What Is Ghosting?
Ghosting is the intentional omission of an active member or pledge class from the chapter roll submitted to Headquarters. This omission sometimes occurs unintentionally due to confusion over who is considered to be an active member. Intentional omission of members and/or pledge classes in order to retain or forgo fees will not be tolerated and is considered embezzlement by the Executive Committee.
Any omission of dues owed to the General Fraternity is in breach of Statute No. 5.05, 5.06 and 5.07.
What Happens When an Active Member is Ghosted?
- The chapter is withholding funds from the General Fraternity, a non-profit organization that cannot operate without base revenue. This could lead to increased fees internationally.
- The ghosted active member(s) is cheated out of appropriate membership status, membership benefits, lifetime membership opportunities and associations with alumni and alumni chapters.
- Critical Risk Management Foundation payments are unpaid for ghosted member(s) which leaves the chapter improperly insured and places the members in jeopardy of policy infringement.
- Decreases the accuracy of Headquarters’ data and reports.
Who is Considered to be an Active Member?
Statute 3.03 states that “The designation active member shall apply to any member who is enrolled as an undergraduate student at an institution at which an active chapter is chartered, and who is either a member or an affiliate member of the chapter. A graduate student who is otherwise eligible for active membership shall be designated an active member at his request.”
This includes any member who has temporarily left school for internships, missions, traveling abroad, etc. This does not include individuals called for military service during the academic year.
Therefore, an active member is required to pay fees as long as he is still enrolled in the institution (regardless of local chapter by-laws). Even if the member is expelled from the local fraternity, the member will owe fees until he has graduated or is no longer enrolled within the institution. An option to handle financially delinquent members is to file a Form 50: Request for Financial Suspension along with proof of delinquency to Headquarters, which will place the individual member on suspension from the chapter role until all fees are paid.
Who is Responsible?
The officer(s) who submits the form in which a member(s) is omitted will be held responsible. If ghosting is performed on the semi-annual report, the Consul, Quaestor and Chapter Advisor will be held accountable. If the ghosting is performed on the 400 B Pledge Form, the Magister will be held accountable. If ghosting is performed on the 400 C Initiation Report the Magister and Chapter Advisor will be held accountable.
What is the Consequence of Ghosting?
Any chapter found ghosting will face serious consequences such as expulsion, fines, or suspension of membership.
How Does a Chapter Prevent Ghosting?
- Accurately and truthfully update all members’ status on semi-annual forms and report all pledges on Forms 400 A, B, and C.
- Collect all fees from members before deadlines. If a member cannot afford to pay fees, submit a Form 50 for the member. The Form 50 will place the individual member on a suspended status. The member will be left off of future semi-annual forms and have 365 days to pay all semi-annual fees owed.