Don’t Tarnish the Badge Anti-Hazing Program Announced


At the 2004 General Convention, new General Council President Michael G. Scarlatelli, Kettering ’76, delivered an address at the closing banquet that focused on the increased hazing incidents and fatalities across the nation within the Greek community and the need for Phi Delta Theta to embark on an anti-hazing initiative within the Fraternity. As mentioned by Scarlatelli, “While it may be impossible to completely eliminate every corner of hazing, it is our intent to significantly reduce any hazing in our chapters by providing continual education and positive Phikeia program activities to our chapters.”

Starting in the late summer of 2004 at the first meeting of the General Council, much time was devoted to the topic of hazing to develop a plan of action for the Fraternity. A letter was penned to the parents of the Fraternity’s undergraduates and sent just prior to the Thanksgiving holiday to garner their support and elicit conversation with their son on the topic. This letter was immediately followed up with one to the Fraternity’s chapter presidents, chapter advisory boards, house corporations, and general officers that reinforced the Fraternity’s position on hazing and began to introduce the Hazing Amnesty program along with upcoming plans for the Presidents Leadership Conference, General Officers Conference, and Emerging Leaders Institute. Concurrently, Phi Delta Theta developed its anti-hazing theme, “Don’t Tarnish the Badge.”

At the 2005 Presidents Leadership Conference in St. Louis, the General Council announced their “Don’t Tarnish the Badge” anti-hazing campaign. Much of the program at PLC was focused on creating new Phikeia education programs that were free of any questionable activities that could be considered hazing. The following weekend, Don’t Tarnish the Badge was rolled out at the General Officers Conference.

After the initial rollout, Phi Delta Theta continued to solidify its amnesty program communication around the hazing topic, included hazing as one of its ‘three pillars’ for the Emerging Leadership Institute; and created a more comprehensive messaging for National Hazing Prevention Week.