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
Organizations should be proactive in reducing hazing. One way to plan ahead is to design a new member education program that follows the guidelines of the college and of your national organization.
- Get to know the other members, both existing and non-initiated
- Learn the history and traditions of the organization
- Understand how the chapter operates and the roles of its members
- Help new members learn to navigate the campus and make use of campus resources
It should not be the goal of new member education to “mold” initiates or to make them better people. The organization is responsible for recruiting new members who demonstrate values and integrity; the organization should not have to create them.
Key Elements of a New Member Program
- Did you know…
- 36% of people say they would not report hazing because “there’s no one to tell.”
- Ask what makes someone a good brother or sister of a chapter
- Define the essentials that need to be learned
- Make sure the program poses no mental or physical harm
- Seek advice on the program from chapter and campus advisors
- Tell new members what the requirements for membership are
- Hold old and new members accountable for any straying from the program that could be or become hazing.
Adapted from Judge Mitch Crane, CAMPUSSPEAK Speaker.
Considerations to Reduce Hazing
The following are some things to keep in mind when designing a non-hazing education program.
- Do not include alcohol consumption for 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.