Amnesty Program

If you would like to participate in the Amnesty Program, please read the information provided below. After reading through the Amnesty Program details, please fill out the Amnesty Program Pledge and submit it to the Director of Risk Reduction and Education at amnesty@phisigmapi.org.

Purpose of the Amnesty Program

The purpose of Phi Sigma Pi’s Amnesty Program is to provide a path for Phi Sigma Pi’s Members to report hazing and/or poor risk management practices that jeopardizes the integrity of our Brotherhood to the National Office without the fear of being singled out or sanctioned for these practices. Members who opt to participate in the Amnesty Program must be committed to reforming Chapter hazing and other poor Risk Management practices and must agree to work with the National Office to effect change in Chapter policies and practices.

Phi Sigma Pi is opposed to hazing in all forms and involving any Collegiate Member, Alumni Member or Initiate. We understand that our Members may hesitate to report hazing or other Risk Management violations, such as inappropriate use of alcohol, to the National Office due to the belief that the consequences of reporting such violations will automatically result in severe disciplinary action of the Chapter or of individual Members.

Who is Eligible to Participate?

Any Member or Chapter with a sincere interest in reforming poor Chapter Risk Management practices into healthy beneficial practices that reflect our ideals may request to participate in the Amnesty Program. Amnesty may be granted to an entire Chapter, a group of individual Chapter Members or a single Member, depending on the circumstances.
  • Entire Chapter Participation. In this best case scenario, an entire Chapter may request to participate in the Amnesty Program with the broad goal of reforming poor Risk Management practices and strengthening the Initiation Program. The Executive Board and a majority of Members of the Chapter need to be committed to ending these poor risk management activities. The National Office will attempt to work with the current Executive Board of the Chapter to effect change. Members who choose not to participate in the Amnesty Program may become the subject of disciplinary action.
     
  • Concerned Group of Members. In some cases, a group of concerned Members opposed to ongoing hazing or other poor Risk Management activities of their Chapter, but who may not be Officers or elected leaders of the Chapter, may wish to request Amnesty. In this scenario, the National Office may choose to reorganize the current Chapter by removing specific Chapter Officers and/or barring individuals from serving in leadership positions through official sanctions. Members who are not part of the group requesting amnesty may become the subject of disciplinary action.
     
  • Single Member. A single Member may request to participate in the Amnesty Program when reporting a hazing or other poor Risk Management activity. In this scenario, the Chapter and other Members of the Chapter may not be provided the same amnesty rights. The Chapter or Individual Members may become the subjects of an investigative proceeding and possibly subsequent disciplinary action, and the Chapter may be reorganized by the National Office, or, in a worst-case scenario, the National Office may consider the revoking of the Chapter’s charter.

No Chapter may establish policies or practices that retaliate upon or interfere with Member(s) seeking/granted participation in the Amnesty Program. National Council may use its authority to intervene in any Chapter actions that attempt to bypass this policy.

 

Procedure 

 

Chapters or Members must come forward with a request for Amnesty and open dialogue about hazing and other risk management violations prior to the National Office investigating the events. When Amnesty has been requested by a Chapter, a Member or a group of Members, the National Staff will conduct a preliminary assessment of the situation with the Member or Members who have requested Amnesty. The assessment will require an open and honest dialogue about the Chapter’s current and past practices.

Once an assessment has been completed, the National Council will authorize the granting of Amnesty to the requesting participants. Council reserves the right not to grant Amnesty to a Chapter or Members who come forward after an investigation has begun.

Because each situation and request for Amnesty is unique, subsequent steps may be taken according to the circumstances of the Amnesty request and the facts determined from the preliminary assessment.

In cases where the entire Chapter is requesting Amnesty, the National Staff will work directly with the Chapter to formulate and implement a plan of action to effect change. This may include (but is not limited to) reorganizing the Chapter’s Bylaws, Operating Policies, Initiation Program and Risk Management Program. The Chapter may be required to meet periodically with the National Staff, either through Chapter visits or telephone conferences, and may be required to submit reports or other documentation to the National Staff as needed. Additional requirements for the successful completion of the Amnesty Program shall be determined by the National Office.

In cases where a single Member or a group of Members have requested Amnesty, the National Council may choose to suspend summarily the Chapter and/or open an Official Investigation into the Chapter’s practices, in accordance with the steps outlined in the National Constitution and National Operating Policies. The results of any Investigation will be considered in constructing a plan of action for the Chapter. The National Council may also choose to enact disciplinary action of the Chapter and/or of specific Members who were not part of the group requesting Amnesty. Where possible, the Chapter may be reorganized when a group of Members are granted Amnesty, provided the group is of sufficient size and willing to continue to operate as a Chapter. Alternative steps may be taken to continue the Chapter’s operation depending on the scope and severity of the practices in question.

Amnesty Program Agreement

In all cases, the Chapter and Members requesting Amnesty must meet the following requirements:

  • All Members requesting Amnesty must make a sincere commitment to reforming hazing and poor risk Management practices.
     
  • All Members participating in the Amnesty Program must sign a pledge to cooperate fully (i.e. assist with any situations/investigations that arise from coming forward, as directed by the National Office) with the National Office to reform the Chapter’s practices.
     
  • All Members participating in the Amnesty Program must immediately cease participation in any activities that would violate Phi Sigma Pi’s policies and continue to report any such activities that they are witness to or made aware of immediately.

When these requirements are met, the National Council agrees to:

  • Withhold the enactment of disciplinary action against Amnesty Program participants who successfully complete the requirements above.
     
  • Act as an arbitrator in situations where a Chapter attempts to sanction a Member or group of Members for participating in the Amnesty Program. Any Chapter disciplinary action taken against Members for requesting Amnesty or any Chapter policies that prohibit or intentionally make working with the National Office difficult are not in order. National Council may use its authority to intervene in any Chapter actions that attempt to bypass this policy.
     
  • Work with Amnesty Program participants cooperatively in order to abolish hazing and other poor risk management practices and reorganize or otherwise improve the enforcement of Chapter’s policies and viable practices where possible.

Failure to Comply with the Terms of the Amnesty Program

Should a Chapter, Individual Member or group of Members who are participating in the Amnesty Program fail to make a good-faith effort to work with the National Office to effect change at the Chapter as prescribed in the plan of action, or should there be further instances of hazing or other risk management violations, the National Council reserves the right to revoke the Amnesty granted to those Chapters or Members who have violated this agreement and they may become the subjects of further investigation and/or disciplinary action.

Request to Participate

Members wishing to apply for Amnesty may do so in person at any National Event by speaking with a National Officer or Member of the National Staff, or may do so by contacting the Chapter Consultant or other Member of the National Staff via telephone or e-mail. No requests to participate in the Amnesty Program may be made anonymously.

Program Term

At this time, the Amnesty Program is in effect indefinitely; however, the National Council may choose to end the Amnesty Program at some point in the future.

Summary

The National Office recognizes that we are still developing effective ways to improve poor risk management practices and to eliminate any existing culture of hazing in Phi Sigma Pi, but we hope that the Amnesty Program will provide an avenue for our membership to help us combat hazing and reform poor risk management practices in the best spirit of the ideals of Phi Sigma Pi without the fear of reprisal or sanction. We are open to suggestions on how to improve this program and we look to our Members to help us make participation in Phi Sigma Pi’s events and activities safe and brotherly for all of our Members and Potential Members.

Download the Amnesty Program Pledge

Enroll in the Amnesty Program