Case studies are helpful educational tools that allow you and your chapter to consider real-life fraternity claim scenarios and assess the relevant risk and responsibility. Several formats of case studies are available below, including brief videos of undergraduates and alumni sharing and asking questions about real-life situations at their own chapters; case studies presented in web format, including case briefs and analysis by RMF defense counsel; and finally, downloadable case studies on several key risk management topics that create interactive discussion led by an alumni facilitator or undergraduate chapter officer. Examine the situations below and think about preventive measures your chapter can take, as well as how you might react in similar situations.
- Case study based on an actual Sigma Chi claim that deals with Bid Day, university policies, and a failed chapter work-around. This chapter was focused on policies semantics rather than event safety and risk management for brothers, pledges, and guests. At what point(s) could the chapter leaders have made better decisions? "At that point all brothers and pledges were encouraged to go to an off-campus house rented by three Sigma Chis. The chapter leadership maintained that this was simply three brothers hosting a party and unrelated to Bid Day, and therefore, the “dry” Bid Day rules did not apply."
Pledge Event Transport Ends Tragically: Williams v. Sigma ChiCase study based on an actual Sigma Chi claim that shows the importance of transportation planning and using hired drivers (cabs, buses, public transit) whenever possible. “Approximately 30 actives and 15 pledges were to travel from the chapter house to the ritual site on back roads, with each pledge blindfolded and riding in an automobile with actives.…”
Active/Pledge Road Trip Ends Off-Road: McConnell v. Sigma ChiCase study based on an actual Sigma Chi claim that shows chapter-hosted events take a lot of risk management planning. This chapter took some important steps, but what would you do differently? “While driving home, Alan was exiting and clipped a 1991 Honda Prelude driven by Samantha McConnell. Both vehicles lost control and rolled down the embankment. The roof of the Prelude collapsed…”
Lake Shasta, Houseboats, and Hospitals: Masters v. Sigma ChiCase study based on an actual Sigma Chi claim from Spring Break in the Northwest, showing that accidents can happen, even at informal events. How will you ensure effective risk management at all times? “The [houseboat] driver, Marty, was not legally intoxicated. He had consumed alcohol the night before and had not slept in over 36 hours...Without warning, Marty put the boat in gear…”
Pledge Study Break Ends in Paralysis: Kelly v. Sigma ChiCase study based on an actual Sigma Chi claim from finals week at a Midwest University. What started as a study break, ended in paralysis…”One of the pledges jumped and landed without injury. Encouraged by this, Martin jumped next. He landed on the mattresses, but the impact ruptured one of his vertebrae, causing paralysis in his pelvis and legs.”
Q&A Focus on Safety: Pledge Program Must Evolve to Inspire - Video (1:34)
In this brief video, Grand Praetor and RMF Treasurer, Mark Burroughs, NORTH CAROLINA STATE 1979, explains the importance of inspiring pledges and how to dispel traditions of hazing, while addressing questions from alumni with support from your Chapter Advisor and others.
Q&A Implications For Magister of Civil or Criminal Legal Proceedings - Video (2:43)
Responding to a question about a current fraternity lawsuit, in this brief video Grand Praetor and RMF Treasurer, Mark Burroughs, NORTH CAROLINA STATE 1979, describes the very real potential implications of being involved in—or allowing—hazing activities in violation of local law.
Q&A Identifying Problem Members Before Initiation - Video (2:51)
Responding to a question from a Chapter Advisor, Mark Burroughs, NORTH CAROLINA STATE 1979, gives a real-life example of how to identify, assist, and support a potential problem member before initiation. Mark is currently serving as Grand Praetor for the North Carolina Province, and as RMF Director and Treasurer.
Q&A Understanding Obligations for Pledges and New Brothers - Video (2:11)
Speaking to Magisters at Balfour LTW, Mark Burroughs, NORTH CAROLINA STATE 1979, fields a question about keeping older brothers from setting the wrong example. Mark is currently serving as Grand Praetor for the North Carolina Province, and as RMF Director and Treasurer.
Q&A Working With School Administrators on Pledge Program - Video (3:37)
During a Q&A with Magisters at Balfour LTW, Grand Praetor Mark Burroughs, NORTH CAROLINA STATE 1979, echoes the advice of an undergraduate who shares his own case study about the positive results of working with the university and being forthright about all pledge program activities.