Articulates to the new members the philosophy and purpose of the new member experience
- Facilitates educational experiences
- Provides constructive feedback to members and new members
- Communicates expectations of membership
- Current members model sisterhood/brotherhood and exemplary conduct
- Current members feel responsibility and ownership for the learning of new members
- Effective transitions and training occurs
- New member educators act as a good liaison between the new members and current members, maintaining a balance and keeping everyone on the same page in regards to expectations of knowledge and behavior
- Lists techniques for evaluating and improving new member activities
- Seeks advice on the program from chapter and campus advisors
- Holds old and new members accountable for any straying from the program that could be or become hazing
Adapted from Analysis Report completed by RISE Partnership, LLC and from Judge Mitch Crane, CAMPUSSPEAK Speaker.
Considerations to Strengthen a New Member Education Program
The following are some things to keep in mind when designing an education program:
- Do not include alcohol in any new member activities.
- Provide opportunities for existing members to participate in some activities alongside new members. This can reduce hazing and give existing members the opportunity to model positive behavior.
- Identify the intended positive outcomes for all new-member activities. If the activity does not have any, consider revisions that make it a more educational, enjoyable experience.
- Anticipate the times and actions that lend themselves to hazing. Remember that activities such as scavenger hunts, skits, and study hours are not hazing IF they are conducted in the right way.