Fraternity & Sorority Life New Member Orientation Handbook



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Fraternity & Sorority Life

New Member Orientation Handbook

Updated January 2013

Table of Contents
Role of the New Member Educator 2

Goals of a Constructive New Member Orientation Program 3

Assimilation vs. Rites of Passage 4

New Member Program Evaluation 5

Outcomes & Suggested Activities 7

Campus Policies 9

Hazing Policy Information 11

Unacceptable Activities 12

Role of the New Member Educator / Intake Coordinator


  • Clearly define the specifics and expectations of the New Member Orientation program to all new members and/or candidates for membership




  • Clearly articulate the approved New Member Orientation program to all active and alumni members, in addition to their individual roles, responsibilities, and expectations




  • Host an educational workshop for the active membership to review the purpose of New Member Orientation and inter/national and campus policies and expectations




  • Ensure that all activities within your New Member Orientation plan uphold the values of your organization




  • Be a role model for new members/candidates, chapter members and alumni; setting an example of appropriate behavior and member accountability




  • Communicate regularly with the Chapter President, alumni advisor, and Assistant Director for Fraternity & Sorority Life about any changes to your approved plan and/or candidate roster







  • Support member development efforts beyond the orientation period




  • Submit all required New Member Orientation registration paperwork to the Assistant Director for Fraternity & Sorority Life



**Adapted from Lehigh University New Member Educator/Intake Coordinator Handbook**

Goals of a Constructive New Member Orientation Program




  • To educate new members/candidates on the ideology, history, inter/national structure, and ceremonies of the organization




  • To instill an understanding of, and appreciation for, the principles on which the organization was founded




  • To develop responsible, motivated and dedicated members




  • To promote and encourage lifelong friendship, loyalty and the values of good sisterhood/brotherhood




  • To stimulate individual development of new members/candidates




  • To establish a sense of civic duty and carry out activities of campus and civic value




  • To assist in the orientation and assimilation of new members/candidates into the chapter




  • To build chapter unity, camaraderie and respect







  • To provide an environment for the free exchange of ideas amongst all members of the organization (new member/candidate, active, and alumni)




  • To encourage new members/candidates to become involved in the fraternal community


**Adapted from Lehigh University New Member Educator/Intake Coordinator Handbook & San Diego State University Positive New Member Education Programming Ideas**

DO THIS




NOT THIS

New Member Program Evaluation

Take a few minutes to reflect on your current new member orientation program. Answer the following questions and complete the included audit. This will help you understand what works, what doesn’t have the best outcomes, and what the intended and unintended messages new members are receiving.

1 = Poor 5 = Excellent






1

2

3

4

5

New members know the history of the organization
















Our new member’s GPA’s improve as a result of our new member program
















Our new members informally spend time with our active members
















Our membership seeks out opportunities to get to know new members
















Our new members have an individual mentor during their new member process
















Our new member orientation program demonstrates pride in our organization
















Our new member program demonstrates the value of academic excellence
















Our new member program demonstrates the value of service
















Our new member program demonstrates the value of personal development
















Our new member program demonstrates the value of leadership
















Our new member program demonstrates the value of brotherhood & sisterhood
















Our new member program demonstrates the value of multiculturalism
















We provide a calendar of new member/candidate activities upon the beginning of the new member program
















We involve the entire membership in our new member program
















We hold regularly scheduled new member meetings
















Our alumni play an active role in our new member program
















Our alumni play a positive role in our new member program
















Our new members/candidates understand the expectations of active members
















What are your chapter’s values? Do these values reflect your inter/national organizations values?
How do you teach your organization’s values to your new members/candidates?
What goals do you hope to accomplish during your new member orientation program?
List 3 events/components you like about your new member orientation program that you want to continue. These should be congruent with your values and in adherence with campus and inter/national policy.
Why are these events/components positive for your organization? Why are they considered best?
List 3 things you could stand to change in your new member orientation program.
How can you alter these practices?
List anything that has to stop. How are you going to ensure that they stop?


**Adapted from Worcester Polytechnic Institute New Member/Intake Handbook **

Outcomes & Suggested Activities

It is important for us to identify our intended outcomes for our new members as a result of their new member orientation process.

What end result do you wish to see in your new members/candidates? What do you hope your new members/candidates learn about becoming a member?



When developing outcomes ask yourself the following questions:

  • What goal is sought?

  • For which people?

  • How is this going to affect my organization?


