I’m a founding father of a brand new fraternity on campus, and the president wants me to be the pledge master. We don’t have any hazing or pledging rituals since were alpha class. How can we come up with a pledgeship plan without ever being pledges ourselves?
Congratulations on starting a new colony. I know how difficult this task is (I joined a colony as well). The experience is rewarding though as you have the opportunity build something from the ground up.
Regarding pledging – think about the purpose. The purpose should be to train your newest members into becoming productive brothers.
I outline a pretty fantastic new member program that has no hazing and will ensure that the new members become productive brothers in my book The Fraternity Leader. Some of the highlights of the program are:
1) Teach them the value and traditions of your fraternity. It is important that they know what the organization they are joining is all about. Teach them in a productive manner (meaning no hazing). Whatever precedent you set as a founding father will be carried out for years to come. Make your legacy one that you can be proud of.
2) Teach them the skills they will need to become productive brothers. This means teach them how to recruit. Teach them how to plan community service events and social events. Make sure they learn these skills before they become brothers. This will make your chapter stronger once they do.
3) Teach them about brotherhood. Assign productive tasks that will bring the class together. Have them complete a house project or a fundraiser. These types of tasks will unite the pledge class and instill a sense of pride in your newest members.
4) Teach them about fraternity. Have them talk to your national HQ. Have them road trip to other chapters. Have them read my books to become better prepared to become brothers. They need to learn from brothers from outside your chapter and bring those great ideas back to your fraternity.
5) It needs to be a hell of a lot of fun. Fraternity is fun. You can learn to become a better man, and have a great time in the process. That is what makes fraternity great.
If you can accomplish those goals – then you will have a great pledge program.
This question was submitted by one of our readers. If you have a question you want me to answer go here to submit it: Fraternity Advice.