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Yesterday, at Sigma Phi Epsilon’s 54th Grand Chapter Conclave, undergraduate brothers passed a resolution to replace the pledging process nationwide with the “Balanced Man Program.” The BMP was first introduced back in 1990, and by the end of the 2014-2015 school year, 215 of the 228 active SigEp chapters had already adopted the program, but Thursday’s decision made the fraternity the first to officially abolish pledging by way of undergraduate vote rather than a top-down mandate.
“The modern fraternity world is broken,” [Max] Fowler [South Carolina ’15] said. “Hazing allegations, mortalities, substance abuse and a number of other serious issues riddle fraternity chapters across the country. Society needs to see that the American college fraternity is still relevant, and we have to show them SigEp is leading the charge.”
New members will have full rights the day they accept their bid: chapter, ritual, intramurals, etc. Anything a four-year brother can do on behalf of the letters, so can some punk who just walked out of high school.
Unfortunately, I fear this is exactly where all fraternities will eventually go over the next few decades, adapting to the modern social climate. My unborn kid will most likely never have the opportunity to go through the pledging process, which I still stand by as the best experience I’d never want to do again. And that’s a damn shame..