My Fraternity Chapter was Closed

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 just started my second year of school. Last winter i had gone through pledging, and got initiated into an IFC fraternity during spring term. At a party there was an alleged rape, that the guy was eventually acquitted of. This gave our campus a red flag in which they did an investigation.

We were disaffiliated, and are now unrecognized by both nationals and campus based on excessive alcohol charges. All of these chargers were brought the day after my pledge class had gotten initiated. Leaving the Greek system is not an option for me. Transferring schools is highly unlikely. What options do i have to stay in the IFC Greek system?


Answer:

I hate to say it, but you do not have a choice in this case of leaving or staying in the Greek system on your campus.  You chapter essentially does not exist, but you signed a bid, were initiated into a chapter when it was active, and now unfortunately have nowhere to go. There are few fraternities that will initiate a person who has already been initiated into another fraternity. I know this is not the news that you wanted to hear, but it is the truth.

I want to clear a couple of things up as well. In less than a year, your chapter racked up enough alcohol charges to be dissolved on even a national scale? If this is true, how did you not see this as part of the culture of the fraternity? My guess is that your fraternity was well known for these types of behaviors  and would make any other chapter uneasy about initiating a former member, regardless of your own personal credibility.

That’s enough of the things that you cannot do. Time to go positive. What you can do is seek out your campus’s Greek Life director, or another appropriate official, to see what your options are. You may be surprised at how ready and willing those folks can be to put your passion for Greek Life to use. Your experience, though not an all positive one, could be a great perspective in a Greek Life office for how chapters can work to avoid the same circumstance that led to your chapter’s demise.

Have you explored creating a group of your own? Even a local fraternity could be an option for you. Maybe you have enough folks that are searching for the right fraternal fit and you can provide that? There’s also the option of creating a student group, not a dedicated Greek chapter, with a focus on service, academics, integrity, and creating better men. Vanguard, which exist on many college campuses today, is a perfect example. This group looks for ways to educate college men, Greek and non-Greek alike, on what it means to be a well-rounded college man.  Creating or becoming active in a group like this is another way to use your drive and passion in a different way than with your now defunct fraternity.

Lastly, do not become anti-Greek because of your experience. Your chapter, hopefully through no fault of your own, made some bad decision and no longer exists. You are searching for a Greek home or a way to use your talents. That does not mean that you should be the guy that goes around campus slamming every Fraternity around out of angst. That will not make you any friends in the Greek system or advocates on campus. It will also do nothing to make you feel better about what has happened. You’ll find the right fit. Be patient and keep positive.

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.

This answer was written by Joe Russo, an alumni brother from Phi Delta Theta and contributor for the thefraternityadvisor.com. If you are interested in writing for thefraternityadvisor.com – let us know (CLICK HERE)!






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2 thoughts on “My Fraternity Chapter was Closed – What Do I Do Now?

  1. It was wrong of them to initiate you without talking to you first. They may have thought they were doing you a favor, but they screwed you there.

    I have seen this done. My pledge trainer when I went through was a FIJI before he went ATO. He was in exactly your situation. He was initiated and they lost the charter his JI semester. He then went to their nationals and told them he disagreed with their ritual and wanted out. They pulled his pin & he was free to pledge somewhere else. We had another guy who was a Beta at another school and transferred down. We didn’t have Beta & all his high school friends were actives with ATO. He asked to give up his pin and went through pledgeship with us.

    There honestly is no NIC database for a different nationals to even know you’re initiated, and it’s not a universal rule for all nationals that you can’t cross over. But, it does take some research to know your options. You’re in the system now, you can narrow to a couple choices I’m sure and have a conversation direct with their nations.

    Your issue is more with the local chapters. You chose someone else over them. As long as they’re willing to work with you, it can probably be done.

    The other option is to stay active in the Greek system anyway. You’ll be going sorority events and will make friends with guys in other fraternities. I don’t know much about your school, but some schools have spirit clubs or secret societies drawn primarily from Greeks. Those might be options also. Your only other option is to transfer and affiliate.

    Sorry for your bad luck.

  2. Joe is right. When you join a fraternity, you join for life. While your situation stinks, you were a part of it for an entire semester. You had ample time to recognize the issues and should have quit if the fraternity long before this happened. I agree with his suggestions about talking to the Greek Life director and our national hq. Essentially, they are the only ones who can help you in this situation.

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