New Member Programs: Ideas and Resources
There are many alternatives to hazing that can help provide positive, inclusive experiences for new members of your organization.
A successful new member education program should…
- Encourage individual development and success.
- Assist first-year students and/or new members in their transition to college life, MIT, and your group, organization or living community.
- Build respect for the individual.
- Stimulate intellectual, social, and emotional growth.
- Promote an understanding of the organization and its history, mission, purpose, and values.
- Promote social responsibility and a healthy lifestyle.
- Promote friendship and interpersonal skills.
- Promote a sense of community within the larger MIT community.
- Promote diversity and the exchange of ideas.
Examples of positive new member experiences:
- Participate in a leadership retreat/weekend with a ropes course and teambuilding activities.
- Hike some of New England’s finest trails.
- Host a dinner and movie night or choose a documentary to make the event more educational.
- Have a trivia night, including Institute and organizational history.
- Create an intramural team. Have new members compete in basketball, volleyball, or softball games against current members or other groups.
- Attend an MIT athletic event on campus.
- Attend a professional sporting event in Boston (e.g. Red Sox, Bruins, or Patriots).
- Set up a “big brother/big sister” mentoring program. Assign the mentor responsibility for teaching about the values of the organization and check-in regarding their involvement and experience within the organization as well as academic performance.
- Have the mentor take a new member out to dinner or to an athletic or cultural event at least three times.
- Participate in a group community service project on campus or in the community.
- Sponsor roundtable discussion on topics important to the team or organization.
- Attend an educational speaker program of new members’ choice and discuss as an organization.
- Invite alumni to come back and share post-graduate advice, how to navigate life after college.