All portions of this manual may be reproduced for use in member education, provided acknowledgement of the source and notification of such use is given to Acacia International Headquarters.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents 3
About Acacia Fraternity 4
About This Book 4
About Acacia Fraternity
Acacia Fraternity, founded in 1904 at the University of Michigan, is a non-profit organization headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, with chapters across North America. The headquarters staff serves as the pleasure of the International Council of Acacia Fraternity, which is elected by the International Conclave that meets every two years. Representatives from the local chapters of Acacia Fraternity constitute the International Conclave - each chapter represented by the undergraduate chapter president (Venerable Dean) and the alumni advisor (Chapter Advisor).
Acacia Fraternity has been the vehicle by which many young men have learned and improved their leadership skills, participated in human service activities, and prepared for a role of great importance in their communities.
The core values of Acacia Fraternity are Virtue, Knowledge, and Truth.
The mission of Acacia Fraternity is:
A - Academic achievement and betterment of ourselves through participation in student activities
C - Community service to better the lives of everyone who comes in contact with the Acacia Fraternity
A - Acquire leadership skills to become more involved with and have a greater influence in society
C - Character building experiences which bring about maturity, integrity, and a sense of responsibility
I - Individual development which instills personal confidence in every social arena, and
A - Ability to attract and retain people who represent and believe in these Acacian values
The vision of Acacia Fraternity is : “Preparing Tomorrow’s Leaders”
The motto of Acacia Fraternity is “Human Service”
About This Book
This book is meant to contain all of the conceptual frameworks that are important to the Cornerstones membership development program and is still a work in progress. You will find information on how alumni can become involved in the program and how our chapters can apply for pilot membership in the program. Please contact Patrick McGovern, Executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments or questions.
Worksheet Five – Insignia and Heraldry X
Week Six - Human Service: Reaching Out to Help Others X
Publicizing the Project X
Sample Press Release X
Cornerstones Activity: Personal & Professional Development X
Week Seven - The XX Greek Community X
Greek Terminology X
Greek Community X
Week Eight - The 47th Proposition of Euclid X
Reflection & Evaluation: Pledgeship X
Insert_University Chapter of Acacia Fraternity
Pledge Education Manual No portion of this manual may be reproduced
by any means without permission from the XX Acacia Fraternity Venerable Dean, Executive Council, Chapter Advisor or from Acacia International Headquarters.
The Fraternity acknowledges its sincere appreciation to:
The Kansas State Chapter of Acacia Fraternity,
The International Council of Acacia Fraternity,
& Acacia Fraternity International Headquarters Staff Members
Being a Pledge of Acacia Fraternity
Unto whom much is given, of him shall much be required... Congratulations on taking the first steps of your Acacia journey. The journey process marks a new beginning and fresh start to examining yourself. We hope to strengthen the ties of friendship with all members, as well as prepare ourselves to take an active part in the campus and community.
The accompanying material will serve as a resource for your journey. We seek to assist you in several ways, directly with the Cornerstones program, as well as indirectly with goals aligned to meet high standards of success. We offer the theories, concepts and resources; however, your creative mind must unlock some ancient philosophies to fully learn and apply the skills we present.
We expect Pledges to learn, to think outside of the box, and to create original ideas from the enclosed information. We encourage direct contact with anyone who can help you meet your potential in life, and to seek guidance from Acacia Fraternity’s guiding principles of Virtue, Knowledge, and Truth.
Unto whom much is given, of him shall much be required. We will hold you accountable for contributing to the program in several specific ways as a pledge. The education program will orientate you to Acacia. Pledges are expected to:
Attend meetings ready to contribute
Complete assignments within the appropriate timeframe
Work willingly to make Acacia worthy of its ideals
Adhere to the Laws of Acacia, Chapter policies & ‘An Acacian's Pledge’
This supplement outlines our promises. The performance comes by committing and aligning yourselves to the ideas. Dedication results in sacrifices, yet the benefits extend beyond any current challenges. Brothers and Alumni will be available to assist with concerns or questions.
Working together toward a common goal... The pledge education program is not intended to brainwash you or waste your time. This experience equips you with the freedom to escape the confines of routine traditions, allowing you to focus on personal application to your life. We will challenge you to examine the purpose of your life. We expect self-discipline and initiative to address the complex issues to reveal your life mission. Grappling with deep questions may not come easily, and we want to provide a controlled environment to give flexibility to each individual.
