Saturday, November 10, 2007

UNC Structures Pledge Periods

Rookie Greeks becoming official
The Daily Tar Heel – University of North Carolina
By Hanna Harrill

There won't be any more sorority or fraternity pledges sporting pledge pins or saving block seats at football games this fall.

The Interfraternity Council and the Panhellenic Council initiation deadline, which officials said helps chapters lay out their pledge processes, was Monday.

"The deadline gives chapters a structure so they can fit all new member education into a required time limit," said Jenny Levering, assistant dean of students for fraternity and sorority life.

The pledge process is limited by the University to eight weeks after bid day, when more than 1,000 new members are invited to begin pledging. Some national chapters also enforce similar deadlines, officials said.

Alton Wright, vice president of recruitment for the IFC, added that the deadline keeps the process from distracting pledges from academic responsibilities."The thing about having the deadline is just that anything over eight weeks starts to really tear into the semester," he said.

Officials said the pledge period is a process that varies for individual organizations.

There is also a certain amount of secrecy in the initiation process."Each organization has a structured new member program that emphasizes education about the organization," Levering said.

She also said the processes include service, history and scholarship components, such as classes about traditions and study halls.

The University also oversees the pledge process in terms of acting on hazing concerns."There is an anonymous hazing hot line on our Web site, and any allegations are investigated by the Greek Judicial Board or the Honor System," Levering said.

Last year there were allegations of hazing brought against Sigma Chi fraternity in November. They were found guilty on seven charges, though their sentence was later reduced to a temporary probation.

There are various sanctions and regulations in place to prevent this type of activity, including charters and written promises.Sororities and fraternities also had to fill out paperwork to complete the pledging process officially.

"There are certain guidelines and certain events and programs new members have to go through," said Ashley Huffman, president of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority."The paperwork is there to ensure that we've done everything we were supposed to do with all those that pledged."