Sep 16, 2011

The Trickle Down Effect – A Recruitment Strategy

Campus Administrator Interfraternalism Recruitment
The Trickle Down Effect – A Recruitment Strategy

By Michelle Merritt

Effective recruiting of new members comes from first and foremost truly believing in what your organization stands for and being passionate when conveying that message.  But, who are you telling your message to?  Anyone who will listen?  Are you strategic about your delivery?

#1 Strategy: Recruit men with high GPAs

As a Dean working with Greek organizations for many years  I’ve seen chapters come and go, but the most stable fraternal organizations are those that maintain an overall high GPA.  How do they maintain their high GPA?  Easy………by recruiting members with a high GPA in the first place.  Sometimes we get into a dangerous mindset of thinking that we should offer a bid to a potential member because he’s ‘a good guy’ and would make a great brother.  Think again.  This decision will have negative consequences.

So, why recruit new members with high GPAs in the first place?

  • Men with higher GPAs are more likely to recruit  other men with higher GPAs.
  • Your members are more likely to be involved in high profile leadership positions on campus.
  • Your chapter will retain more members.
  • Your chapter will be stronger and stick around for a lot longer than the others.
  • High chapter GPAs make you chapter eligible for local and national awards and recognition.


So, how do you figure out who has high GPAs on campus?

  • Offer scholarships to potential new members the summer before they arrive.  The applications tell the story.
  • Have potential members sign a grade release form BEFORE extending a bid.  Your Greek Life office should have these available.
  • Ask your college or university to provide you lists of members of academic honorary organizations, e.g., Blue Key or Mortar Board.
  • Tap into your college’s honors program?  Can you get class lists?
  • Ask college department chairs for referrals.
  • Recruit Residence Life staff members or other students in high profile leadership positions that have grade requirements.

If you are responsible for the success of your fraternity then start with a successful strategy!

Michelle Merritt is the Associate Dean of Students at Monmouth College in Monmouth, Illinois.  She is a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma Womens Fraternity.  Michelle graduated from Monmouth College in 1989 with a B.S. in Speech Communications and went on to receive her M.S. in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.  Prior to her current role at Monmouth College, she served as the Assistant Director of Housing at the University of Central Missouri and Residence Hall Director at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse.

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