Publication Date

March 2012



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Black Greek-Letter Organization (BGLO) members hold strong opinions about the purposes and efficacy of pledging and hazing as a means of member initiation. Those who argue in favor of the pledge process claim it is needed to help remove those not genuinely interested in membership, develop appreciation for and pride in the organization, and generate longterm organizational commitment and sustained participation. Those who call for an end to pledging argue that whatever benefit might be gained from such bonding experiences is overshadowed by the mortal, legal, reputational, emotional, and financial risks posed for both the associations and the individuals involved. Despite decades of conjectural debate on the efficacy of pledging and hazing, to the authors’ knowledge, no empirical study has examined its impact on BGLO alumni-level membership continuance. To address this deficiency, the researchers conducted a logistic regression analysis of survey responses from alumni members of a BGLO fraternity (n = 285). Results revealed no statistically significant relationship between participation in a pledge process and alumni level membership. The implication of these findings for BGLOs and their members and leaders are discussed.