This question was submitted by one of our readers. If you have a question you want me to answer go here to submit it: Fraternity Advice.
I am transferring to a school that does not have a chapter of my fraternity. I really want to stay in Greek Life but because I’m already initiated I’m not sure if I can join another fraternity. What can I do?
Technically, it is my understanding that you are not allowed to join another fraternity due to NIC rules. I could be wrong about that, but I am fairly certain. Also, your fraternity’s ritual probably states the same thing.
Under those guidelines, your only option would be to start a new chapter of your fraternity at your new school. This obviously is a pretty challenging task, but one that your national headquarters will likely assist you with if you were interested.
That being said, if you aren’t interested in starting a new chapter, you could attempt to join another fraternity. During rush, you could let the brothers know your situation privately, and let them decide what to do.
Chances are, the new fraternity will welcome you with open arms, and they will initiate you after your new member period. If you kept it to yourself, no one would probably even know about your past. There isn’t a master database anywhere that keeps track of these things.
This is a tough though one ethically. On one hand, I know we all agree that you are a brother for life and have taken a pledge with your fraternity. However, circumstances threw you a curve and I am not sure that should preclude you from being a part of Greek Life.
There are a couple obvious things you need to do. You need to call your national headquarters and ask for advice. Let them know your situation, and see what they can do to help. Also, go talk to the Greek Life Director at your new school. He will be able to give good advice.
If I were in your shoes, my allegiance to my fraternity would be strong enough where I would not feel right joining another fraternity. This means I would probably try to start a chapter on my new school, despite knowing how challenging a task that is. I took an oath to be a brother for life, even when times are tough. You don’t stop being a brother of your fraternity once you leave campus, whether as a transfer or an alumnus.