Suggested New Member Orientation Outcomes & Activity Ideas

  • Provide an understanding of national/local history, traditions, and programs

    • Distribute materials on history and assign weekly homework assignments

    • Have game-show style competitions with actives and new members/candidates

    • Have regional or national officers speak to the chapter

  • Promote friendship and brotherhood/sisterhood

    • Host a chapter retreat designed to build relationships

    • Provide an opportunity where all members and candidates share what they value about the organization

  • Better acquaint new members with initiates

    • Create personal discussion cards with questions for members to share answers

    • Do icebreakers with actives and candidates

    • Host a dinner or lunch and pair candidates with actives to spend time with

  • Work together as a team to achieve common goals

    • Conduct team-building and/or communication exercises

  • Educate new members regarding chapter operations, including organization structure and financial management

    • Assign each new member/candidate to “shadow” a chapter officer

    • Have officers make a presentation to new members/candidates about their position and responsibilities

    • Conduct a chapter financial workshop and include new members/candidates

  • Teach new member how to plan and organize events

    • Ask the new members/candidates to work together to plan a service event

  • Encourage and motivate new members/candidates to achieve their academic potential

    • Have new members/candidates set academic goals

    • Require new members/candidates to meet with an academic advisor to discuss their academic progress

    • Conduct workshops on study skills and test taking tips

  • Develop and enhance time management skills

    • Conduct a time-management seminar

    • Purchase daily planners for new members/candidates

  • Make new members knowledgeable regarding policies of the campus, local chapter, and national organization

    • Provide information and assign each new member/candidate a policy and have them make a presentation about it to the rest of the new members/candidates

  • Provide social and recreational opportunities

    • Organize a sporting event between big’s & little’s, alumni & new members/candidates, etc.

    • Host a dry social event (picnic, bowling, mini golf, etc.) with actives and new members/candidates


Unacceptable Outcomes

  • To prove one’s worth as a member

  • To require useless memorization of material

  • To break one down to rebuild in the organization’s image

  • To waste the new members’ time

  • To see if they are “worthy” of being initiated

  • To provide personal servitude to active members

  • To “earn” their membership through physical work and/or exhaustion


**Adapted from Worcester Polytechnic Institute New Member/Intake Handbook & San Diego State University Positive New Member Education Programming Ideas **

Stony Brook University Policies Regarding New Member Orientation


 1. All students participating in the new member orientation process must be full-time, regularly enrolled students, have at least a 2.3 cumulative grade-point average, and have earned a minimum of 12 credit hours. Credit hours must be accrued during matriculation at a college campus. Advance placement credits or other credit acquired prior to high school graduation cannot be included. Transfer students are eligible provided proper verification from previous college or university attended is presented to the Assistant Director for Fraternity and Sorority Life indicating the completion of at least 12 credits with a minimum 2.5 GPA.

2. All new member orientation and activities can begin when:



  • All prospective members have submitted a Membership Acceptance, Grade Release, and Emergency Contact Card.

  • New Member Educator has attended an educational session on how to conduct a positive and effective membership recruitment and training program.

  • A roster of prospective members and a new member orientation plan has been submitted. Plans must include goals, learning outcomes, and a calendar of activities.

  • The chapter has received written notification of approval from the Assistant Director for Fraternity and Sorority Life.

3. The Assistant Director for Fraternity and Sorority Life will annually determine the earliest date that bids can be issued and the date that all new member orientation activities must be completed by. These will be no longer than an eight week period.

4. Organized new member orientation activities may begin after 10:00am and must end by 12:00am, Sunday through Thursday, and may begin after 10:00am and must end by 2:00am on Friday and Saturday.

5. All new member orientation activities are restricted to the Stony Brook University campus unless written approval is received by the Assistant Director for Fraternity and Sorority Life.

6. New member orientation activities shall not interfere with classes, academic activities or requirements, and/or a prospective member’s work schedules. Those prospective members whose class and work schedules conflict with scheduled new member orientation activities must be excused from those activities and/or those activities must be rescheduled for such a time when they do not interfere with a prospective member’s work and/or class schedule.

7. Alcohol or drugs should not be in any way a part of the recruitment or new member orientation process.

8. Prospective members must be informed of financial and other obligations of membership prior to beginning the new member orientation process.

9. Prospective members may withdraw from the new member orientation process at any time without fear of harassment or ridicule.

10. Students may only join one fraternity or sorority at a time.

11. The practice of influencing and/or harassing prospective members from a fraternity or sorority, by a member of another fraternity or sorority, commonly referred to as cross-intake, is prohibited.

