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National frat with local ties eliminates pledge program

By 69 News, follow: @69news, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Mar 10 2014 12:15:56 PM CDT
Updated On: Mar 11 2014 07:13:13 AM CDT

One of the nation's largest college fraternities has made a historic decision that ends the practice of pledging.

EVANSTON, Ill. -

A national fraternity with a number of chapters in southeastern Pennsylvania says it has eliminated its pledge program due, in part, to hazing.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon says its new-member program and the classification of "pledge" no longer exist. All chapters will be required to follow the change.

Sigma Alpha Epsilon has nearly 250 chapters in the United States.

Locally, the frat has chapters at Albright College, Kutztown University, Drexel University, Villanova University and West Chester University.

The fraternity says the change "will adopt a method, practice and policy that treat all members equally and fairly and strive for a continuous development of our members throughout their lives."

Sigma Alpha Epsilon says it has experienced a number of incidents and death, and a number of chapters have closed as a result of hazing.

Officials say damage to the frat's reputation is making it difficult for chapters to operate, but the move to eliminate the pledge-programming was not solely motivated by the hazing problem.

"We are making this change because it’s the right thing to do and because we firmly believe in returning to what our Founding Fathers envisioned," according to a statement from the fraternity's Supreme Council.