How to Hide Undesirable Brothers During Fraternity Recruitment

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:

About 10 years ago, our charter was revoked and we were officially removed from campus.  However, we continued to function as an off-campus sort of Fraternity. This was without the blessing of nationals and was certainly condemned by administration.


Lots of these guys were really solid and good guys. Eventually, we were granted colony status and had a large initial pledge class of different academic classes. Some of them were good guys, some of them were below par in a number of ways.

From our initial year until this spring most of our pledge classes were at best mixed; there would be some good guys in each class but they were overall subpar. However, our spring recruiting class this year was outstanding. While I am a member of this pledge class I am probably biased but the majority of older brothers agree with this statement.

Next year we will be returning to campus after our hiatus. This has generated a lot of excitement among our alumni and we have seen a large uptick in donations, which means we will have a large amount of money to dedicate to rush events and our social calendar. However, my question is about recruitment.

How can we sell my pledge class and a few select members of the other pledge classes without seeming like we are undermining brotherhood? How can we show our best without the negative effect of excluding the kids who aren’t up to par? After all, even though they may not be the best guys (most are rather awkward, don’t look like true fraternity men, and aren’t leaders) they are still my brothers.
Your advice in this matter will be greatly appreciated.

Answer:

Not every guy in the fraternity is going to be a rock star.  In the same regard, there is not a secret formula for the perfect fraternity man.  They come in all shapes and sizes.

I get your hesitation though.  You worry that a few of your brothers will be seen as undesirables and that will hurt you during fraternity recruitment.  You are worried about your image, because you believe that your image is what is going to capture the imagination of perspective new members.

First though, you have to realize that your pledge class doesn’t matter anymore.  There is nothing to sell there.  You are now a member of the fraternity – not a pledge.  Your job is to sell the entire brotherhood, not just a select group of guys.  Now that you are a brother, you have to change your mindset.

My advice?  If they are your brothers then act like it.  Your brothers are your brothers and you should always be proud of that fact.  Brotherhood is not something when it is just convenient.

If you act this way then two things will happen.  First, the guys rushing your chapter will see how you treat all your brothers, and they will think the undesirables are all right because of how you treat them.  They will think if the cool brothers like them, then those guys are probably all right.

Second, the guys in question will probably grow a little bit.  They will feed off how the brothers treat them, and they will probably stick their chests out a little further with pride.  A little confidence can go a long way, and it will probably score a few cool points for these brothers.

Again, I get your concern about image.  But let’s be honest – you don’t have any other way to approach the subject outside kicking these guys out of the fraternity.  The very worst thing you can do is talk junk about these brothers to outsiders.  Doing so will make you look petty an arrogant.  Comparing brothers or pledge classes classifies as talking junk.  No one wants to join a fraternity where the brothers talk about each other behind their back.

Let me ask you which fraternity is more desirable:

Is it the one where all the brothers are cookie cutter cool guys or is it the one where all the brothers genuinely like each other and treat each other well?  I promise you the 2nd fraternity will have more success in recruitment and also be a better fraternity because they will understand what it is all about.

Be a model brother who treats everyone in the fraternity well.  It will make for a much better fraternity experience for you.  You will be seen as a leader in the eyes of your brothers.  It is also the surest way to success for your chapter.

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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One thought on “How to Hide Undesirable Brothers During Fraternity Recruitment

  1. I get putting your best foot forward, make a good first impression, etc. Those are good things, do that. Pick out a crew of about 6 rock star closers. Don’t take up all your quality rushers. Then divide everyone else up into small rush teams of 3-4 guys with one as a rush captain. Put the guys you want to put in the limelight as the captains, but match them up with a couple other guys they can work well with. Then each team can teamwork rush individual guys & bring in the rock star closer team for backup. The guys you want up front are pushed out there. The guys that don’t project the image you want are still visible and actively participating, but they can gravitate more to a support role if they choose or at least be close at hand to one of your team leaders. It’s not hard to figure out.

    What you don’t want to do is hide brothers in the kitchen. Don’t be dishonest with rushees. If you sell them a BS bill of goods and the day after they take a bid they realize the chapter is not what they were sold on, half of them will drop and your reputation, momentum, direction, etc will all go to hell. People want to be part of success. Show them you have momentum and are in the middle of a break out that will put you back on top. That’ll attract guys that want to work hard and be part of the solution, not just ride the coattails of an already successful chapter.

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