Which Fraternity Should I pick?

This article is Day 8 of the series: 31 Days to Better 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:

So, I have a fairly straightforward and simple question. There are two fraternities that I am interested in, and I’m really having a hard time getting advice on which one to rush (for the sake of not inducing bias, I will name neither. I will call them S and P.


Fraternity S is actually going to be a colony starting near the end of September. I’ve actually met up with nationals and discussed the issues with them, and I was fairly impressed. The values this fraternity holds are things that I rather like, and I really support their philanthropy. In addition, it being brand new is going to give me tons of opportunity to get into leadership positions, plus the fraternity has a strong alumni presence (they were kicked off campus at some point) and are fairly strong on a national level. Those are the good parts, now for the bad. This fraternity will obviously be extremely weak starting out, and honestly looking at the record my campus has, colonies are having a really hard time getting founded. In addition, the National Organization discourages people from meeting before the colony is formed, which puts me at a disadvantage if only for the fact that I am a gay man, and as such will be unsure of what position that will put me in with the group. Then there is of course the time commitment, which will be intense I’m assuming.

Now for Fraternity P.

Fraternity P is pretty relaxed and I know the guys. I know that they like me, and they are pretty strong locally. They have several gay members, so I’m quite sure that that won’t be an issue for me, and I’m 99.8% certain that if I rush them, I’ll get a bid.

Now for the bad parts.  Nationally, they are very weak. They have somewhere around 40-50K living alumni and from the research I’ve done it seems like chapters are getting shut down faster than they can get them established. For most people, that wouldn’t be a problem, however I think on the larger scale, since I know with my interests and tendencies, the chances of me staying involved (whether through Chapter Advising or otherwise) are pretty high, and I believe that is something I’d like to do. In addition, while many of them are excellent men, I feel as if there is a lot of in-fighting and I’m not sure of what sort of commitment they actually have towards their brotherhood.

Thanks for any advice that you are able to give,

Answer: Which Fraternity Should I Pick?

I love this type of question and appreciate you taking the time to ask it.  Let me break down my thoughts on each fraternity – then give you my advice.

Fraternity S – The Colony

Being part of a something new is always exciting.  I see the appeal of being there at the start and building something great.  However, you must realize how colonies typically start (I actually have a free report on this process available in my article – How to Start a Fraternity).

First, there will be a core interest group.  Then, nationals will get involved to help them get a bunch of random guys interested in being part of the colony.  Then, boom, you are a fraternity.  However, you have no idea what you are doing so you’ll probably resort to doing what is easiest – partying like rock stars.

Eventually, guys will realize it wasn’t for them or that they didn’t mesh with the other brothers, and they will quit.  There will be a high attrition rate.  From there you realize there is more to fraternity than partying and you really start your fraternity.

So is this right for you?  I don’t know you so I don’t have any idea.   I can tell you this though – if you are not extremely motivated then it will not be rewarding for you.  Starting a colony is a ton of work, and since there aren’t many guys to spread it around you will have to take on more than your fair share.  The fruits of your labor probably won’t be seen until after graduation, so there is little immediate satisfaction.  In return though, you will become extremely close to your brothers.

Fraternity P – The Established Fraternity

This seems like a good situation.  You get along with the guys and you think the chapter is strong.  Those are very good things.

I would not let them being part of a smaller national fraternity scare you off.  Your fraternity experience is going to be with the local chapter for 99.9% of the time.  That is where your focus should be.   I am part of a smaller national fraternity, and I have never regretted it.

So What Should  You Do?

I say none of the above.

If you join the colony, you are going to be an outsider from the core group.  Who knows if you will like those guys are not?  The problem is you have to wait until after rush to find out.  You will find out if you don’t like them, then you are hosed for the semester because rush already happened.  Remember that joining a fraternity is about joining people.  If you don’t know the people, then you are taking a huge gamble.  I think it is too important a decision to make with that many questions.

It also seems like you aren’t completely sold on the established chapter.  Look, joining a fraternity is a life-long commitment.  If you aren’t all-in, then don’t join.

Fortunately, you have another option.  That is going through fraternity recruitment like everyone else.  If you do it right then you will find where you fit and my gut tells me you will be much happier than the above two choices.

So how do you find the right fraternity?  I suggest checking out my new site – How to Join a Fraternity.  This is designed to be the ultimate resource for guys in your situation.

Be sure to check out these articles:

 How to Get a Bid

Fraternity Rush

Why Join a Fraternity

Questions to Ask

Also, if you are looking for the ultimate guide, you can purchase my new book – How to Join a Fraternity.  This will explain everything you need to know from finding the right fraternity for YOU to getting a bid.  I think you will find it to be a wise investment since you have such a big decision to make.

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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