Sigma Alpha Epsilon Announces Historic Change for membership experience

EVANSTON, IL – Sigma Alpha Epsilon, under the leadership and direction of the Supreme Council, has made a historic decision that will realign the Fraternity to produce the original member’s experience that our Founding Fathers envisioned. This change will adopt a method, practice and policy that treat all members equally and fairly and strive for a continuous development of our members throughout their lives. Effective March 9, 2014, new-member (pledge) programming will be eliminated completely from our operations, and the classification of new member (pledge) will no longer exist. All chapters and colonies will be required to implement this important change.

Our Supreme Council decided to enact this change between conventions in order to protect Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s future and to eliminate a class structure between our new members and our active members. As an important historical reference, the concept of pledging did not exist in Noble Leslie DeVotie’s original Ritual and Constitution. What we understand today as the new-member (pledge) program was not adopted by the Fraternity until the years following World War II.

The new True Gentleman Experience will enhance the educational and leadership experience of our members and build upon their development during each year of their collegiate tenure. The Supreme Council unanimously supports the program in order to ensure a more positive, meaningful membership for our collegiate members and alumni. From the moment a man joins Sigma Alpha Epsilon, he should take personal ownership of his Fraternity and play an active role in our future.

Under the program, chapters and colonies may continue to recruit prospective members as they do currently. When they extend a bid, the college man who accepts the invitation will become a collegiate member. He will be required to accept our Scope of Association Agreement and complete the Carson Starkey Membership Certification Program. Furthermore, every member will be expected to meet our membership requirements and expectations and, should he fail to do so, our Fraternity Laws provide the means to suspend or remove his membership.

The education of our members will shift from a new-member (pledge) term to a holistic educational period in which members learn about the Fraternity’s values, mission, creed and history and develop personally over the course of their collegiate tenure. In addition, the goal is to provide the skills necessary for our members to excel in the professional world once they graduate. The New-Member Educator or Pledge Educator will be replaced with a Member Educator, who will be responsible for the oversight of educational initiatives for his fellow members.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s leadership understands that the implementation of the True Gentleman Experience will provide challenges as it is incorporated throughout our Realm. However, this change will strengthen our Fraternity, create highly positive opportunities to redefine membership, attract prospective members who otherwise might not join and lead the way among Greek-letter organizations as we recommit ourselves to our Founding Fathers’ original concepts and return to their intent for membership in the Fraternity.

CLICK HERE to view and/or download the True Gentleman Experience.



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