12. The practice of conducting new member orientation processes for individuals who are not registered students at Stony Brook University, commonly known as “cross-campus intake”, is prohibited.

13. Requests for exceptions to the outlined new member orientation process (i.e. off campus activities, etc.) shall be made in writing to the Assistant Director for Fraternity and Sorority Life. The Assistant Director for Fraternity and Sorority Life will initiate a meeting with the organization president and new member educator to determine if an exception will be granted and will document in writing any accommodations made for that particular process. Special requests need to be made for each new member orientation process and organization plans and accommodations made will only be valid in the semester they are approved.
Hazing Policies & New York State Law

Hazing is…
any behavior, activity, or situation that creates an environment that intentionally or unintentionally harms an individual physically or psychologically.

Hazing and/or harassment of new members/candidates and members is strictly prohibited as stipulated by New York State Law and the University Student Conduct Code. Hazing may be perpetrated by individual(s) against individual(s), individual against group, group against individual, or group against group.


Hazing conduct may result in charges under the rules for “Maintenance of Public Order” (Education Law, Section 6450), withdrawal of chapter recognition as described in this document, campus judicial charges against individual students, and/or the arrest of individuals.

New York State Law (as of 4/24/2010)

Section 120.16: Hazing in the first degree

A person is guilty of hazing in the first degree when, in the course of another person’s initiation into or affiliation with any organization, he/she intentionally or recklessly engages in conduct which creates a substantial risk of physical injury to such other person or a third person and thereby causes injury.



Hazing in the first degree is a Class A Misdemeanor.
Section 120.17: Hazing in the second degree

A person is guilty of hazing in the second degree when, in the course of another person’s initiation or affiliation with any organization, he/she intentionally or recklessly engages in conduct which creates a substantial risk of physical injury to such other person or a third person.

Hazing in the second degree is a violation.

Stony Brook University Student Conduct Code Section II.A.1.g - Hazing

Whether by omission or commission, no student shall take any action, or create, or participate in the creation of any situation that recklessly or intentionally endangers another person's psychological, mental, or physical health or that involves the forced or expected consumption of liquor or drugs for the purpose of initiation into or affiliation with any organization. Examples of hazing activities include, but are not limited to: paddling, branding, tattooing, shaving of hair, or other physical abuse or brutality; activities that involve excessive fatigue and/or stress; verbal and/or psychological abuse that compromises the dignity of any individual. Hazing conduct may result in charges and arrest under the New York State Penal Law, and charges under this CODE, which can lead to suspension or expulsion from the University.


Unacceptable Activities

Hazing is about power. Most hazing behavior helps one group or person exert power over others. If you are unsure if an activity is okay, ask yourself this question: Is the activity designed in such a way that members exert power over new members as a condition of their new member status?

If yes, then you may be on the path toward an activity that is not positive or acceptable. Here are some items that are considered unacceptable by Stony Brook University. Please understand that this list is NOT inclusive.



Unacceptable Activity

Description

Marching

Walking linked arm in arm, stepping/stomping loudly in unison. Exceptions can be made if included as part of a structured show and must be approved by the ADFSL.

Walking in line

Walking one in front of each other in a line or walking in an intentional structured formation.

Individual military walking / cutting corners

Walking with a stiff back, staring forward, and turning corners with sharp edges.

Social probation/Code of silence

Not being able to speak or socialize with individuals outside of the organization. Not being able to attend social events.

Greetings

Formalized and exaggerated ways in which current members are addressed that imply admiration and/or appreciation

Wearing uniforms or gear

Wearing matching clothing and/or hair styles. Exceptions can be made for structured shows and ceremonies and must be approved by the ADFSL.

Sleep deprivation

Keeping new members/candidates up past the allowed time periods. Waking up new members from sleep for no specific purpose.

Verbal or physical threats, violence, or forced physical activity

Exercise routines, workouts, running, etc. Any form of physical violence including beating, paddling, etc.

Dietary restrictions or forced consumption

Forced consumption of any substance. Only being allowed to eat certain food, use certain utensils, or eat at specific times.

Changes to normal hygienic routines

Restrictions on showering, teeth brushing, etc. Not allowing new member/candidates to wear makeup.

Manual servitude

Doing favors or tasks for actives or alumni.

Creating a “home base” for new members/candidates

Requiring or requesting that new members/candidates report to one location when not in class or at work

**Adapted from Worcester Polytechnic Institute New Member/Intake Handbook **

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