Fraternity, sorority, and cooperative life

Formal Recruitment for two of our five councils has come and gone welcoming approximately 1300 new members to our community! We are very excited to have our new members and we look forward to the future memories that will be created as they explore the rich history of the fraternity, sorority, and cooperative life community and begin to create their own legacy. 

New member education programs were held for all new members in early October. New members explored the foundational structure of their respective communities, learned about important policies of their councils, and learned about the many campus resources available to assist with their transition into their organizations. The National Pan-Hellenic Council hosted Rasheed Ali Cromwell of the Harbor Institution to explore the foundational purpose of the "Divine 9" organizations and the many contributions of members since the early 1900s. New members also attended a keynote from guest speaker, Rick Barnes who explored the hazing culture that has continuously made headlines following poor decisions made by members throughout the country. His challenge to new members was to work together to live out the dreams of their founders by demonstrating their values each day. With the involvement opportunities to serve on a committee, organization executive board, and even lead as a council officer, we are looking forward to what the fall 2014 new member class does with their talents.

If your student is of one of the 1300 new members of the Boilermaker FSCL community, we encourage you to ask about their experience…yes, even hazing.  While we pride our 92 organizations and their many accomplishments, we do not stop our efforts remind each member and our stakeholders about hazing activities and the institution’s stance against the egregious act. In addition to the Purdue University Anti-Hazing Policy, all New Member Educators are required to attend an informational training reviewing guidelines pertaining to the FSCL experience of new members. Our councils also get involved by hosting Health and Safety Week in October to provide training on relevant topics to protect our community including: alcohol education, mental health and wellness, hazing, and sexual assault prevention education.

As your student embarks on this new chapter of their lives, we invite you to talk to your student about their new member experience, ask questions about the organization’s history, and if you are able to, attend an upcoming event. Encourage your student to report hazing to any Purdue University faculty or staff member or their national organization if they are subjected to or witness any acts of hazing. To assist you in speaking with your student, we have provided information on hazing and a few suggestions to guide the conversation. If you believe your student is being hazed or participating in inappropriate activities in relation to their affiliation with a Greek or cooperative organization, please contact Fraternity, Sorority, and Cooperative Life at 765.494.5990.

How to learn more about your students FSCL experience?

When was your organization founded?
What are the values of your organization?
How do you like your experience so far?
What have you liked most about your new member experience?
What have you liked least about your new member experience?

Myths & facts about hazing

Myth #1: Hazing is a problem for fraternities and sororities primarily.

Fact: Hazing is a societal problem. Hazing incidents have been frequently documented in the military, athletic teams, marching bands, religious cults, professional schools and other types of clubs and/or, organizations. Reports of hazing activities in high schools are on the rise.

Myth #2: Hazing is no more than foolish pranks that sometimes go awry.

Fact: Hazing is an act of power and control over others --- it is victimization. Hazing is premeditated and NOT accidental. Hazing is abusive, degrading and often life-threatening.

Myth #3: As long as there's no malicious intent, a little hazing should be O.K.

Fact: Even if there's no malicious "intent", safety may still be a factor in traditional hazing activities that are considered to be "all in good fun." For example, serious accidents have occurred during scavenger hunts and kidnapping trips. Besides, what purpose do such activities serve in promoting the growth and development of group team members?

Myth #4: Hazing is an effective way to teach respect and develop discipline.

Fact: First of all, respect must be EARNED--not taught. Victims of hazing rarely report having respect for those who have hazed them. Just like other forms of victimization, hazing breeds mistrust, apathy and alienation.

Myth #5: If someone agrees to participate in an activity, it can't be considered hazing.

Fact: In states that have laws against hazing, consent of the victim can't be used as a defense in a civil suit. This is because even if someone agrees to participate in a potentially hazardous action it may not be true consent when considering the peer pressure and desire to belong to the group.

Myth #6: It's difficult to determine whether or not a certain activity is hazing--it's such a gray area sometimes.

Fact: It's not difficult to decide if an activity is hazing if you use common sense and ask yourself the following questions:

Make the following inquiries of each team activity to determine whether or not it is hazing:

  1. Is alcohol involved?
  2. Will active/current members of the group refuse to participate with the new members and do exactly what they're being asked to do?
  3. Does the activity risk emotional or physical abuse?
  4. Is there risk of injury or a question of safety?
  5. Do you have any reservation describing the activity to your parents, to a professor or University official?
  6. Would you object to the activity being photographed for the school newspaper or filmed by the local TV news crew?

If the answer to any of these questions is "yes," the activity is probably hazing.
Courtesy of

Fraternity, Sorority, and Cooperative Life

Fraternity, Sorority, and Cooperative Life provides a meaningful co-curricular experience through academic support, leadership development, civic engagement and organizational excellence.

Purdue University, 610 Purdue Mall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-4600

2015 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints | Parent & Family Programs

If you have trouble accessing this page because of a disability, please contact Parent & Family Programs at