Frat-ricide: are African American fraternities beating themselves to death? – includes related articles on the National Pan-Hellenic Council, its statement on hazing and its membership development efforts – Cover Story - Higher Education
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Frat-ricide: are African American fraternities beating themselves to death? – includes related articles on the National Pan-Hellenic Council, its statement on hazing and its membership development efforts – Cover Story

by Paul Ruffins

“They took him into a room and five members of the fraternity
attacked him. They punched and kicked him. I asked if he ever got the
urge to swing back and he said, `We can’t.’ He said he had been kicked
in the head.”

This recollection comes from Felicia Taylor, the former girlfriend
of Michael Davis who died in February of 1994 after being beaten to
death while pledging Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity at Southeast Missouri
State University.

The day after this conversation, Davis collapsed after submitting
to another beating at the hands of his fraternity brothers. Had they
called an ambulance, he probably would have survived. Instead, they
stopped to get some food at a Taco Bell directly across the street from
a hospital, then drove the unconscious boy home and put him to bed. At
1:30 in the afternoon his roommate, another pledge, saw green foam
coming from Michael’s mouth. After finally calling 911, the fraternity
brothers lied to the rescue workers by telling them that Michael had
been injured playing football. After the police and ambulance left they
tried to remove all fraternity-related evidence of the hazing from the
apartment.

However, when the coroner removed Michael’s clothing during the
autopsy, he found a small red spiral notebook hidden in Michael’s
underwear — a notebook Michael had on him the moment he died which
contained the unintentially ironic notation, “Hazing is the physical
conditioning of the mind.”

According to the office of the prosecuting attorney, Davis had
“broken ribs, a lacerated kidney, a lacerated liver, and bruises all
over his chest, neck, back and arms. He died from internal bleeding in
his brain.”

Four other pledges were badly bruised and sore from the continual
beatings they had received over the week before Davis died. These
included being hit with books and beaten on the soles of their feet
with a cane. As a result, sixteen defendants were charged with hazing.
Seven fraternity brothers also either pled guilty to or were convicted
of involuntary manslaughter. Most of the seven served short jail
sentences.

Although the criminal cases were concluded in 1994, the Davis
family’s civil suit was not resolved until recently when Kappa Alpha
Psi agreed to pay $1.4 million dollars to settle the suit against the
national organization and its officers. Members and faculty advisors of
the local chapter where Davis pledged had previously settled for
$850,000.

Davis’s death has made it very clear to fraternity officials,
faculty advisors, and researchers across the country, that the beating
of pledges continues to be a serious problem in Black fraternities.
Other lawsuits involving charges of hazing demonstrate the ongoing
threat that pledging poses to Black fraternities. For example:

* In March 1997, an Indiana jury found the national organization of
Omega Psi Phi, the fraternity’s chapter at Indiana University and
several individuals who were members of the fraternity liable for
$774,500 in damages in the February 1994 beating of former Indiana
University student Kevin Nash, who was hospitalized for injuries he
received while he was being pledged. Nash, who suffered from injuries
to his kidneys, face, neck and chest, was allegedly paddled and hit
with an open fist, according to Nash’s attorney.

* A former University of Georgia football player has sued the
national organization of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity, the fraternity’s
chapter and three individuals who were Phi Beta Sigma fraternity
members at the University of Georgia for damages resulting from an
alleged September 1996 hazing incident. Rod Perrymond, then a reserve
running back on the football team, was treated at a hospital in Athens,
Georgia, for bruises to his buttocks and torn blood vessels after he
was allegedly paddled. The three fraternity members charged were
arrested and pled guilty to hazing and battery charges, according to
news reports.

Going Underground

Officially, the Black fraternities cracked down on hazing in 1990
in response to a death of a student who died while pledging Alpha Phi
Alpha at Morehouse College. The boards of the Greek organizations
belonging to the National Pan-Hellenic Council ended pledging and
instituted the “New Member Intake Process.” As a result, pledging by
undergraduate members of fraternities and sororities was supposed to
end altogether. The new process was intended to give national and
regional fraternity and sorority officials control over the selection
of new members.

