New Member Educators and Presidents Sound Off on Hazing
What makes new member education meaningful?Joe Manoles, North Dakota State University: New member education is vital to the future of our organization. It’s our responsibility and honor to instill powerful values and ambitions into our new members. With this said, it is one of the most important positions in the Fraternity. This program will very well determine the new members’ passion, involvement and success in Delta Tau Delta.
Robert Ludwig, Illinois Institute of Technology: A great education will connect the new member to the rich past of Delta Tau Delta, and will instill in them a passion for the values we hold to be universal to the goodness in mankind; those same values that were laid out at our founding. The light of knowledge cannot, however, be given directly or simply. The sparks that are our sacred words must catch in each individual heart. Together as brothers-to-be, the new members must analyze themselves and come to know each other in order to find their own personal understanding of what it means to live a life of excellence with respect for mankind.
Zachary Edwards, Southeastern Louisiana University: New member education helps let new members understand our values and teaches them the way we approach things. Without it they would not truly understand what we are about.
Benjamin Carpenter, Baker University: New member education is incredibly meaningful for our chapter! Our program puts emphasis on creating brotherhood as well as giving important information about Delta Tau Delta on a national scale as well as the significance and history of our local chapter as well.
Ethan Reineck, Eastern Michigan University: A new member education program is meaningful for many reasons. New member education teaches men pledging the fraternity everything there is to know about Delta Tau Delta at a national and a local level. The program also teaches the core values of the fraternity: Truth, Courage, Faith and Power and how to live these values in their everyday lives. With the proper education, new members can take what they have learned and become successful active members in their chapters, holding executive board positions, running for IFC and Student Government positions on their campuses, and becoming academically successful and also leaders in the professional world.
Chance Wegner, Eastern Michigan University: The first item that is presented to any new member in Delta Tau Delta is the hazing hotline, and they are all told to contact this number and speak with Central Office if they ever feel they are being hazed. Personally, as a new member, it was one of the greatest experiences of my life, not only because of what I learned, but because Delt isn't your typical stereotype fraternity; it is a top-tier organization that makes everyone feel welcome, and inspires growth.
Why do you believe hazing is harmful to the success of new member education and the Fraternity?
Joel Manoles: Hazing is the opposite of what we want to accomplish during new member education. If we want these men to grow, we want them to be the most comfortable they can be in this class. It is only then truth, love, vulnerability, trust and class camaraderie can be established. Incorporating hazing into our program is a poison that will lead to the deterrent of these establishments and eventual decomposition of the zeal for their chapter. There is a reason why love is the greatest motivator while fear sits in a permanent second place.
Robert Ludwig: I personally cannot trust a man who will harm me and say it is for my own good. The victim of hazing can either convince himself that he truly learned what was intended from the hazing, or he can continue on in the dark with none of the promised understanding, only confusion. Whichever way the victim chooses to see the hazing, only one thing will have truly been made clear: the man who hazes is willing to impose his harmful will upon others simply because he wishes too, because he holds his own opinions and experiences above those of others and he feels it is his privilege to decide what harm is justifiable and what will benefit another. That is a man that cannot care for others. That is a man who cannot be trusted to act with true compassion. If a man cannot trust his own brother, he is profoundly alone. We ask that the new member puts his faith and trust in us to guide him on the path to a good and decent life. No man could become a true and faithful member who knows his brothers do not value him even to the point of self-sovereignty.
Zachary Edwards: Hazing can make new members develop grudges and can also make them not believe the values we teach.
Benjamin Carpenter: Hazing is incredibly harmful for new members because I believe hazing would create an enormous rift between upperclassmen and our new members. Instead, we create opportunities for our new members to bond with the upperclassmen to promote a strengthening in brotherhood throughout the chapter.
Nathan Reineck: There is no room for hazing in new member education. Delta Tau Delta is not an organization built upon fear. New members should be proud of what they learn in their pledging process and any form of hazing gets in the way of establishing healthy bonds with their brothers. Our chapter encourages our new members with positive support and strives to better every man in the Fraternity. With all of the positive goals we as a chapter are working toward, there is no time for any demeaning act that is going to stand in the way on our journey to successful lives.
Chance Wegner: Hazing is harmful to everyone. Hazing is something that is destructive to the educational process, in all settings, not just in the fraternity world. It makes students feel uncomfortable, and not welcome, some say it builds character but it creates distance and hatred. In Delta Tau Delta these are bonds that are made for life, and I am happy to say that since we are a non-hazing organization, there is no distance between any of our brothers, and it will be that way for the rest of our lives.