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Values-Based Recruitment as a Hazing Prevention Strategy

Written by Ryan Perry (Southern Mississippi)

Members should consider the excuses often given for hazing. "They need to earn their place." "They should have it as hard as I had it." "We're going to break them down so that we can build them up."  

Undoubtedly most members initiated into our fraternity have heard one of these reasons as an errant brother was attempting to cajole certain behaviors from the active chapter. It isn't uncommon that brothers fall into this mindset, and it can be easy to coax ourselves into considering its merit without properly interrogating its origins.  

The Problem? There is an insidious lie at the heart of these points. Each stem from the initial belief that the men offered candidacy in our fraternity are not worthy of it. Initiated brothers, either through incorrect instruction, or wayward thought have been convinced that candidates are brought into our fraternity as a crucible.  

This is not the case. Candidates are chosen and invited into membership with our fraternity because members already believe that they possess the bearing of a gentleman. They've brought from their homes, and prior education, the abilities to conduct themselves well and take advantage of the resources Sigma Nu affords them.  

Sigma Nu Fraternity's mission states that members are here, "To develop ethical leaders." So just like when developing films, it must be understood that the goal is only to introduce the necessary elements to reveal what was already there on film, and what was always within the candidate.  

Those elements which we introduce are everything from our values of Love, Honor, and Truth, Phase 1 of the LEAD Program, our initiation standards, our General Fraternity resources, and the brotherhood which is meant to help instill every member with confidence and dignity.  

One of the best preemptive solutions to this mindset is the General Fraternity’s Values Based Recruitment Program. Through its use members are asked to identify as a chapter what kind of member they’re searching for, as well as the values that member must exemplify. 

The act of specifying the type of member which brothers believe is the best fit for their chapter, and actively going out to recruit that member should be acts that build a foundational belief in a chapter’s candidate members.  

Because why would members be recruiting men who they didn’t believe upheld our values? Why would members be recruiting men who they didn’t believe fit into their chapter? Why would members be recruiting men who, frankly, they don’t completely like?  

They shouldn’t be. You shouldn’t be.  

Members should not allow the roots of hazing to stem from recruitment. Instead, let members take confidence in the choices they've made regarding who deserves an invitation into the Fraternity. With the right support members are qualified to make that decision.  

Candidates need support. They need to be affirmed of their place. Members should strive to provide an ever-growing program for them. Candidates should be built up. 

© 2015-2021 Sigma Nu Fraternity, Inc.
9 North Lewis Street, P.O. Box 1869, Lexington, Virginia 24450
Phone: (540) 463-1869 | Fax: (540) 463-1669 | Email: headquarters@sigmanu.org

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