While some officials believe that adoption of the process has
minimized hazing, others believe that the risks for students joining
Black fraternities have increased because pledging has gone underground.

According to Dr. Jason DeSousa, assistant vice-president for
student affairs at Alabama State University and a member of Kappa Alpha
Psi, “The death of Michael Davis shows that the New Member intake
Process has been a failure. We just didn’t get enough students to buy
into the new process at the chapter level. As a result, hazing has been
driven underground where it becomes even more dangerous.

“Pledging and hazing are an ingrained part of the undergraduate
subculture,” DeSousa continues. “In the minds of many members, it makes
the difference between being a `Real Kappa’ and a `Paper Kappa.’ We
have even had situations where members who went through the new process
have been beaten by other members and have had their Kappa shirts torn
off their backs in public.”

Dr. John A. Williams, director of the Academic Intervention Center
at Tennessee State University, said he predicted in his 1992 doctoral
dissertation on student perceptions of the New Member Intake Process
that hazing would continue to plaque African-American fraternities.

“I said then [that continued hazing] was predictable because
students never bought into the intake process. The organizations chose
to ignore an underlying theme that students wanted a process with rites
of passage,” says Williams, who is also the founder and director of the
Center for the Study of Pan-Hellenic Issues.

However, a number of campus administrators and fraternity officials
say some progress has been achieved with the New Member Intake Process.

“I think the new intake process is a good idea,” says Thomas
Palmer, vice-president for student affairs at Fort Valley State
University in Georgia and a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.

However, deans of students as well as fraternity officials have
reported that they have had to discipline Black fraternity members and
chapters for membership intake violations. Nevertheless, some say that
the new intake processes have generated far more positive results than
bad.

“I know that it’s cut out a lot of bad activity,” says Dorothy
Huston, the vice-president for student affairs at Alabama A&M
University who has had to suspend one fraternity and put another on
probation for new member intake violations since last fall.

But some experts on fraternity life say that because pledging has
gone underground, the violent traditions associated with Black
fraternity rites have largely remained unchanged. Missouri attorney
Douglas Richmond spent six years as a student affairs officer on two
different campuses. Today, he makes his living defending insurance
companies in lawsuits against fraternities.

“In my experience on campus and as a defense attorney it definitely
seems like the Black fraternities are much more likely to physically
assault their pledges,” says Richmond. “In white frats you see a lot
more forced consumption of alcohol or disgusting mixtures of foods, and
more verbal abuse.”

Richmond also noted that perhaps because the white frats seem to be
more involved in alcohol abuse, they generate a far larger number of
charges of date rape and other sexual complaints.

A Violent Tradition

“The number one problem with Black fraternities is violence,” says
Richmond. “The Black fraternity pledging always seems to involve more
violence — from branding to beating each other with fists and blunt
objects.”

In the case of physical beatings, which only involve potential
members, college administrators are only likely to hear about the most
extreme cases where a pledge dies or is permanently disabled. If a
pledge survives and is “made,” the beating usually becomes a badge of
honor and is unlikely to be reported.

Richmond said that white frats used to beat their pledges a lot
more often in the 1970s and 1980s. After a few lawsuits, however, the
nationals put a lot of pressure on the chapters to end beatings.

“Unfortunately, that effort seems to have missed the Black fraternities,” Richmond says.

There are a variety of structural and psychological reasons why
young Black men continue to make physical beatings a part of “crossing
the burning sands.”

Dr. Antonio McDaniel, a sociologist at the University of
Pennsylvania, believes that Black fraternity hazing reflects a very
profound problem in the way Black men have internalized society’s
treatment of themselves.

“As a people, we have a long history of being beaten and branded
and enslaved. So it is simply a sign of extreme nihilism and alienation
when we willingly submit to beating and branding,” McDaniel explains.
“When you join gangs like the Crips or the Bloods, they beat and brand
you. If you’re supposed to be The Talented Tenth, show us some
leadership in ways that do not remind us that we were slaves.”

