- The support for Membership Education in Kappa Kappa Psi has provided has not had any significant changes in almost 15 years.
- Kappa Kappa Psi has left it to up to the Active Membership to develop an education program and expect the current and future members to have a full understanding of policies and who Kappa Kappa Psi is. Frequently, the message gets changed and there who Kappa Kappa Psi is, as a National Organization.
- The way Kappa Kappa Psi has allowed Membership Education to exist has led to several cases of misunderstanding and “skating” around the policies on risk management and ultimately, the mission of the fraternity.
- Historically, a large percentage chapters have equated their Membership Education Program to being a 3-credit class with a lab component. An organization that focuses on student success should not become a burden or take away from the real goal of a student being on a college campus: graduate.
- The change in the way Kappa Kappa Psi defines Membership Education is necessary as our college band programs, collegiate climate, and students change over time. This is the fraternity’s way of starting to adjust to the programs we are apart of and a new way to unify the fraternity beyond The Ritual.
A National Vision
The National Membership Education Program: The Road to Wisdom is an effort to bring together the many beliefs, values, and ideas of what Membership Education should be and turn them into a program with direction, purpose, and vision. The program is focused on outcomes that represent the beliefs and values of our Fraternity. The content is driven by skills and ideas that are useful and beneficial to all members as they take this journey. The program is an initial step to creating a framework for future members to establish new behaviors and ideas that will unify all of us across the country in our beliefs, our language, and our brotherhood.
The purpose of The Road to Wisdom is to ensure that each future Brother, regardless of initiating chapter, is receiving the same National standard of education and training. Successful implementation of this national program will result in a deeper understanding of the ideals and work of the Fraternity. This program will also assist the National Council, Headquarters Staff, and colleges/universities in eliminating risks associated with membership education. This unified program will present policies and content in a manner consistent with the spirit of the Ritual that is aligned with the Mission and Vision of the Fraternity.
The Road to Wisdom is a culture change for some of our chapters, directors, and sponsors. The antiquated membership education process that includes tests, meaningless tasks, memorization, and recitation perpetuates a second tier membership built around control, shock, and intimidation. Membership Education should not be about endurance; it should not be a process to see how much a candidate can handle before they break or quit. The purpose of The Road to Wisdom is to create an environment that empowers others, offers the highest possible opportunities, provides for the maximum development, inspires courage, and builds a collaborative and interdependent brotherhood.
The Road to Wisdom is an effort to unify the Fraternity’s language surrounding membership education. In 1991, the Fraternity voted to no longer recognize the word “pledge” or any form thereof as a term to refer to individuals enrolled in a membership education program. This also refers to phrases such as “Dean of Pledges”, “Assistant Dean of Pledges”, “crossing”, “line”, “neophyte”, or “neo”. This is not an exhaustive list, but examples of inappropriate phrases or titles that are not condoned by Kappa Kappa Psi. Official language to be used by Brothers of Kappa Kappa Psi includes the following:
- The membership educator of a chapter will be referred to as Vice President of Membership.
- Individuals enrolled in the National Membership Education Program: The Road to Wisdom will be referred to as Membership Candidates. A group of Membership Candidates will be referred to as a Membership Candidate Class.
- The act of completing the membership process and the three degrees of the Ritual will be referred to as initiated. Ex: I was initiated into Kappa Kappa Psi.
- New members of Kappa Kappa Psi will be referred to as Brothers.