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Associate Member Education

Associate Membership

Invitation into the membership and brotherhood of Delta Kappa Epsilon is an honor of which every invitee should be proud. Associate members are selected because they demonstrate the organization’s values of being a Gentleman, Scholar, and Jolly Good Fellow

As with most fraternal organizations, like with employers, associate members complete a period of onboarding during which they are immersed in the meaning of what it means to be a Deke and how to successfully take advantage of everything Fraternity membership has to offer. We hope you enjoy your experience and your time as an undergraduate member. Welcome to the brotherhood.

Purpose of Associate Member Onboarding

The Associate Member onboarding period begins at the time of accepting a “bid” (invitation to membership) and is completed upon formal initiation into the Fraternity. This period encompasses online learning – TightRope Health & Safety, Member Onboarding courses – and group-based in-person learning. Associate members are introduced to the mysteries and secrets of the organization, Standards of membership, contribution requirements, and the benefits of membership after graduating into alumnus status. Transparently, this period also affords the chapter the opportunity to revoke an invitation to membership should the membership discern that an associate member does not meet the standard of full membership.

Associate Member Education Process

Delta Kappa Epsilon’s Associate Member education process is an essential part on the road to becoming a full member of Delta Kappa Epsilon with all the rights and privileges that offers. Throughout this process, prospective members acquaint themselves with the history and traditions of the Fraternity, as well as the values we pride in ourselves and display to our communities.

In alignment with inter-fraternal best practices, we recommend chapters observe a 4- or 6-week program. Materials for chapter leaders are available for download below.

Delta Kappa Epsilon Constitutional Requirements (Article II)

“Only male students regularly enrolled in a course of study at a college, university, or similar institution of learning shall be eligible…”

“Except in the explicit prohibition of women from obtaining membership, no chapter shall discriminate in its selection of members on the basis of race, color, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, marital status, citizenship, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law.”

Delta Kappa Epsilon Bylaws (Section II)

  1. Members must be at least 17 years of age
  2. Members must meet the minimum academic standard and be approved by initiated members of the Chapter [of interest] as set forth in the Fraternity Standards and [local] Chapter bylaws.
  3. [Must be] enrolled as an undergraduate or graduate student at an institution of higher learning at which a chapter or associate chapter of DKE operates.


Other Qualifications

Local chapters may set forth additional membership criteria within the parameters of the governing documents of the Fraternity at-large and in accordance with their campus’ rules and regulations.

As an associate member of Delta Kappa Epsilon, you may be assigned a ‘Big Brother’ from the local fraternity chapter to act as a guide and mentor throughout the associate membership period.

A Big Brother is your mentor as you begin immersing yourself in the fraternity, and the relationships between Big Brothers and Little Brothers is often one that will last well beyond your undergraduate years.

A Big Brother is intended to be a confidant, a friend, a study partner, a teammate, and a life coach. To learn more about Big Brother programs, review this course.

Delta Kappa Epsilon’s associate member education process typically consists of weekly meetings for in-person learning and activities. Associate members are usually expected to attend these meetings to have the opportunity to learn more about the Fraternity, get to know his initiate class brothers, and interact with the active members.

Aside from these weekly meetings, chapter may choose to invite associate members to attend other events, including socials, weekly study sessions, philanthropic events, sports leagues, and more. While not necessarily required, these optional engagements form a core part of the ∆KE experience, and associate members are encouraged to enrich their experience and attend. 

Note: All associate member activities and programs are to be alcohol- and substance-free and adhere to the Standards of the Fraternity. Any activities considered outside the Standards may be referred to the IHQ staff for review. Local chapter leaders should balance the various obligations of their associate members when creating their onboarding programs and connect with their chapter consultant for guidance as needed.

4-Week Period Materials

Click the button below to download the 4-week Associate Member onboarding materials. 

Included: schedule overview, associate member educator guide, presentation deck

6-Week Period Materials

Click the button below to download the 6-week Associate Member onboarding materials. 

Included: schedule overview, associate member educator guide, presentation deck

We are delta kappa epsilon

Delta Kappa Epsilon is one of the oldest and most prominent fraternities in North America. Founded in 1844 at Yale University, “Deke” is known for producing outstanding gentleman, leaders, and jolly good fellows.