joining a colony

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:

I have heard about a fraternity that will be recolonizing on my campus in about 2 months. I wish I could join their fraternity however unless I am able to get their expansion coordinator or recruiters attention, which I have been wondering from the past days how to get a hold of them, I am afraid I may not be able to rush them until they are fully colonized which will be time.

Until then as I would like to join their fraternity sooner, may I ask what do you suggest to be proactive in the meantime? How should I get a hold of the people in charge of expansion who I do not know too well? (I don’t want to vouch for myself personally).


Answer:

This is an easy one.

First, make sure you know what fraternity is colonizing.  If you are unsure, go to the Greek Life office and ask them.

Then, go online and find the contact info for the Executive Director of the fraternity.  Write him an email explaining that you are interested in joining the colony and would like to learn more.

He will put you in touch with the individuals who are leading the expansion.  I promise they will eagerly contact you and try to bring you in the fold.

A couple quick points though.

Make sure that you are comfortable with the situation.  Starting a colony is VERY difficult and most fail.  Be sure you are willing to put in the work necessary with these particular guys.

While it is pretty awesome starting a colony, remember that you are still joining a fraternity.  If you don’t like the guys you are joining, then you will not have a good fraternity experience.

Finally, realize that the national fraternity is investing a lot of money and manpower to get this colony off the ground.  They are using these resources to find leaders to spread their message and values on your campus.

You would be doing them a huge favor by reaching out to them and introducing yourself.  They would also be doing you a huge favor by introducing you to a more rewarding college experience.

Good luck!

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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3 thoughts on “How Do I Join a New Fraternity Colony?

  1. I have a couple things I want to ask of/say to the question asker:

    Regarding your past experience with fraternities failing follow up with you… On one hand, understand you’re talking about other college students that maybe aren’t as organized as they should be while trying to deal with hundreds of people trying to get their attention all at once. Cut them some slack. On the other hand, most people avoid confrontation. If they didn’t want to see you again, it’s very unlikely they’d tell you that. Most likely they’d just not get back in touch with you. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. So, I understand you’re being gun shy about blasting emails off at a national fraternity looking like captain trying-too-hard. Try to identify the things you’ve done wrong in the past and learn from them.

    Secondly, you don’t seem to know what fraternity is colonizing, what they are about, or who else might be joining, but you know you want in. That’s very troubling to me. The two things that matter about a fraternity are the people you’re joining and what the values/mission/purpose of the organization are, and you blew both of them off. I don’t know, maybe a colony would pick you up because they’re desperate for numbers, but if someone came to my chapter without “getting it” on those two points, then I’d tell them not to bid him. I really think you need to reevaluate why you want to join a fraternity, why this particular one is the best fit for you personally, and then figure out how to best present yourself so they can decide if you fit their values and group of guys.

    I do want to say a couple things about the investment aspect. First, it isn’t just about money/manpower. They have more offers from schools than they can fill per year. They make a very well thought out selective decision about what schools to colonize when and why. They will indeed spend many thousands of dollars to get them up and running, and they will not make that back off the chapter for many years. This is very important to them that they get the colony started on the right track.

    As far as general advice, (other than getting your mind right – as I said above) I would say it sounds like you’re freaking out over nothing. If you make an appointment and meet with the Greek Life staff to get details about the colonizing fraternity, I can almost promise you they will pass your info along to the expansion team. If you want to email the nationals directly, that’s easy enough. I guess you can email the Executive Director if you really want to but he’s probably going to forward the message and never respond to you personally. That’ll work, but I don’t like doing that kind of thing. I’d rather find the director of expansion listed on their website and email that guy. It’s more direct. I guess I would tell you not to send a resume and pour your heart out begging to be part of the thing. You wouldn’t do that in a job interview, and that’s basically what this is. Just let them know you’ve heard they might be starting a colony at your school, you’re interested in learning more, and could they contact your at their convenience. I pretty much promise they will at minimum talk to you. Just calm down and be patient. These things take time. If you get into the colony, you’ll come to realize it is an incredible amount of work with little immediate reward and it seems like it takes for-freaking-ever to reach your goals. You have to be patient and mature about this.

  2. Thanks for the advice up there. However before I shoot that executive director a email and have to play tag for following up with them that will probably lead to nowhere, I have a question or two. Would there be a difference between not emailing him or contacting them immediately yet wait until they are on campus already for colonization and contacting them now and expressing interest and following up with them?

    Because as some of my experience has suggested such as with this previous fraternity on my campus, Ive had enough problems with putting up with fraternities that do not follow through nor respond to my emails in a timely manner. As much as that fraternity in the process of colonization not following through with me even after I gave in my name and number for some reason. The last thing I really like happening is a black hole. I realize its slow and a hard process however I do like it when there is some awareness or transparency so I know what to do.

    • The fraternity is spending literally thousands of dollars to colonize on a campus. I promise if you contact them they will not give you the run-around. If they do, then that probably isn’t a group you want to join anyway is it?

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