Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity Bans Pledging for New Members

EVANSTON, Ill. – Sigma Alpha Epsilon, one of the largest fraternities in the United States, has banned pledging for new members following numerous hazing incidents that have led to student deaths and damaged the organization’s reputation.

SAE chapters will still recruit new members and extend them an invitation to join. However, students who accept the invitation bid will almost automatically become full members, Bloomberg.com reports.

All students who accept the bid will have 96 hours to complete a safety program named Carson Starkey, an SAE pledge at California Polytechnic State University who died of alcohol poisoning as a result of hazing in 2008.

Although many agree that the new plan will keep individuals safe, not everyone is on board with the organization’s new plan. For example, one SAE member at Eastern Illinois University stated the eight- to 12-week pledge period helped his fraternity brothers to determine the characters of interested ones who wanted to join the organization. Without the process, the organization could be admitting someone who may fail at their grades, may be socially awkward or extremely disrespectful, he claims.

SAE joins Sigma Phi Epsilon in its ban of pledging. In the 1990s Sigma Phi Epsilon eliminated pledging in response to dangerous incidents that threatened the fraternity.

With SAE’s announcement, other Greek organizations are expected to follow suit.

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