Along with individual development, teamwork will be stressed as a major component of the experience. Working together toward a common goal teaches cooperation, collaboration, the importance of relationships, and persistence. Refining these skills for improvement can advance your leadership style by presenting the opportunity to accomplish the project and enjoy the satisfaction of completion.
Additional goals of the program are listed below:
Improve members in scholastic pursuits, personal self-discipline, leadership skills and social interactions
Enhance the college experience by encouraging fraternity, campus and community activities
Focus on service to others with outside-of-the-fraternity projects
Develop an effective mentor relationship, with a Cornerstones Level Advisor
Provide an enjoyable and safe experience with strict adherence to all policies against hazing
Emphasize total integration and inclusion of all members, while respecting differentiation as a natural part of any group
Complete an annual review of activities to insure up-to-date and effective membership development
There may be times during your pledgeship that you have time commitment conflicts or questions about the process, and it is important that you know who to speak with at those times. Your Senior Dean (or Pledge Educator) is the first brother that you should speak with pertaining to your situation. The Senior Dean must be kept informed about your status as a pledge, and must be informed if there is any reason that you cannot fulfill the expectations for a pledge of Acacia Fraternity. If the Senior Dean is not available, you should speak with the Venerable Dean.
If for any reason you feel that you have an issue that you cannot speak with a member of the about, you are instructed to contact your alumni Chapter Advisor, Insert_Chapter_Advisor
at Insert_Advisor_Number or Insert_Advisor_Email
Academics as Top Priority
As a college student, your first duty is to your academic work. As an Acacian, your second duty is to your fraternity. No fraternity activity should be permitted to interfere seriously with academic work, and no additional campus commitments should cause you to neglect fraternity obligations. This does not mean that study can be used as an easy excuse to avoid participation in chapter functions, or that the fraternity should cause you to drop out of all other forms of campus life.
Demands on your time will be most heavy during the week throughout the academic year. Difficult assignments and examinations will require more time for study - while chapter meeting nights, Cornerstones development activities, social functions, and major campus events in which Acacia participates will require more time for fraternity activities. A mark of maturity is an individual's ability to organize his time and balance his priorities so that justice is done to all of his responsibilities while at the same time he enjoys a sufficient amount of recreation and develops his special interests.
Acacia has a no hazing policy as a guideline for all pledging and membership programs. Hazing in any form is absolutely forbidden. Hazing is defined as any instance of physical abuse, psychological abuse, or improper obligations, requirements, or time restrictions associated with or involving new members or their activities. In addition, the Human Rights Code prohibits any form of racial, ethnic, and sexual harassment.
If at anytime you feel you are being hazed report it immediately to the Acacia Fraternity Headquarters: 1-888-345-1904. You can also contact the Greek Anti-Hazing Hotline: 1-888-NOT-HAZE.
The Road Ahead Beginning this week, at your Week One meeting, we will follow a consistent format for your acclimation to Acacia Fraternity. You will notice that the schedule for your education is 8-weeks. Your Senior Dean should during the first meeting inform you of when you will be Initiated assuming you meet all of the (1) participation expectations, (2) financial obligations, and (3) personal conduct expectations.
Please remember that your time during pledgeship is “probationary” - during this time we will be educating you about how we function as brothers, and expecting a reasonable effort be made on your part to participate fully. This time is also probationary in the sense that you will always have the final decision about whether you desire to continue your association with the chapter and the International Fraternity.
Participation Expectations -
We, as Acacians, expect that you will fully participate in the affairs of the chapter, including your weekly meetings, development assignments, and overall interaction with the brothers. We desire to include you in our activities, and to educate you about “the way that we do things”, building a foundation of understanding so that you may one day call yourself not only a member, but a leader within the organization.
Financial Obligations -
As is the case with all membership associations, there are financial obligations for you to uphold in order to begin and maintain your membership in the group. Some of these obligations are determined by the International Conclave and International Council of Acacia Fraternity, and some are determined by the local chapter that you are joining. A further explanation of these obligations is listed on page _____. Trust that we, as Acacians, understand that there may be times when it causes you a hardship to keep up these obligations, and that we only request honest and timely communication from you in these circumstances. Many brothers throughout the years have been able to request and fulfill a modified payment plan with their local chapter in order to maintain their membership. Please just inform us at the earliest time that you can, and we will do our best to collaborate with you to find a solution. We believe that “where’s there a will, there’s a way.”
