I trust that this communication reaches you in the best of health as we celebrate a new year and a new decade. I am truly thankful for the messages of support and love that many of you have sent to me and my family during the holidays.
As we set out to begin a new year, I have taken time to review what we in Alpha Phi Alpha did in 2009. We have accomplished a great deal, and have done a lot of good for those we are privileged to serve. But there have been a few unfortunate incidents that remind us we still have work to do to be the very best we can be.
Following my review of 2009, it became clear to me that one area that needs our immediate focus is the conduct of brothers involved in the intake process. Our current process was designed with the assumption that our members would conduct themselves honorably and with care. Regretfully, in several instances, that has not occurred. The failure of some of our members to behave honorably and with care has exposed the fraternity again to unprecedented risks of loss.
Our organization should not, and will not, await the occurrence of a catastrophic loss before it acts to rein in those who engage in risky behavior, behavior that at times they illegally associate with our intake process and the fraternity in general.
I believe Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. must not conduct a new cycle of membership intake until it can correct and eliminate the problem of some brothers violating our strict rules against hazing.
This means that ALL MEMBERSHIP INTAKE ACTIVITIES SHALL BE AND ARE HEREBY SUSPENDED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
Any member, chapter or officer found in violation of this membership-intake suspension order will be disciplined up to and including expulsion from the fraternity.
Brothers, I know this is not festive news—and it is not fair to all of those who abide by the rules and have initiated some of the best men there are to offer to Alpha Phi Alpha—but it is a necessary prescription to cure a serious ailment. Next week I will be meeting with members of the Board of Directors in Phoenix where we will critically examine and discuss this and other pressing issues.
We must ensure the safe and orderly membership-intake process of the fraternity. I encourage each of you to support this moratorium, and to take the next several weeks to consider ways to help us make the process safer, more efficient and more rewarding to both the aspirants and the brothers.
Every applicant for membership must have the assurance that we are doing all we can to enable their safe entry into Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Every brother must be committed to follow the rules and policies that govern this organization.
May the true spirit of fraternity rule our hearts, guide our thoughts and control our lives, as we head into the New Year.
Brother Herman “Skip” Mason, Jr.