Jordan Initiative Aims to Prevent and End Hazing
When Order of Constantine Sig Mike Greenberg, ILLINOIS WESLEYAN 1982, was elected Sigma Chi’s 68th Grand Consul at the 2013 Grand Chapter in Washington, D.C., he assumed the office with a goal that is as easy to describe as it is difficult to accomplish: Simply put, Greenberg wants to eliminate hazing in all of its forms from the Fraternity’s practices.
“Sometimes, our undergraduates can feel invincible, and think that no bad consequences can come from their actions. But hazing has the potential to ruin [their] reputation, and make it virtually impossible for [them] to find a job after graduating,” says Greenberg. “College should be about having the time of your life, not wrecking your life.”
To that end, Greenberg has made the Jordan Initiative the centerpiece of his term as Grand Consul. By providing ways for the General Fraternity to help prevent hazing and rehabilitate chapters in which it has taken place, he says, Sigma Chis everywhere can ensure that their chapters function in a way that the Founders would have approved.
Attendees at the June 27 to 29 meeting of the Grand Council in Skokie, Ill., will learn more about the Jordan Initiative at informational and breakout sessions, in which participants will discuss the best practices to halt or prevent hazing.
The breakout sessions will focus on how undergraduates and alumni can view the importance of not hazing through the prism of Sigma Chi’s three great aims of friendship, justice and learning. By teaching brothers how to create relationships that encourage the free flow of emotions and advice, illustrating friendship; reviewing how what they have learned through the Oath of Initiation relates to their conduct, emphasizing learning; and examining the importance of standing up to brothers who propagate hazing practices, showing justice; the Jordan Initiative will provide Sigma Chis the tools to stamp out hazing in their own chapters.
Of course, eliminating hazing means changing the culture of a chapter, which can be difficult. To that end, Greenberg relies on Jordan Initiative Chairman Jim Holcomb, CAL. STATE-SACRAMENTO 1994, and Vice Chairman Charles Nies, ST. THOMAS and WASHINGTON STATE 1998, to help foster an environment in which undergraduates can approach the International Fraternity’s officials in confidence for help to improve their chapters.
“Our Ritual tells us to use self-control and courtesy. Hazing goes against those values,” Greenberg says. “If someone has the courage to come forward, we want to work with him and his brothers to reform the chapter to bring loyalty and brotherhood in line with our Ritual.”