Personal Conduct Expectations
(INSERT LANGUAGE HERE ABOUT AN ACACIAN’S PLEDGE, OATH IN PLEDGE INDUCTION)
Format for Weekly Meetings and Expectations/Assignments Following these pages you will find guides to your weekly meetings and assignments that will move you toward full understanding of our fraternity. Each will have the following components:
an outline of the week’s meeting and expectations
an objectives statement to inform you of the intended outcome of our time together
a list of the assignments for the upcoming week
a preview of the areas of focus for the following week’s meeting
Acacia Fraternity will be a XX campus leader in the development of men as an established brotherhood, dwelling in harmony. We will be guided by our values in the development of each member's life, while supporting the university's mission. An Acacian's life is a commitment to support the community, university and undergraduate Chapter.
Virtue, Knowledge, and Truth
"...to strengthen the ties of friendship, one with another; to prepare ourselves as educated men to take a more active part and to have a greater influence in the affairs of the community in which we may reside; and, above all, to seek the truth and, knowing it, to give light to those with whom we may be associated as we travel along life's pathway."
Human Service Chapter Constitution and Bylaws
*every new member/pledge should receive a hard copy of these documents
To create & foster the optimal fraternity experience for every individual member of Acacia Fraternity by providing an environment that promotes continual self-development, accountability to shared goals, and standards for personal conduct. The resulting outcome is graduating seniors who are able to articulate the positive impact of Acacia Fraternity in their lives, as well as their plans for staying involved as an alumni member. Cornerstones Vision
Acacia Fraternity is dedicated to:
empowering scholars to gain knowledge about a diversity of subjects,
developing gentlemen who understand and demonstrate social responsibility, and
encouraging athletes to always seek improvement in their physical fitness and personal wellness.
As such, the vision of the Cornerstones program is an intentional, transformative learning experience for each individual member.
Cornerstones Activity: Personal values, SMART goals, and action plan
Make sure Senior Dean has your completed Pledge Record
Learn the Preamble to recite next week at start of meeting
Next Week: Election of Class Officers
A purpose of the pledge education process is to prepare individuals to become the next leaders of the Chapter, university, and community. President John F. Kennedy said the day of his tragic death that, “leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” We, as XX Acacians, find this to be an important connection on our path of building an exceptional life.
As a pledge class, you will elect three officers who will be charged with the responsibility of organizing, motivating, communicating, and cultivating this class as the next leaders of XX Acacia. During next week’s class, you will choose your leadership. The positions elected are:
Serves as presiding officer in meetings and is responsible to the Senior Dean and pledge educator
Assists the president, presides over meetings in his absence. Assumes the main responsibility of the pledge class project proposal and implementation stages.
Takes minutes at all pledge meetings, assists the president with any necessary correspondence.
An Acacian’s Pledge I – Ritual & Brotherhood
I will know and understand the ideals expressed in my Acacia Ritual and will strive to incorporate them in my daily life. I will attend all regularly scheduled meetings, recruitment events, and brotherhood events, so that I may contribute my honest share of effort. II - Academics
I will strive for academic excellence and practice academic integrity at all times. I understand that my active membership may be suspended if my academic performance falls below minimum chapter standard, or the Acacia standard as stated in the Laws of Acacia. I understand that living in a chapter house may involve observation of “quiet study hours” and I will abide. III – Respect for Others
I will respect the dignity of all persons; therefore, I will not physically, mentally, psychologically or sexually abuse or haze any human being, including any inappropriate actions against an individual due to their gender, religion, race, or sexual orientation. If I witness an abusive situation, I will notify the Venerable Dean, the Chapter Advisor, and/or other responsible authorities. IV – Health & Safety
I will protect the health and safety of all human beings. I will know and abide by the Hazing Policy set forth by the University, the Interfraternity Council and the Acacia Fraternity. V- Respect for Property
I will respect my property and the property of others; therefore, I will neither abuse nor tolerate the abuse of property. I will not intentionally cause damage to my chapter house. I acknowledge that a clean and attractive environment is essential to both physical and mental health; therefore, I will do all in my power to see that the chapter property is properly cleaned and maintained. If an accident occurs, I will notify the Chapter Advisor. VI – Financial Integrity
I will meet my financial obligations to Acacia Fraternity, and all other parties, in a timely manner. VII – Social Responsibility
I will neither use nor support the use of illegal drugs; I will neither abuse nor support the abuse of alcohol, either in the chapter house or at any other location. I will understand and comply with the alcohol policy of my chapter, the Interfraternity Council, the University, and Acacia Fraternity. VIII - Loyalty
I will trust and support all of my Acacia brothers in abiding by these fraternal expectations, as they may trust in me to do the same. ____________________________________________