However, tough hazing has a long tradition with the Black Greeks.
Many older members proudly display their paddles and say that having
had one broken over your backside is a point of pride. This tradition
can make the national’s opposition to pledging and hazing come across
more like a wink and a nod. As one Alpha official exclaimed, “I was on
line for a whole year, now with this new intake process it’s like we’re
just microwaving them.”

Indeed, the fraternities are faced with a conundrum. The faster
someone comes into the fraternity, the less the chance of hazing
charges. On the other hand, once a potential member is “made,” he has
little incentive to go through all the necessary “mental training”
required to memorize the fraternity’s history and esoteric lore.

However tough it was to become a member of a Black fraternity in
the past, it’s probably fair to say that the initiation rites have
gotten more physically abusive recently. Many older members don’t
describe being kicked and punched as a major past of the initiation
process. Although Black fraternities often paddled their pledges, many
older Greeks report that they were only paddled once or twice primarily
on the night right before “going over” (becoming a full-fledged
fraternity brother).

The bottom line is: The same rituals from fifty or sixty ears ago
that were daunting when carried out by supervised young men carefully
picked from America’s Black Elite (as African American seekers of
higher education were known at the time), may become deadly when
secretly carried out by Black teenagers brought up in a society that
equates Black masculinity with violence.

National Efforts to Curb Hazing

As Dr. W. Ted Smith, Kappa Alpha Psi’s executive director, notes,
“We formally abolished pledging in 1990. In its place we developed a
New Member Intake Program that requires pre-screening for someone to
become a member.”

But he adds, “The bottom line is that there are some very serious
questions concerning the management and supervision of some of these
chapters.”

According to Smith, the secrecy that accompanies the underground
hazing has had other negative consequences beside injuries. One is that
it further distances the younger members from the national organization.

Smith reports that many younger members feel that their loyalty is
to their chapter and not the fraternity as a whole. In addition, he
suspects that some local chapters are raising money that is not being
shared with the national office. In some cases, young pledges new to
campus have been hazed and “taken over” without ever knowing that
pledging is against the rules.

Partly in response to having to pay $1.4 million as part of the
settlement with Michael Davis’s family, Kappa Alpha Psi has established
a Chapter Development and Leadership Program (CDLP) to try and prevent
similar horrors from happening in the future. The purpose of the
program is to enhance the leadership and educational development of
both the chapter and individual members by sending paid professionals
called Chapter Development and Leadership Specialists (CDLSs) to visit
campuses where Kappa has established chapters.

In describing the program, the fraternity has explicitly noted that
the CDLP is “the arm of the fraternity which helps to ensure that
undergraduate chapters and individual members understand and respect
the rules, policies and regulations of Kappa Alpha Psi.”

One of the fraternity’s most important rules is that it no longer
engages in or tolerates hazing. However, the Davis case proved to many
that the national office of Kappa Alpha Psi, as well as many other
Greek organizations, has lost control over some of its chapters.

There are a number of complicated reasons why Black fraternities
might be having trouble supervising their chapters. One factor has been
the success of both the civil rights movement and affirmative action.
Simply put, in response to the rapidly growing number of Black students
looking to feel at home on white campuses, the Black fraternities have
often chartered chapters in places where there were too few adult Black
men available to properly supervise them.

A typical example of this problem involves the permanent expulsion
of the Alpha Phi Alpha chapter from Frostburg State University in
western Maryland. Johnnie MacTwine of Baltimore was the Alpha Phi Alpha
contact with the Frostburg chapter. He says that it was simply
impossible for him to keep tabs on the situation.

“There were only about three Black staff members for me to deal
with and it was a hundred miles away,” explains MacTwine. “Whenever I
would go out there, I would give all the potential new members my
business card, tell them that hazing was not allowed, and let them know
they should call me at any time. But I knew things were going on behind
my back.”

Although the hazing incidents were not lethal, the Alpha Phi Alpha
chapter still got into trouble with the college’s administration. The
first two times MacTwine was able to prevail upon the Frostburg
administration to give the chapter another chance.

“I wanted to keep it going because I felt that the young men could
benefit from the fraternity. But after the last situation,” laments
MacTwine, “Alpha’s management told me it was just better to let the
chapter go and I had to agree with them.”

