Fraternity is on Social Probation

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Question:

My fraternity may be going on social probation. I am afraid of not being competitive come rush. Can you help?


Answer:

You are right, being on social probation can put your fraternity at a disadvantage during rush. However, it doesn’t need to be a death sentence and isn’t as bad as your brothers think.

First, before you even think about rush, you need to be sure your fraternity is clear on what you can and cannot do. When you received your punishment you should have received this information. Obviously, your fraternity needs to take advantage of what you can do. You probably aren’t prohibited from having brotherhood events or road trips. You might even be able to have date functions and formals. Be sure you understand your punishment so you can articulate it during rush.

Second, the probation itself is not going to be what hurts your fraternity during rush. If you are open about the situation, and tell your perspective new members what you can do and what you have planned, then they will accept it for it is and focus on the positive.

However, they will notice if the entire fraternity is comprised of morose brothers because of the probation. Probations tend to suck the life out of the fraternity, and that is what will really hurt your during rush.

During these times it is especially critical for the leadership team to step up and lead. Character is defined during trying times, not the good times. Find a reason for the brothers to be excited about the fraternity, and be sure they focus on those reasons.

Finally, be sure that your fraternity doesn’t commit the same violations that got you put on probation in the first place. Accept your punishment like men even if you don’t agree with it. Make the best of the situation and move forward with dignity and class.

If you do that, recruitment success will follow.

Question:

My fraternity may be going on social probation. I am afraid of not being competitive come rush. Can you help?

Answer:

You are right, being on social probation can put your fraternity at a disadvantage during rush.  However, it doesn’t need to be a death sentence and isn’t as bad as your brothers think.

First, before you even think about rush, you need to be sure your fraternity is clear on what you can and cannot do.  When you received your punishment you should have received this information.  Obviously, your fraternity needs to take advantage of what you can do.  You probably aren’t prohibited from having brotherhood events or road trips.  You might even be able to have date functions and formals.  Be sure you understand your punishment so you can articulate it during rush.

Second, the probation itself is not going to be what hurts your fraternity during rush.  If you are open about the situation, and tell your perspective new members what you can do and what you have planned, then they will accept it for it is and focus on the positive.

However, they will notice if the entire fraternity is comprised of morose brothers because of the probation.  Probations tend to suck the life out of the fraternity, and that is what will really hurt your during rush.

During these times it is especially critical for the leadership team to step up and lead.  Character is defined during trying times, not the good times.  Find a reason for the brothers to be excited about the fraternity, and be sure they focus on those reasons.

Finally, be sure that your fraternity doesn’t commit the same violations that got you put on probation in the first place.Accept your punishment like men even if you don’t agree with it.Make the best of the situation and move forward with dignity and class.

If you do that, recruitment success will follow.






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One thought on “How to Recruit When Your Fraternity is on Social Probation

  1. This is tough to reply to without telling you to break rules and without knowing a lot more about how the specific campus does rush.

    Without telling you to do any of this, probation for us was more of an annoyance. We did road trip to other chapters, pre-game and car pool to a close by town, apt/house parties, tailgate, etc. We could do undercover formal to New Orleans. Date Parties bussed to another town. We just couldn’t do mixers or make shirts with dates on them. Again, not telling you to do that, but I’m sure you already know very well how to operate without getting in trouble.

    As far as rush, that happens at the beginning of the semester. Are those guys seeing social events or are you talking about rush parties before formal rush starts? On most campuses those are not officially allowed anyway. You can do all the above things to still put rushees in a social situation. There’s still plenty opportunity.

    The two things you need to address are the attitude of actives as discussed in the article (spot on), and how to respond to rushees that have heard you’re on probation. Obviously you don’t need to bring it up, but if it does come up then I would make a joke out of how you got in trouble for being so awesome & how all it means is you can’t do big official events in the city limits or make shirts with a date on them. You still do XYZ.

    The really right answer though is you know rush isn’t about social. Obviously you need to be competitive to get quality people in your door, but are recruiting the biggest partiers or are you recruiting people that share the values and mission of your organization? You do what it takes to gain competitive access to the quality portion of the rush pool, but after that you shouldn’t be spending tens of thousands of dollars trying to outspend your rivals. You should be going after the right people for the right reasons. If this is going to be an unusual rush, use it as an opportunity to try something different and make your chapter better.

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