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Officials, Greeks must revise pledging rules

Jan. 24, 2001

Baylor fraternity and sorority members have often complained that Baylor's pledging guidelines are too strict, and we, too, believe so. Thus, a meeting between Baylor administration and representatives from the various student organizations is needed to review Baylor's pledging guidelines.

Baylor's pledging procedures, as listed in the student handbook, must not violate the provisions under Texas' hazing prohibition law. However, some of Baylor's restrictions on certain pledging procedures do seem to be too restrictive. Some examples include: limiting pledge programs to five weeks; permitting the wearing of pledge pins, ribbons or jerseys only if both members and pledges wear them; confining pledge activities to the period between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m.; and prohibiting pledges from carrying pledge books.

A meeting in which representatives from the fraternities and sororities could voice their objections and recommend changes to the administration could lead to a policy on pledging procedures that is more acceptable to students while not jeopardizing students' safety and well-being.

Any changes to the policy that come will be the decision of administrators. For this reason, students must understand that they cannot simply have their way on every issue, especially on such an important subject as pledging.

Baylor's strict policy is simply the reflection of an administration that is concerned for its students' safety and aims to ensure that no violations of the Texas hazing law occur under the university's auspices.

Any changes to Baylor's pledging procedures will obviously have to be the result of a compromise between students and administrators. Members of fraternities and sororities must understand that these guidelines are in place to protect them and the university from violating the law. Administrators, for their part, need to recognize the problems many students have with Baylor's strict restrictions on the pledging process.

A meeting under these friendly and respectful terms could lead to a pledging policy that, while not violating Texas' hazing laws, would allow fraternities and sororities more leeway in the pledging process.