January 8, 2018
To: Our Campus Partners, Chapters and Volunteers
From: Jeremy Slivinski, Executive Director and Don Enstrom, National President
Re: Elimination of New Member Education Status/Pledgeship
Friends and Brothers,
A thoughtful, deliberate review of our history reminds us that our eleven Founding Fathers never had to pledge Alpha Kappa Lambda. Men that started our individual chapters never had to participate in a traditional pledge program; these Brothers have been among the most committed, involved, and loyal of our fraternity. Their service and commitment has been life-long, both locally and nationally. All of our members are entitled to the same life-changing fraternity experiences our founders had.
The new year brings a new opportunity for our Fraternity. We know our current membership model is starting to fail us. The student population is dramatically different compared to any other time in our history. The students’ needs and wants are shaped by technology, politics and identity changes that are reshaping campuses and higher education. To see Alpha Kappa Lambda through our second century, we must change with it.
After careful research, consideration, and some emotional conversations, the Fraternity of Alpha Kappa Lambda will be eliminating our new member program in its current form effective immediately. This program, commonly referred to as pledgeship, is no longer allowed.
The decision to change our new member program does not mean joining and being a member of Alpha Kappa Lambda now becomes easier. We are resetting the expectations of our members. We will be reinstating continuous member education. Our members will not just be asked, but will be expected to prove that they are living our Five Ideals on a daily basis. We will not be afraid to separate ourselves from those that do not align with our mission or try to further themselves in our Ideals.
We have served on the national staff and National Executive Council for almost two decades. We have made decisions for the purpose of business and for the purpose of our mission. However, the most important decisions are the ones that are directly related to the safety and wellbeing of our members. Moving in this new direction we believe is vital for the safety and wellbeing of our members and also for our Fraternity.
Jeremy D. Slivinski- Executive Director
Don Enstrom- National President