Friday is usually the go-to day of the week to release negatively perceived news, so I’m guessing Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s Supreme Council expects some serious pushback from the atomic bomb they dropped today–and for good reason. Not everyone is going to support this move.
Effective this Sunday, Sigma Alpha Epsilon will completely shut down its pledging process, citing the vision of the fraternity’s original Ritual and Constitution. According to the SAE Supreme Council, the fraternity aims to terminate unequal class structure between new members (pledges) and active members.
Sigma Alpha Epsilon, under the leadership and direction of the Supreme Council, has made a historic decision that will realign the Fraternity to produce the original member’s experience that our Founding Fathers envisioned. This change will adopt a method, practice and policy that treat all members equally and fairly and strive for a continuous development of our members throughout their lives. Effective March 9, 2014, new-member (pledge) programming will be eliminated completely from our operations, and the classification of new member (pledge) will no longer exist. All chapters and colonies will be required to implement this important change.
A new program, called the True Gentleman Experience, will be enacted immediately. This program will replace the current pledging process, and its goals are to “enhance the educational and leadership experience” and promote a more “positive, meaningful membership” for all new and active members.
That’s the front page, politically correct version.
The barroom version is this: hazing–and the public perception and perpetual threat of litigation that comes with it–has become a monstrous thorn in the national office’s side. This is SAE’s way of further distancing the fraternity from hazing incidents, at least from a legal standpoint.
Under the new program, recruits who accept their bids from SAE will immediately be activated.
Under the program, chapters and colonies may continue to recruit prospective members as they do currently. When they extend a bid, the college man who accepts the invitation will become a collegiate member. He will be required to accept our Scope of Association Agreement and complete the Carson Starkey Membership Certification Program. Furthermore, every member will be expected to meet our membership requirements and expectations and, should he fail to do so, our Fraternity Laws provide the means to suspend or remove his membership.
A “Member Educator” will replace the time-honored role of Pledge Educator–which is just the title to tell Mom and Dad in lieu of “Hazer Extraordinaire.” The Member Educator’s role will include overseeing the newly-implemented educational initiatives for his fellow brothers.
Times, they are a-changin’.
To learn more about the demise of SAE’s pledge program, read the full story on SAE.net.