Pledging Policies and Procedures

Policy & Procedures Manual
PAGE: 504
DATE: 05/96, 04/01, 09/08
SECTION: Pledging Policies and Procedures

October 2018
The University of Maine at Machias (UMM) supports the co-curricular experiences of students. UMM is committed to the success of fraternity and sorority pledges. It is our belief that all students should be treated with respect, dignity, and integrity. These policies and procedures are designed to encourage development of our fraternity and sorority community, and to protect UMM students in the pledging/recruitment and new member process. These policies and procedures are focused on the health of each student, protecting each organization, and recognizing that fraternities and sororities contribute to our community.
Members, pledges, alumni, chapter/campus advisors, and members of all chapters are responsible for their actions and the actions of their fellow members during the recruitment and new member processes. The actions of any individual or organization may have repercussions, and an individual’s behavior may impact an organization’s standing.

1.              ELIGIBILITY

All groups are to be registered and recognized as student organizations in good standing at UMM. Good standing is defined as not having suspension or expulsion status and not having ongoing sanctions that prohibit fraternity or sorority functions.


Hazing is defined as any action or situation, with or without consent, that recklessly, intentionally or unintentionally endangers the mental or physical health or safety of a student; creates risk of injury; causes discomfort, embarrassment, harassment or ridicule; or willfully destroys or removes public or private property for the purpose of initiation or admission into, or affiliation with, or as a condition for continued membership in an organization.
Such activities and situations include, but are not limited to, creation of excessive fatigue; physical and psychological shock; wearing apparel that is conspicuous and not normally in good taste; engaging in public stunts and jokes; participating in treasure or scavenger hunts; morally degrading or humiliating games and activities; late night sessions that interfere with scholastic activities or normal sleep patterns; and any other activities that are not consistent with fraternal law, ritual, or the regulations and policies of the member fraternity or the educational institution.
The University is required by law to prohibit injurious hazing. If any hazing violations do occur, individuals, officers, advisors, and the entire organization will be held responsible and may be criminally prosecuted. (Please see attached copy of the University of Maine System policy on hazing.)
Hazing is prohibited by Maine law under Title 20-A: Education: Part 3: Chapter 223: Subchapter 6. (
UMM offers the following as an additional guide regarding hazing. Any action or activity, regardless of location, intent, or willingness of the participant, that:

  • does not contribute to the positive and safe development of a person or persons;
  • inflicts or causes short, intermediate, or long term physical or mental harm or anxieties;
  • demeans, degrades, disgraces, harass, or ridicules a person or persons;
  • intentionally or unintentionally endangers a student’s admission or affiliation with any student organization; and
  • occurs either on- or off-campus and involves pledges, active members, and/or inactive members.

Subtle Hazing: Behaviors that emphasize a power imbalance between pledges and established members of a group or team. These types of hazing are often taken for granted or accepted as harmless or meaningless. This type of hazing involves activities or attitudes that place pledges on the receiving end of ridicule, embarrassment, or humiliation (, 2005). Examples include:

  • deception,
  • assigning demerits,
  • socially isolating pledges, and
  • expecting certain items to always be in one’s

Harassment Hazing: Behaviors that cause emotional anguish or physical discomfort in order to feel like part of the group. Harassment hazing confuses, frustrates and causes undue stress to pledges (, 2005). Examples include:

  • verbal abuse,
  • expecting pledges to perform personal services for other members,
  • sleep deprivation, and
  • expecting pledges to be deprived of maintaining a normal schedule of bodily

Violent Hazing: Behaviors that have the potential to cause physical and/or emotional, or psychological harm (, 2005). Examples include:

  • forced or coerced alcohol or other drug consumption,
  • beating, paddling, or other forms of assault,
  • public nudity, and
  • abductions or kidnappings.


3.              TRAINING

Each fraternity and sorority organization and their members are required to attend an educational program focused on safety, security, anti-hazing, and event planning. In addition, each organization must send their president, recruitment, and two additional members to risk management training. All prospective pledges must attend training prior to rush and pledging.


All organizations must have the names of new pledges verified for eligibility through the Student Engagement Office prior to the beginning of any recruitment activities. In order to be eligible for pledging, students must have at least a 2.00 cumulative GPA, have completed at least twelve (12) credit hours, and be currently a matriculated student and registered for twelve (12) credit hours. All pledges, including transfer students, must have a 2.00 GPA in order to participate in the process. Each participant must complete a grade point average waiver in the Student Engagement Office.
All active members must maintain at least a 2.00 cumulative GPA in order to be a member of the organization. Students who do not meet the cumulative 2.00 GPA may not participate in their organization’s activities without an approved plan from the Student Engagement Office.
Pledging activities must take place on the UMM campus. Permission may be granted by the Student Engagement Office for off-campus events and activities. Greek letter organizations must be registered through the Student Engagement Office using a UMM Sponsored Activity Form. Pledging activities are defined as any activity that constitutes part of the organization’s official or unofficial pledging program or can be perceived as an activity of the fraternity or sorority.