Harold J. Haskins, director of student development at the
University of Pennsylvania, complains that the national fraternities
don’t seem to express much concern over the rampant underground
pledging he sees with African American males at the University of
Pennsylvania.

“I don’t see much support coming out of the nationals,” says Haskins.

In addition, the brutality makes it harder for Black Greeks to find
Black faculty advisors. Debby Connor, acting director of the Student
Success Center at Auburn University in Alabama, notes, “We presently
have African Americans advising our Black fraternities, but for a long
time their reputation for physical hazing made it very difficult for us
to recruit Black faculty willing to supervise the Black Greeks.”

HBCUs and Housing

It is easy to understand how abuses can take place in badly
supervised chapters on predominantly white campuses. However, serious
incidents have also occurred at historically Black colleges and
universities (HBCUs). Again, one factor has been the success of
desegregation and the civil rights movement.

During the time of segregation, the towns surrounding historically
Black college were often hostile and threatening, which encouraged many
Black faculty to live on or close to campus. As a result, they had a
lot more direct contact with students.

“Things have really changed at colleges since the days when few
students had cars and most faculty and staff lived on or very near the
campuses and could keep a closer eye on what was going on” Smith
observes.

“But what makes matters much worse,” he adds, “is the fact that 90
percent of these violent incidents happen in isolated apartments off
campus where there is no possibility of supervision and things get
completely out of control. After an incident like this, the media will
report that it happened in a fraternity house. But Kappa has no
undergraduate housing. A few Kappas may rent an apartment together but
that does not make it Kappa house.”

Although it may not be immediately obvious, the fact that most of
the Black fraternities have few if any official undergraduate
fraternity houses is a very significant issue. Most white fraternities
have housing on or near campus, which gives them greater administrative
and legal ties to both the university and the national fraternity. The
closer an event happens to campus, the harder it is to keep it secret
— and the more likely the administration is to hear something about it.

The threat of lawsuits and the need for liability insurance gives
schools and national fraternities a greater measure of control over
chapters who officially maintain houses. Fraternity houses must have
insurance coverage and the insurance companies know that beatings
create lawsuits. In addition, most individual chapters can only afford
to buy their insurance through their national organizations. Thus, the
national officers of white fraternities have a very direct incentive to
pressure their chapters to desist from beatings.

Some deans of students say the lack of African American fraternity
houses at HBCUs and predominantly white institutions stems largely from
economics. African American fraternity members have not tried to
establish fraternity houses at their alma maters because they see it as
a low priority, according to a number of administrators and fraternity
officials. College graduates belonging to the Black fraternities are
more inclined to donate their money to scholarships or community
service projects.

Alpha Phi Alpha’s Palmer says he knows of groups of fraternity
members who rented houses while attending school and then called those
dwellings “fraternity houses.” But they have never been official
fraternity houses, the way some white fraternity houses have been.
Palmer also notes that the grand old houses often purchased or rented
by white fraternities near their campuses are generally atypical of the
working class neighborhoods found around many HBCUs.

The Question of Rape

As is often the case with the two most common problems that go on
in fraternity houses — alcohol abuse and date rape — victim is
usually someone outside the fraternity, such as a young woman subjected
to rape or a pedestrian or driver involved in a collision with an
intoxicated member. In those instances, the institution is more likely
to learn about the incident because the victim will probably sue both
the fraternity and the college or university.

However, the reputation for violence that plagues Black
fraternities does not include widespread charges of rape. In fact,
there seems to be some evidence that date rape is less of a problem
with the Black Greeks than with the white fraternities. One theory
purports that the positive influence of Black sororities makes Black
women pledges less likely to see themselves as merely the dates or
targets of fraternity brothers.

Another fact supporting the lower incidence of rape associated with
Black fraternities is that on many, if not most, campuses, there are so
many more Black women than Black men that Black men do not need to
compete with each other sexually or need to resort to devious means —
such as getting women drunk or rape — in order to find willing sex
partners.

An additional theory holds that among African American students,
the biggest problems of sexual aggression involve athletes rather than
fraternity brothers.

