The purpose of our new member education process is to help new members acquire the knowledge, traditions and values of the Psi Chapter and the Zeta Psi International Fraternity while developing meaningful bonds with their pledge class and the brotherhood as a whole. We understand that joining a new organization, especially a Greek one, can seem like a daunting challenge, but at Zeta Psi we recognize the importance of academic success. At the Psi Chapter of Zeta Psi we promise that we will never force prospective members to choose between their academic success and their ability to join our house.
As the oldest fraternity on Cornell’s campus at almost 150 years old, we have been able to mold and evolve our new member education process throughout the years. We have been able to find the ideal balance between comprehensiveness and flexibility to ensure we have the best possible brotherhood.
We understand that many prospective members or rushes are reluctant to join a house given the time commitment it often holds. As per Interfraternity Council mandated rules, our process is limited to 4 weeks. This is a hard number that does not involve any ‘soft pledging’ whereby members are inducted but still treated as initiating members. We believe that this strikes the perfect balance between having enough time to understand our rich history, while still enabling members to have an active social life outside of the process. Brothers often describe the commitment as being equivalent of a 3 credit class at Cornell.
Before new members are initiated as full brothers, they undergo a period of time where they learn about our house, its members, and the values that we represent. During the week prospective members eat dinner at the house with the entire brotherhood. We take advantage of this time to help prospective members get to know the brothers, which is the primary goal of the entire process. Zeta Psi does not "haze". We don't believe in it. Over the past few years, we have spent a lot of time ensuring that every aspect of the New Member Education process is constructive and ideal for creating real friendships with our perspective members. Any task that prospective new members are asked to perform will be designed to teach the pledge class about the fraternity and develop bonds between them.
New members learn about stories involving the house, brother NAMEs (Name, Address, Major, Expected Year of Graduation), and work together as a cohesive unit in a variety of team building exercises. In addition to our process, new members go through a series of lectures and events led by members of the IFC to ensure that they understand what is and isn’t acceptable. At Zeta Psi we will never force new members to compromise their values to be ‘accepted’ and encourage all new or prospective members to view Cornell guidelines on hazing found HERE.
At Zeta Psi we pride ourselves on having an extremely diverse brotherhood. Brothers come from all walks of life from all different backgrounds so there is no ‘ideal’ background that we look at. For example, our brothers come from all over the world such as Africa, Asia and Europe. The main thing we look for in a prospective member is how they will fit in with our current brotherhood and what talents or skills they have to offer.
When deciding on new members, we do not take financial status into account. Brothers come from a vast array of financial backgrounds and we understand that not everyone can afford to pay the dues associated with being in a fraternity. Thankfully, the Zeta Psi International Fraternity offers multiple scholarships throughout the year, and our treasurer will work together with anyone struggling to meet their financial obligations. We want to stress that we will never turn down a member we think will be a good fit solely based on their income bracket.