fraternity questions

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.

Question:

Hi there! I am trying to find a new way to revamp my recruitment at Southeast Missouri State. I really want to get every potential new member to meet each chapter without stepping out of the 365 day recruitment process. Any thoughts?


Answer:

I assume you are an IFC officer or Greek Advisor by the way your question was asked.  I’ll be honest with you, I think trying to get each potential new member to meet each chapter is a very bad idea.

Fraternities are life-long membership organizations that are based on friendships.  That isn’t a decision that should be made without a thorough understanding of the fraternity you are joining.

It is impossible to know a chapter well enough if you are spending all your time getting introduced to the 10, 20 or even 30 fraternities on campus.

My suggestion for potential new members is to do their homework and find 3 or 4 fraternities where they think they’ll fit in.  Rush those guys and be sure you know enough about them to make an informed decision.   My suggestion for brothers is to recruit smarter.  Some good resources are 5 Ways Your Fraternity Can Kill It During Recruitment and Fraternity Recruitment Made Easy (a chapter in my book The Fraternity Leader).

Question:

If someone was initiated into an NIC fraternity (let’s say Delta Upsilon) and was then kicked out during a Chapter review/reorganization can he join a non-NIC fraternity?

Answer:

As long as you were never initiated into NIC fraternity, you are welcome to join another.  If you were initiated, you would have to get a release from your current fraternity to join another one.  Every fraternity has a different process for that.

However, you pose an interesting question about joining a non-NIC fraternity.  The NIC is the one who put that policy in place that all member fraternities agree to abide by.  I guess if the fraternity in not a member of the NIC – then there are no rules to abide by.  That being said, I would be very cautious about joining a non-NIC fraternity.

Question:

I recently transferred schools and was a part of a frat at my old school. The new school I am at has the same frat and I have been over to the house and tried to become a part of it. I can tell that I will not fully be a brother there. The have told me several times that they will vote on me weather I can join or not but after one semester they still haven’t voted. The guys are completely different from my brothers at my old frat and I don’t really like them. Can I join a new frat or am I with my original one.

Answer:

Once you are initiated into your fraternity, you are a brother – period.  The chapter at your new school does not get a vote on whether or not to accept you.  You are already a brother.

I will assume you have made every attempt to assimilate into the new chapter.  While they should welcome you into the chapter, you should do everything possible to meet them half-way.

That being said, those guys sound like jerks.  I wouldn’t want to be part of their chapter regardless.  It says a hell of a lot about a group of guys who don’t welcome their fraternity brother with open arms.  My bet is that this is a chapter with a lot of issues that you don’t want to be a part of.

I would send an email to your fraternity’s executive director and explain the issue.  Realize though if you are doing that you are essentially burning a bridge with the chapter.  If you see no way that you will be a part of that chapter, I would request my release from the national headquarters.

Question: 

I’m trying to open a bank account for my fraternity. I was wondering what is the process of opening a bank account for a non-national fraternity. What type of bank account do I open?

Answer:

Your association with a national fraternity does not make a difference to the bank.  My suggestion is to visit (or email) a few banks and explain your situation.  Let them tell you what you need.

I would make sure the checking account you set up has low or no fees.  Also, you want all checks to require two signatures.  Free online banking would be nice as well.  To learn more about my thoughts on fraternity finance, check out Fraternity Treasurer Responsibilities.

Question:

I disaffiliated from my fraternity last semester but I am thinking I made the wrong choice. Could I re-join that same fraternity?

Answer:

Technically I am sure you could if they would accept you.  However, before you go crawling back, think about this:

How many times have you seen your buddies break up with a girl because he couldn’t stand her, only to go crawling back a few weeks later?  The time apart made him forget why he broke up with her in the first place.  However, when they were back together and the brief honeymoon period wore off, they were back at each-others throats only to break up again for the same reason they broke up the first time….

The point?  Be sure you that you aren’t crawling back to an old girlfriend because you are lost or lonely.  If she wasn’t right before, she won’t be right in the future.  The same flaws will come up again if you are accepted back in the fraternity.  Are you prepared to deal with them this second time around?

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.






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2 thoughts on “Fraternity Questions: 365 Recruitment, Changing Fraternities and Fraternity Bank Accounts

  1. Pat and Dennis are spot-on about attempting to have everyone see every house. I believe that approach would do more harm than good. Most guys don’t want to put up with that kind of “visit every house” stuff anyway. Too bureaucratic and restrictive. Many Panhellenic councils require all girls going through sorority rush to visit every house. My daughter started rush at her Big 10 university, but dropped it because she didn’t want to visit all the houses; she only wanted to visit certain ones. Result: one potential Greek lost because of a dumb “fairness” rule that really isn’t “fair” to anyone. She thought it was a tedious bunch of BS to visit every house.

    If you leave it up to each fraternity chapter to devise their own methods to recruit new members, the good houses will do just fine and the poor ones will improve, struggle, or eventually go away.

  2. Recruiting…
    I hate when schools or councils talk about “leveling the playing field.” That is a euphemism for equalizing outcomes between haves and have-nots, meaning communism. That is a failed political theory that has no place in management of any social system. America is the most free place on earth. A big part of that freedom is encouraging a free market economy with the minimal regulation necessary to keep things from getting out of control. We don’t force people to test drive every brand of car before they decide which one to buy. Why would we force them to spend time with every fraternity, while getting less time with their top choices?

    Rather than force interaction to check a box, let me recommend some alternatives. A mandatory job-fair style networking event at the beginning of the semester gives them the opportunity to see everyone without being forced where they don’t want to be. A well produced guide going beyond generic info and sent out over summer would be good. That can be an online product. I’ve seen a couple stories on “Greek Recruits” out of Maryland (http://scottblock.com/work/greek-recruits). I don’t know much about them, but the concept is something like bringing the old-school guide into the 21st century. Focus on creating wider networking opportunities and broad marketing. That works better than forcing things on a potential customer. Work with the school to add Greek intro stuff to orientations and campus visits by HS seniors. If you grow the recruiting pool and broaden networking choices, then more chapters will be successful anyway.

    Non-NIC fraternity…
    What was your status after being cut? Did they pull your pin, were you made early alumni, suspended? Are you on paper still an initiate of that fraternity or not? If not, you can seek your release. Depending why they kicked you out they may or may not grant that release. When you say non-NIC fraternity, what do you mean? If a local or another council, they may or may not have a similar rule. If you mean Kappa Sig or Phi Delt who left NIC on a national level, they maintain the same rule regardless of being in NIC.

    Bank Acct:
    It’s a straight non-profit business bank account. Generally it will require an EIN, articles of incorporation, & bylaws. You’ll need socials and signatures of the authorized signers. Have more than two people authorized to sign. Having an alumni advisor on the account is good too. Build oversight into the system so people can’t do dumb stuff in the future.

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