quitting a fraternity

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 joined a fraternity this fall because they stood for being different from other fraternities, and not just being a stereotype. Unfortunately, my experiences with them have proved otherwise, and I am losing interest.

Being in a colony process right now with them makes me disinclined to try and be part of a colony for yet another already established national fraternity. I would really like to start a brand new fraternity.

Fortunately, about half the men in my colony believe the same way I do, and could probably be convinced to start a new fraternity with me. Is it possible to do this? And if it is, how would I go about doing that?


Answer:

You question really has two parts.

First, you need to determine if you belong in your current fraternity.  Since you haven’t quit yet, that tells me there is something that is keeping you quitting.  You must like at least half of the guys, because you are talking about starting a new fraternity with them.  You must determine if whatever is keeping you from quitting is strong enough to make joining a lifelong fraternity worth-while.

If it isn’t, and you cannot see yourself being happy in this fraternity for four years and beyond, then by all means quit.  You will be doing everyone, especially yourself, a huge favor by quitting now.  Don’t drag out the inevitable any longer.

I want to warn you though, as a new member you really don’t know what your fraternity is or will become.  This is especially true for a colony.  The fraternity you join as a colony will be worlds different than the fraternity as a chapter a few years down the road.  If you stick with it, you will have a huge influence on what the fraternity becomes.

Second, if you want to start a new fraternity check out this article I wrote a long time ago: How to Start a Fraternity.  This will give you the basic template on how to do that.

I want to warn you about a few things though.

Definitely don’t expect or try to take half of the colony with you if you decide to start a new colony.  This is a jerk move on multiple levels.

Also, don’t for a second think that starting a new colony is easy.  It is very difficult to do and you will not get to really see or enjoy the fruits of your labor until after you graduate.

Finally, don’t expect the quality of guys to increase suddenly because you are starting a new colony.  Chances are, in a quest for numbers and getting your feet off the ground your new colony will take in every guy they can find.

Half will wash out and completely quit.  The other half will be a mix of awesome guys and guys you can’t stand.

If I were in your shoes, I think you should stick it out.  Keep in mind though that after you are initiated you will have crossed the point of no return and will not be able to start or join another fraternity.  Sit down with some influential brothers and tactfully express your concerns.  You might find that your concerns are the same as theirs.

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 “I Want to Quit My Fraternity and Start a New One

  1. Excellent point Dennis – I had never really thought about that. There isn’t a national fraternity out there that will accept this guy starting a new colony when he is currently in one.

    The thing that someone in this situation has to realize is that being a part of a colony is very, very difficult. It is hard starting anything new. You have to be able to live with the peaks and valleys or you have to get out.

  2. Please call the expansion consultant that is working with your colony. If a bunch of you are about to walk, there’s bigger reasons than the superficial crap you’re complaining about.

    Do not even attempt to start a whole new fraternity from scratch. You have no idea the resources that are required from massive insurance policies to oversight to programming to purpose, etc. Those things are only possible with the economies of scale that exist with a national.

    If you are in a colony right now, you can’t even start a new colony or a local anyway. You would have to get consent from IFC for expansion & they aren’t going to give that when they’re in the process of adding a chapter right now, especially if you broke off of that new group. That at least looks like you don’t have the commitment to the process.

    Call your nationals. And talk to your colony. Fix the problem from the inside or walk away. That’s your only realistic choices.

  3. Pat hit a home run here. Established chapters change every few years as the leadership and general membership changes. What’s to say that if you take on a leadership role that your colony won’t be better for it? Often times we all lose sight that the best changes that can be made are not from external forces, but from internal ones. Go out and recruit men who you feel live up to the standards that this colony presented to you. Then rally those men internally, become a leader, and establish a Fraternity legacy that you can be proud of.

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