  • All Greek organizations will participate in a fall or spring Greek Recruitment night for current and/or first-year student pledging.
  • All pledges will register during the Greek Recruitment night or within forty-eight (48) hours of deciding to pledge. Registering includes completing the pledging form, anti-hazing paperwork, and grade point average authorization form. Pledges are to receive a copy of the anti-hazing paperwork and timeline/schedule for pledging and pledging policies and procedures for the chosen organization.
  • Each fraternity and sorority pledging leader must notify the Student Engagement Office, within 24 hours, when a recruit or new member withdraws from the process. In addition, the students themselves must contact the Student Community Engagement Office—not the organization— themselves to withdraw from the pledging
  • A membership roster must be submitted to the Student Engagement Office by the second week of each semester for current members and when a member’s membership status
  • The Student Engagement Office will notify each pledge’s faculty member that they have a student in the pledging process. The notification will include the student’s name and pledged



  • The pledging programs will support and mirror UMM’s values and
  • Pledging programs will support first and foremost a student’s academic endeavors (e.g. no late nights, excessive programs, excessive standing, not allowing one to talk with a professor or answer questions, no talking to others, and excessive exercises).
  • Pledging programs are alcohol and substance
  • Any organization homework or tests will be those as approved by your national organization and if local, by the Student Engagement
  • Pledges will understand what is expected of them during each period and additionally, will be told when and where their initiation will take place. The Student Engagement Office must be notified of the time and location. The initiation process must take place on the UMM
  • Each fraternity and sorority must provide pledging plans by the second week of the academic year and the spring semester. Because of the importance of scholarship and academic success, all pledging meetings, events, and programming must adhere to the following times:
    • Pledging activities can occur between 3:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. on Sundays through Thursdays.
    • Pledging activities can occur between 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. These designated times allow each organization to complete their process and provide time for each pledge to receive at least twelve (12) hours for health, academic, and safety activities. The twelve

(12) hours will include time for eight (8) continuous hours of rest, and additional time for studying, eating meals, and engaging in academic work. The organization member who is responsible for pledging must meet with the Student Engagement Office. The Student Engagement Office must approve these plans. The plan remains confidential and is not shared with other organizations. The plan is shared with the organization’s advisor. Fraternity and sorority organizations that do not adhere to their plans or submit a pledging plan may be found in violation of the University of Maine System Conduct Code.

  • Underground pledging is a violation of these polices and may result in a Student Conduct Code hearing and sanctions. Organizations that accept or run a class underground are violating UMM’s pledging policies and


  • The RUSH decision process cannot exceed two (2) weeks. Once a pledge is accepted into an organization, they cannot be removed from the pledging process without cause by the organization. The pleading education process cannot exceed eight (8) weeks. An organization may present a case to the Student Engagement Office as to why a member should be removed once the pledging process starts.
  • The pledging education process cannot exceed eight (8) weeks. Pledging education programs are focused on brotherhood and sisterhood, academic standards, mentoring, and support of the organization values. Brotherhood and sisterhood is not based on violating the UMS Anti-Hazing policy (e.g. keeping books, secret logs, eating strange items, being forced to drink alcohol, walk back from woods, keeping lists of people, etc.). If you are in doubt of what hazing is, please contact the Student Engagement
  • No alcohol or drugs are allowed during pledging events, process, or
  • Pledging/recruitment and new member education cannot start until the date and schedule established by the Student Engagement
  • Communication between pledges and others cannot be prohibited. This is hazing and clear violation of federal and state laws and UMS


7.              BEHAVIOR

Cheering may be done between the hours as listed above under number 6. Cheering cannot take place in front of Merrill Library or academic buildings. In addition, cheering cannot interfere with residential quiet hours. Cheers should be respectful of UMM’s mission and values. Profane or offensive language that interferes with the rights of another person may not be used. Pledging participants cannot be made to march. Current members cannot require or prohibit pledges from communicating with others. In addition, an active member cannot require and/or encourage a pledge to be walked or guided by an active member to the next location or place. A pledge may choose to seek assistance or be walked due to an incident with another member of the UMM community. The pledge and the organization must notify the Student Engagement Office if there is an issue or concern with another student.

8.              DRESS

Requiring pledges to wear unusual clothes or costumes is not allowed. Items such as dresses, suits, ties, pins, and badges may be worn.
Paddles may be made and carried at the choosing of the pledge. A pledge cannot be forced to carry a paddle. If a paddle is used for physical punishment, the organization and/or individuals will be charged with violating the University of Maine System Student Conduct Code and may be criminally prosecuted. Disciplinary sanctions may include, but are not limited to, loss of recognition as a campus organization and referral to local officials for prosecution.