Dr. Patricia Yancy Martin, a sociology professor at Florida State
who has studied the problem of fraternity rape, believes, “The
difference is mainly the question of what is the primary arena of
male-to-male competition. Among white men in fraternities the main
interpersonal competition seems to be sexual — who can score with the
most girls no matter what it takes. Among Black men, the main arena of
interpersonal competition seems to be withstanding the pain and
violence they inflict on each other.”

However, Dr. McDaniel, a sociologist at the University of
Pennsylvania, is not convinced that date rape is less of a problem with
Black fraternities. He speculates that young Black women may simply be
less willing to go to the police or feel that they can’t or won’t get a
useful response from college administrators.

Paying the Consequences

Black fraternities are not the only ones where hazing has had
deadly consequences. White fraternities have also maimed and killed
pledges. In one case, a pledge choked to death while eating a piece of
liver smeared with oil. Pledges have suffered heart attacks while doing
hundreds of push-ups or lost fingers to frostbite after being dropped
miles from campus in their underwear. In a recent case at the
University of Texas, a student drowned after ingesting large amounts of
beer and trying to swim fully clothed.

However, as Richmond notes, “A dumb accident like that is much
easier to defend before a jury. Because the person was over eighteen,
you can argue that they were an adult who willingly participated and
thus bears some responsibility for their own choices, and that even
though the idea was stupid, no one set out to hurt anybody. However,
when someone died and his parents are in the courtroom weeping, it’s a
lot harder to go before a jury and explain why a pledge died while
being punched and kicked around by six men. It looks a lot more like a
crime and shows a deliberate intention to hurt someone.”

And the legal and financial ramifications resulting from these
rites of initiation represent a particularly acute threat to the future
of the Black fraternities, which are some of Black America’s most
important and historic institutions.

According to DeSousa, “Unless we right-size and down-size, there is
going to be more trouble. I specifically want to go on the record and
say that unless we get control, or end undergraduate pledging, it’s
only a matter of time until someone else gets killed.”

And, if a $2.25 million settlement in the Davis case doesn’t deter
hazing, perhaps, critics warn, the next victim’s lawyers will seek $10
or $15 or $20 million — which would probably bankrupt any Black
fraternity.

Even when no one is injured, the Black fraternity’s reputation for
continued and extreme hazing creates its own problems. One is that it
scares away some students who should be the most welcome.

“These incidents give fraternities a bad name. We’re losing the
best and the brightest and the campus leaders,” notes Smith. “Students
have more options, and many of the most successful ones don’t want to
subject themselves to the hazing.”

Pledging can also mean that fraternities will get fewer of the more
academically gifted and studious students, partly because pledging can
be devastating to grades.

Says Haskins: “The twelve-week pledging process is absolutely
debilitating to the academic progress of young Black men on [the
University of Pennsylvania] campus. It’s so bad that I’ve actually
advised students to take the semester off if they’re trying to pledge.
They don’t have time to study, they don’t get enough sleep, and many of
their [grade point averages] never recover from the time they spend
pledging — particularly if it’s freshman year. The white fraternities
have much shorter pledging periods and do a better job of tutoring
their members.”

Dr. Peter Kuriloff, a professor of education at the University of Pennsylvania, believes that positive changes can be made.

“Fraternities need strenuous and difficult initiation rituals as a
means of bonding and building trust. The challenge is to make these
rigorous but pro-social,” says Kuriloff.

Believing that fraternities may have gone too far in trying to ban
hazing, he goes on to suggest that Outward Bound and other wilderness
survival experiences might be a good tough substitute for beating each
other up. Another solution, according to Kuriloff, might be the return
to silly but non-violent public displays — such as requiring pledges
to shave their heads and be marched around campus wearing scrolls,
chanting things like, “It’s so hard, it’s so hard, it’s so hard, to be
a Kappa.”

“Rituals and initiation aren’t the problem,” Kuriloff says “the real enemy is violence and secrecy.”

RELATED ARTICLE: A Brief History of the National Pan-Hellenic Council

The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) was established in 1930 at
Howard University as a national coordinating body for the eight
historically African American fraternities and sororities which had
evolved on American college and university campuses by that time.

