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Start with a cage containing five monkeys. Inside the cage, hang a banana on a string and place a set of stairs under it. Before long, a monkey will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the banana. As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the other monkeys with cold water.
Hazing is an issue. Recent occurrences on college campuses have shown that hazing is a serious issue for fraternities and sororities, but also many other student organizations. Where does hazing come from? What causes the cancerous nature of cyclical hazing practices within a group of students who say they're committed to living a life of values?
This hypothetical experiment is meant to show how the cruel and pointless tradition of hazing can begin. This story has been adopted from multiple sources.
After a while, another monkey makes an attempt with the same result - all the other monkeys are sprayed with cold water. Pretty soon, when a monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it. Continue this process until no monkeys make an attempt to get the banana.
Now, put away the cold water. Remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one. The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To his surprise and horror, all of the other monkeys attack him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted.
Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and replace it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm, even though it has no idea why!
Likewise, replace a third original monkey with a new one, then a fourth, then the fifth. Every time the newest monkey takes to the stairs, he is attacked. Most of the monkeys that are beating him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs or why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey.
After replacing all the original monkeys, none of the remaining monkeys have ever been sprayed with cold water. Nevertheless, every monkey that goes towards the bananas is attacked until it no longer attempts to reach the banana. Why? Because as far as they know that's the way it's always been done around here.
And that's how hazing takes root.
Lambda Chi Alpha is fully committed to taking a stand against hazing. Forty years ago, Lambda Chi Alpha was the first fraternity to abolish pledging. In 1972, Lambda Chi Alpha introduced the concept of fraternity education and the role of an Associate Member (AM). An Associate Member has full rights of membership within the organization, including the right to vote, hold office, and represent the insignia of the fraternity.
This video depicts a future vision of Lambda Chi Alpha in 2017. The video showcases the five priorities the Grand High Zeta established in its five-year 2011 strategic plan and what the future of our great Fraternity can be if we work together to achieve our goals, both at the chapter and international levels.
Under the umbrella name of the TRUE Brother Initiative, Lambda Chi Alpha has structured a comprehensive development program for undergraduate brothers to actively live our Seven Core Values in every aspect of their lives. Developed and piloted in 2006, the TRUE Brother Initiative was made available to our nearly 200 chapters and colonies in 2007. To measure the effectiveness of the program, surveys are administered at association and initiation, and the final academic term before graduation.
From the beginning of a man’s Lambda Chi Alpha experience, these values are instilled and cultivated through a tactical approach to values-based recruiting. Additionally, our associate member program has grown through a demanding, but never demeaning, new member education framework focusing on a young man’s growth, maturation, and development rooted in these philosophical values.
For more information, please see the annual TRUE Brother Report from 2011.
The Epsilon-Pi Chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha at the University of Maryland, College Park, has been named the Big Brother Chapter for the future colony at American University.
The role of the Big Brother Chapter in the growth and development of the colony at American University will be vital to ensure the operational success of the new colony. The brothers of the Big Brother Chapter serve as a group of mentors to new colony members between the period of Associate Membership and Initiation.
The Big Brother Chapter will work to assist the new colony in many ways. Officers from each chapter will collaborate to learn best practices to help the new members fully grasp the duties of their positions. The chapter will also be responsible for performing the first Associate Member Ceremony for the colony, which is scheduled to take place on Saturday, February 18, 2012.
Perhaps the greatest honor of the Big Brother Chapter is the privilege to conduct the first Initiation Ritual Exemplification for the founding fathers of the colony at American University. The Initiation Ritual Exemplification follows the seven week Lambda Chi Alpha new member development program known as Call to Brotherhood.
The chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha at the University of Maryland was originally chartered in March of 1932. The chapter had a long-standing tradition of excellence until 1974, when the chapter was placed on a period of suspension. The chapter remained closed for 21 years, and the group was re-colonized in 1995. The chapter moved into their current chapter house on campus at the University of Maryland in July of 2002. More recently, the chapter has achieved an excellent grade point average well above a 3.0, and has hosted multiple philanthropic events. Learn more about the chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha at the University of Maryland by visiting their website, http://umdlambdachi.webs.com/.
As one of the world's leading fraternities in co-curricular development, Lambda Chi Alpha seeks to complement a student's education by providing opportunities for academic achievement, leadership development, and lifelong friendships.
Being a brother of Lambda Chi Alpha revolves around the experiential learning of a set of values, more specifically the Seven Core Values. These values, which were adopted from the United States Army, include Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Service & Stewardship, Honor, Integrity, and Personal courage, which come together to form the acronym LDRSHIP. Lambda Chi Alpha is in search of the type of student who already exemplifies these traits and is continually working to better himself as a man.
Staff members of the international fraternity will arrive on campus at American University to begin the expansion process in early February. Interested candidates should contact fraternity staff member Nick Ludwig at 317-696-7912 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“American University provides the perfect campus environment for Lambda Chi Alpha to thrive as a values-based organization. With civically engaged students looking for a way to enhance their collegiate experience, Lambda Chi Alpha will give student leaders at American an opportunity to develop their leadership skills while they make a difference in their community,” says Ludwig.
Today, Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. is one of the largest men’s general fraternities in North America with more than 275,000 initiated members, with 200 active chapters at colleges and universities throughout North America. Lambda Chi Alpha was the first fraternity to eliminate pledging in the early 1970s, and remains as one of the most progressive fraternities in the North-American Interfraternity Conference to address challenges facing today’s collegiate student. Please visit www.aulambdachi.org to learn more.
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