Faculty will be notified as to who is pledging. Pledging activities should not interfere with the academic commitments of students. To this end, students are expected to follow the class attendance policies of their professors, answer questions, and be respectful.

10.            AREAS OF CONCERN

  • Kilburn Commons – Organizations will be able to reserve through the Student Engagement Office tables to use in Kilburn Commons. Pledges will be allowed to bring their paddles, bags, and shields into Kilburn Commons and store them at their reserved
  • Illness – Pledges who become ill will be excused from pledging requirements while they are ill. It will be the responsibility of the organization pledge person to ensure the student is not participating in the process. The Student Engagement Office needs to be notified when a pledge becomes
  • Vandalism – Organizations should not disrespect campus or public property that will taint the reputation of UMM or their organization (painting rocks with the organizations symbols, ).


  • Conduct – Pledges and organizations are required to follow these policies and the University of Maine System Student Conduct


11.            POLICY REVISIONS

Any fraternity or sorority organization may recommend revisions to these policies. However, policies are established by the University of Maine at Machias.

12.            INTERPRETATION

Each academic year, a member of the Student Engagement Office will meet with fraternity and sorority organizations to provide the members with the University’s pledging policies and procedures.
Within the framework of recruitment/pledging programs, the following key areas must be stressed:

  • Respect for members of the community: The curricular and co-curricular life of the campus community, residential life, roommates, and other individuals at the University and within the Machias community should not be disrupted or inconvenienced by the activities of recruitment/pledging.
  • Positive emphasis: The ultimate goal of a recruitment/pledging program is the integration of the pledge into the organization and is based on the assumption that the pledge has already been invited to join the organization. Thus, the program should not be designed to test the pledge’s desire to become a member of worthiness to represent the
  • Hazing: Traditionally, most of the concerns with the pledging programs have centered on hazing. With this in mind, it is absolutely imperative that all Greek letter organizations review and revise their recruitment/pledging programs to ensure full compliance with the attached University policy regarding the prohibition of any

Violation(s) of the pledging policies and procedures will result in disciplinary action up to and including a sanction of suspension or dismissal for individual students and/or loss of recognition as a campus organization for the fraternity or sorority. Any disciplinary proceedings will be conducted following the procedures set forth in the University of Maine System Student Conduct Code.
University of Maine System Policy Manual STUDENT AFFAIRS: Section 503 Hazing Effective: 9/26/83
Responsible Office: Academic Affairs Policy Statement:
In accordance with the policy of the State of Maine as set forth in Chapter 159 of the Public Laws of 1983 (20-A M.R.S.A.10004), the Board of Trustees of the University of Maine System reaffirms its policy that the injurious hazing of any student enrolled at any institution of the University of Maine System is prohibited. In order to implement that policy and comply with the State Law, the Board of Trustees of the University of Maine System adopts these rules:

  1. No person or organization shall create, or permit to exist, any situation that recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health of a student enrolled at any institution of the University of Maine System.


  1. Each organization affiliated with any institution of the University of Maine System shall adopt and include these rules as part of its by-laws or other governing Each such organization shall advise the Office of the President of each campus with which it is affiliated, in writing, within sixty days after the adoption of this policy, of such adoption and inclusion; and shall thereafter notify the Office of the President, in writing, forthwith, of any change or amendment relating to these rules of to such adoption and inclusion.


  1. Any organization affiliated with any campus of the University of Maine System that violates these rules shall lose all right to conduct activities on any campus of the University of Maine System and all right to receive any other benefit of affiliation with any campus of the University of Maine


  1. Any person associated with any institution of the University of Maine System as a student, administrator, faculty member or in any other capacity, whose conduct violates these rules, shall be subject to suspension, expulsion, or other appropriate disciplinary


  1. Any person, not associated with the University of Maine System, whose conduct violates these rules shall be ejected from, and shall thereafter be banned from re-entering, any campus of the University of Maine


  1. Any disciplinary action, penalty, or sanction enforced under these rules for conduct violating these rules shall be in addition to, and not in limitation of, any other civil law or criminal law process, procedure or penalty arising from the conduct


  1. The administration and enforcement of these rules within each institution of the University of Maine System shall be the responsibility of those persons and administrative officers at each campus of the University of Maine System who have responsibility for the administration and enforcement of the Student Conduct Code. Such administration and enforcement shall be pursuant to the Student Conduct Code and in accordance with the policies and procedures including, without limitation, the appeal procedures of that


  1. A copy of these rules and of the Student Conduct Code shall be given to all students enrolled at each institution of the University of Maine Appropriate announcements of the existence of these rules, of the student Conduct Code, and of the availability of copies shall be made at least annually through appropriate and usual campus notification procedures. The failure of any student, administrator, faculty member or any other person associated with the University to have received such copies or to have actual knowledge thereof shall not be justification for, or excuse, any failure to comply with the said policy or these rules.