Blatant racism had prevented many African American students on
historically white campuses from joining general fraternities and
sororities.

Thus, African American students on both historically Black and
historically white campuses established fraternities and sororities to
enhance their college experiences. These organizations did not then —
nor do they now — restrict membership to African Americans. However,
they have developed a distinctive African American style in their
activities — both social and philanthropic.

These organizations had three distinct growth periods. The first
phase occurred after World War I when existing fraternities grew at
both historically Black colleges and universities and those
historically white major research university campuses that admitted
African Americans. Alumni chapters established in cities across the
United States became civic and service organizations, filling a void
left by the fact that racism hampered African Americans participation
in general civic organizations. The fraternities’ commitment to
community service is exemplified by Phi Beta Sigma’s motto: “Culture
for Service and Service for Humanity.”

After the Second World War, NPHC chapters proliferated on
historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Many cultural
traditions which differed markedly from his historically white
traditions were refined and became embedded within African American
culture. Examples of such traditions include public displays on campus
that were a part of the pledging process.

The third phase began with the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Institutions which had previously denied admittance to African
Americans could no longer legally do so. As a result, the number of
African Americans and their organizations — swelled at historically
white campuses. Eventually, there were more than 400 undergraduate
chapters — with as many alumni chapters, on average, as undergraduate
chapters — of organizations affiliated with NPHC. Presently, there are
approximately 1.5 million members of undergraduate and alumni chapters
served by NPHC.

In the 1980s, a series of embarrassing incidents involving pledging
cast Black fraternities in an unfavorable light. One such incident
culminated in the death of a Morehouse College student who died while
pledging Alpha Phi Alpha. As a result, members of NPHC abolished
pledging in 1990 and replaced it with an “intake” process that includes
three components: a pre-induction/orientation period; a final induction
ceremony; and an in-depth education program. All forms of hazing were
prohibited.

In 1992, the first permanent national office for NPHC was
established in Bloomington, Indiana. In 1993 the organization changed
its constitution to allow the appointment of its first executive
director, Dr. Michael V.W. Gordon, a faculty member at Indiana
University who had formerly been vice chancellor for campus life and/or
dean of students from 1981 to 1991. The current national president of
NPHC is Daisy D. Wood.

Also in 1993, NPHC changed its constitution to allow for the
membership of other similar national organizations, many of which were
established after 1930. That change allowed the Iota Phi Theta
Fraternity to join NPHC in 1996.

The fraternities and sororities which belong to the National
Pan-Hellenic Council — and their date and institution or origin — are
as follows:

* Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, 1906, Cornell University.

* Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, 1908, Howard University;

* Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, 1911, Indiana University;

* Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, 1911, Howard University;

* Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, 1913, Howard University;

* Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity; 1914, Howard University;

* Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, 1920, Howard University;

* Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, 1922, Butler University;

* Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, 1963, Morgan State University.

Most of the information in this story was obtained from the Web sites of the National Pan-Hellenic Council.

RELATED ARTICLE: The National Pan-Hellenic Council’s Statement on Hazing

HAZING IN ANY FORM IS PROHIBITED.

The NPHC and its affiliate organizations have re-emphasized our
stand against having any form of hazing in the membership development
and intake process.

HAZING IN ANY FORM IS A VIOLATION OF NPHC RULES.

Additionally, each of the affiliate organizations have established rules and severe penalties which enforce their positions.

In the event that a campus or alumni council becomes aware of any
potential hazing incident, it has the responsibility to immediately
notify college/university administrators, as well as the appropriate
fraternity or sorority in which the incident is suspected.

Specifically, there shall be no physical, mental, or verbal abuse,
scare tactics, horseplay, practical jokes, or tricks, or any
humiliating or demeaning acts which might negatively affect any
prospective member prior to or during the intake process and the
ceremonial ritual while becoming a member of the affiliate
organizations’ chapter.

A membership intake process has been implemented within each NPHC
member organization, a process which eliminates pledging as a
requirement for initiation. As such, there are to be no “lines,”
“pledges,” and certainly no hazing as a requirement for membership into
any of the NPHC organizations. The NPHC asks that this information be
shared with students, student organizations, university personnel, and
faculty via an institutional medium (e.g. student paper, newsletter,
etc.). Any institutional constituent, especially students, who know of
pledging should immediately contact the student affairs office, the
national fraternity, and/or the NPHC headquarters.

