Greek life often times becomes a race to the bottom when it comes to recruitment. Instead of trumpeting the values and the great services fraternities offer to the community, chapters feel pressured to push girls and parties as the only reasons to join.
Why is this? Fraternities offer unlimited opportunities for both social and professional improvement. However, some Phi Delt chapters across the country feel the need to compete with the other fraternal organizations on campus that send a different message during the recruitment process. What’s so wrong with being different?
Many undergraduates will point towards alcohol-free housing as an unfair hurdle they have to jump over. Instead of focusing on what you may consider negatives aspects of the policy, look at all the positives that can be pushed during recruitment. From my experience, Phi Delta Theta offers some of the nicest chapter facilities across the board. Today’s best students do not want to live in a “frat house.” They want to live in a well-maintained house that offers a good balance between social opportunities and academic atmosphere. In addition, parents are becoming a larger factor, sometimes the determining factor, on whether or not a young man joins your chapter since they are often footing the bill. It’s better to sell to a potential new member’s parents that the house is alcohol-free, and that parents are always welcome to stop by the facility and should be impressed, not disgusted, with what they see.
In addition, your chapter should not be afraid to set higher membership standards. Every undergraduate’s goal is to earn a degree. It does not help the individual or the chapter if members struggle academically, or fail out of school. Your chapter should not take grade risks. In the event that it does, hopefully there is a strong enough scholarship program within the chapter. Often times members of other organizations will go through their college career’s and never venture outside their chapter. Successful chapters require their members to join another campus organization to both help the member with experience and the chapter with recruitment. The higher the standards a chapter holds its members to, the higher quality of member will be in the organization.
As this year progresses, don’t be afraid to venture off the beaten path and try something new. It just might be the change that sets your chapter apart from the rest.
Alex is a Phi Delta Theta Leadership Consultant who graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Political Science. Within his chapter he held the offices of Philanthropy Chairman, Vice President, Recruitment Chairman and two terms as Phikeia Educator. Beyond his chapter, he also served on the Greek Week Steering Committee and IFC as the Vice President of Recruitment. Through his hard work and effort both inside and outside of his chapter, he was honored as a “Distinguished Greek Leader of 2010” which was awarded to six students out of a Greek Community of over 5,000. Brother Carrick has had the pleasure of attending all three major conferences: ELI, RBC and PLC and he is a die-hard follower of Wolverine athletics.