Guidelines to Make a Successful Chapter – Part 1: Recruit a Foundation
Leyalle’s leadership and support was invaluable during Phi Kappa Tau’s expansion to Idaho. Her two-part blog offers eight thoughts on how to create a great chapter from someone who is doing it from the ground up.
In the last year, myself and other dedicated members of my sorority have built a chapter from the ground up (with help from our headquarters of course).
Joining a chapter is easy. What do you do? Accept a bid. Start the new member process.
The hard work is getting quality people to join your chapter. Personally, we have had a lot of pressure to make our chapter the biggest it can be. It has been the constant battle between having enough members and having quality members.
In order to get those quality members you have to do something a little different than normal.
When most chapters think of recruitment, they think of information sessions and tabling … maybe big events. This leaves a lot of underutilized ways to get the right men to join your fraternity.
Here are some ways I have learned to recruit the best non-greek (yet) people on campus:
1. Find the person that knows it all. Most people would automatically think of the greek advisor to get their information. That is a great source but he or she is not a student.
You need that one student that is really involved. They can tell you all about the current greek chapters and other organizations that are available to talk to. They are going to know a lot of people on campus, and chances are they will know some quality men who are not greek.
2. Sororities are your best friend. We LOVE matching shirts. That means free advertising all over campus. Stop by every sorority with a clipboard for names and a tall stack of Phi Tau shirts. When Phi Tau came to our campus, my sorority loved wearing the shirts and ended up being great recruiters for the Fraternity.
Also, sororities know how to recruit. Have you seen sorority recruitment? We live for talking to people and singing songs. Tell the women a little bit about the values of your fraternity, GPA requirements and contact information. Within a few days there will be quality men calling.
3. Quality over quantity. Cliché but true. There are two types of organizations that “greek” men belong too: frats and fraternities. You want fraternity men not frat boys. There are guys walking all over campus dying to join a fraternity but you have to be able to separate the men from the boys.
Fraternities are a social organization, but if a guy is only looking to join your fraternity to party and get with chicks then please do yourself (and all of us) a favor. Do not hand him a bid.
Yes, many boys will put up a front convincing you they are a man, but if he is asking you about more about socials and less about your values then he might not be the right fit. Make sure these men are going to uphold the values of your fraternity.
4. Know the greek climate. Every campus is different, so make sure you know what you are working with. On my campus, greeks are the leaders—they have the best grades and they walk in groups. On other campuses, fraternities are nothing more than an off-campus boys club with lots of danger lurking around.
When building a new fraternity you want to show the campus your men are here to enrich the community, not help burn it down. If greeks have a bad reputation on campus, be the chapter that sticks out from all the rest. Reach out to the faculty and staff so they can be familiar with the members and reach out to non-greek students.
Thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts and experiences with you. Stay tuned for Thursday when I share four more tips on creating a great chapter!