New Member Education

Fraternity and Sorority Life

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 Greek community
  • Describe the organization’s structure and function
  • Know where to get information, resources, and assistance
  • Manage their behavior in accordance with their organization’s values
  • Identify and address problems related to the organization’s values
  • 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 Greek community

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 liaison between the new members and current members, maintaining a balance and understanding of expectations 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

When Designing an New Member 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 a positive and welcoming way.