This statement is from the Web site of the National Pan-Hellenic
Council. All forms of emphasis were place there in the original
statement.

RELATED ARTICLE: Membership Development & Intake

Both undergraduate and graduate/ alumni chapter members must
realize that bringing new members into the NPHC affiliate organizations
is based upon the aspirant’s possession of specific qualifications.
Individual chapters must be guided by membership identification and
selection standards which will promote the building of a strong and
effective chapter.

There are three important components in the membership intake
process for NPHC affiliate organizations. Generally, the process
includes:

1. A pre-induction/orientation period. 2. The final induction/orientation period. 3. An in-depth education program.

Each affiliate organization implements the guidelines and details of its own membership intake process.

Any violations of an organization’s set program should be referred
directly to that organization’s leadership or national headquarters.

The final pledge is the oath of allegiance taken by a candidate
from which he/she cannot withdraw. Each organizations has its own
ritual and ceremony, but all basically have the objective that this
rite is intended to be impressive.

Each chapter must file, in the designated place and the specified
time for the college and member organization, a list of intended
candidates.

No chapter shall be held without the presence of at least one chapter member of advisor.

Hazing in any form, including physical and mental abuse, is prohibited and will not be tolerated.

No person who has resigned from one sorority or fraternity may hold membership in any other organization in the NPHC.

Each member organization determines its own rules governing
membership in other Greek-letter organizations which are non-members of
the NPHC.

This statement is from the Web site of the National Pan-Hellenic
Council. All forms of emphasis were placed there in the original
statement.

RELATED ARTICLE: Giving Back to the Community

Community service and philanthropy have always been an important
part of the African American fraternity experience. Here is a list of
the national community service efforts undertaken by membership of the
National Pan-Hellenic Council.

Alpha Phi Alpha

Founded: Dec. 4, 1906, at Cornell University.

Membership: more than 175,000 members in 750 chapters.

Motto: First of all; servants of all; we shall transcend all.

Projects:

The Alpha Academy Alpha Alpha Education Foundation Leadership
Training Institute National Mentoring Partnership With Boy Scouts of
American and Big America

Kappa Alpha Psi

Founded: Jan. 5, 1911, at Indiana University.

Membership: more than 100,000 members in 655 chapters.

Motto: “Training for leadership since 1911.”

Projects:

National Guide Right Program National Social Action Program National
Assault on Literacy Kappa League Mentoring/ Leadership program

Omega Psi Phi

Founded: Nov. 17, 1911 at Howard University.

Membership: more than 100,000 members in 700 chapters.

Motto: “Friendship is essential to the soul.”

Projects:

National Social Action Program Assault on Illiteracy Program Health
care and housing development in South Africa Annual $500,000 donation
to The College Fund/UNCF

Phi Beta Sigma

Founded: Jan. 9, 1914 at Howard University

Membership: more than 105,000 members in 650 chapters

Motto: “Culture for service and service for humanity.”

Projects:

Sigmas Against Teen-Age Pregnancy (SATAP) Bigger and Better Business
Sigma Beta Clubs Phi Beta Sigma Educational Foundation, Inc.

Iota Phi Theta

Founded: Sept. 19, 1963 at Morgan State University

Membership: 10,000 members in 106 chapters

Motto: “Building a tradition not resting upon one.”

Projects:

National Iota Foundation Iota Youth Alliance NAACP The College Fund/UNCF

Source: National Pan-Hellenic Council, Alpha Phi Alpha, Kappa Alpha Psi, Omega Psi Phi, Phi Beta Sigma and Iota Phi Theta.

Paul Ruffins, a contributing editor to Black Issues In Higher
Education, is the new editor of Crisis, the magazine of the NAACP.
Senior Writer Ronald Roach also contributed to this story.

COPYRIGHT 1997 Cox, Matthews & Associates



© Copyright 2005 by DiverseEducation.com

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