Take more drastic measures to overhaul pledgeship at the University of Missouri

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Since the 2-week suspension on pledgeship by the IFC has ended, many fraternities have resumed their typical pledge processes.  Many current pledges have noted that the active members "treated the suspension as a vacation" and showed no honest intent to overhaul the pledge program - instead, they showed intent to hide what was going on instead of changing the new member process.  This is because IFC has failed in their mission of changing the fraternity culture here in regards to new member education.  Despite whatever traditions they have, fraternities here need to realize that "business as usual" is no longer the acceptable standard either here or across the nation.  

Two fraternities (SAE and Farmhouse) have already paid the price for their actions just this month - lets keep it that way and let Mizzou not be at the center of the next nationwide hazing scandal.  

If the Office of Student Accountability or IFC does not take quick action to amend the new member process immediately beyond just issuing a temporary suspension, we run the risk of harming or even killing a pledge.  We know what happens in the aftermath - just ask Beta at Penn State or the Phi Delts at LSU.  Even at Mizzou in 2016, Kappa Alpha Order fraternity came dangerously close to killing a pledge with alcohol.  We shouldn't wait for that to happen - IFC (And if not them, the school administration) needs to take action now.  The lives of Mizzou students may depend on it.  

We strongly urge IFC/OSAS to request initiation for all pledges once Spring Break ends.  This is to give fraternities adequate time to change their new member education programs to align with the values we hold dear at Mizzou so that when the Fall 2018 semester starts, we will not have to worry that Mizzou will end up the centerpiece of another tragedy involving our fraternities.  Early initiation will also prevent Hell Week, a period during which new members are subject to extreme hazing.  This prevents the risks of pledges being harmed - or worse.  Simply telling fraternities not to do Hell Week isn't enough since many will simply do it but with less oversight and consequently more risk.

We also strongly urge that IFC and OSAS work with Mizzou fraternities to develop plans to eliminate practices such as lineups to allow for more proactive learning of chapter history/fraternity values.  This needs to be done during the period between the initiation of Spring 2018 pledges and the arrival of the new Fall 2018 pledge class so that the Fall classes do not have to undergo the same hazing process that previous classes had to undergo.  

A 2-week suspension is insufficient to change fraternities here - more drastic action needs to be taken now if we are to correct the pledging process.



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