Two Fraternity Recruitment Classes

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Question:

What is your opinion on having two recruitment classes in a semester? Do you have any advice?


Answer:

A fraternity faces many difficult challenges.  I think having two recruitment classes in one semester is a great idea for solving three of them…

One challenge is fraternity recruitment.  We all know it is extremely difficult to recruit and grow the brotherhood.  By having two recruitment periods, you will theoretically be able to increase the number of guys you recruit a semester.  And in theory, this should have a snowball effect because if you initiate more guys one semester, then you will have more guys recruiting the next.  This means your fraternity should grow.

Another challenge is differentiating from other fraternities on campus.  Everyone does about the same thing, which makes standing out harder.  If you have a rush period in the middle of the semester, you will be recruiting with little competition.  Also, you will be able to scoop up those guys who were missed by a few short weeks during the first go-around. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

The final reason is to improve our new member programs.  Fraternity new member programs are often too long and result in losing new members.  Your fraternity loses a ton of potential if you pin 10 guys, but lose 3 because they get sick of the new member program.  If you can shorten the new member program, while still teaching the new members everything they need to know to become productive brothers, then everyone wins.

My advice – try it!  Nothing says that you have to do it forever.  This could be the type of idea which takes your fraternity to the next level by increasing the men you initiate during the year by 25 to 50%.  That is huge for any chapter.

Realize that there will be sacrifices though.  You will have to make sure the brothers are motivated to recruit.  If they aren’t motivated, then no change will improve your recruitment.   You will also have to shorten your new member program to make room for the second one.  Like I stated earlier though, this is probably a good thing.

Again, I think this is a great idea and if you do it I’d really like to hear the results.

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 “Should We Have Two Fraternity Recruitment Classes a Semester?

  1. I have to agree with, Pat. When your chapter is below 20 and you want to push to grow higher adding two classes can really be a major help.

    Step 1) Suggest this to your chapter as a way to grow. Ask them, rethorically, if they want to roll with the big dogs and have a big solid chapter.

    Step 2) Proceed with rush, first two weeks. Obtain pledges.

    Step 3) Ask the pledges if they have friends who would fit into your fraternities core values. Continues rushing for another two weeks. Obtain a second set of pledges.

    Step 4) Run them separately and convince them to do their best.

    PS. WARNING! Second pledge group might become stronger than the first. They know their behind and they will be 5 times more motivated. I’ve seen this happen so, just make sure to keep that in mind, before you proceed.

  2. Dennis makes a good point about this being a short term fix. We need to be realistic about recruitment – it isn’t something that most brothers look forward to. If you are doing it twice as much, that could lead to the brotherhood becoming really burned out. That will negate any of the benefits you get from having two recruitment periods per semester.

  3. I’ve heard this suggestion many times, and considered it (as well as taking a summer class), but never done it. I can certainly see that in a colony environment, or as a very small chapter up against much bigger ones. I would consider this as a short term boost to get numbers up. You can overlap the pledge programs of the two classes slightly, but I think it works out most cleanly at 6wk programs. Think if you’re overlapping that you need double the effort from actives on the pledge program, and they have to be ADD about changing how they’re interacting with pledges that are at different stages of development.

    On the down side, what is the quality going to look like? If your school has a good formal rush system that is already capturing the majority of people that want to go through rush, then second rush you’re looking at mainly left overs & lack of demand. Don’t take guys to raise your numbers if you have to compromise your quality to do it.

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