By Randy Thomas – Indiana Kappa (Ball State) PR Chairman and VP of Membership Development
Indiana Kappa was asked to write about their recruitment success that was seen on the Scroll News Feed – Indiana Kappa (Ball State) Recruits Largest Phikeia Class Since 1974
The Fall of 2010 was a semester of overwhelming success for the Indiana Kappa Chapter of Phi Delta Theta, however the seeds of the success have been planted over the course of the past year. To fully understand the joys of successful recruitment, the years of struggle Indiana Kappa faced must also be understood.
Two years ago the Chapter was sitting at 14 active members and was the embodiment of an organization with 80% of the work being done by 20% of the members. Many of the members of the Chapter took on three and four positions to keep the Chapter afloat. Without failure, the question would arise “why don’t you have a house?” and the Chapter would be all but written off for the lack of a brick and mortar structure to house their brotherhood. Each semester the Chapter would have hopes for a larger than normal pledge class, but do very little to change the recruitment practices of the Chapter. The hopes of taking the Chapter to new heights through successful recruitment was always the goal, however the high hope quickly reverted to a pipe dream.
Rather than talking about utilizing a 365-day recruitment model for another semester, a small group in the Chapter decided to take a hard look at the way things were being done. Recruitment stopped being viewed as something that was an obligation or a struggle, and the positive morale began radiating from the Chapter’s members. Fall of 2009 brought the Chapter a Phikeia class of 13 members, and shortly after the Chapter decided to employ a very unorthodox tactic to boost membership even more. Around mid-terms in the semester a second pledge class of four began the Phikeia program as well. Spring 2010 brought two classes, and there are plans to being the second Fall 2010 class in the coming weeks. This practice took the focus and formality away from the formal recruitment process, and provided an opportunity for aggressive expansion of membership.
Adopting a less formal recruitment structure allowed for the financial cost of recruitment to be reduced significantly. More cost effective events were being held, and the turnout seemed to be exactly the same. The type of events or the food being served did not take precedent when recruitment was being planned, and instead the emphasis was placed on establishing relationships and creating a welcoming atmosphere for potential new members. Recruiting men who were involved outside of the classroom, and who already embodied the three Cardinal Principles was of the utmost importance.
Fall 2010 has been a semester of much promise for the brothers of Indiana Kappa, however, they are well aware that there is still plenty of work to be done. Recruitment has become an everyday job for the men of Indiana Kappa, and complacency can creep up rather easily. Indiana Kappa realizes that there are no days off in a 365-day recruitment model because recruiting quality new brothers should always be a top priority.