This article is Day 13 of the series: 31 Days to Better Fraternity Recruitment.
I went to NC State with no vision of joining a fraternity. The thought or possibility never crossed my mind. My Dad went to the AF Academy, so he had no knowledge of Greek Life. It simply wasn’t something I ever thought about.
When I moved into the dorm that first weekend, the first person I met was my RA. This is the same story shared by thousands of freshman every August.
My RA was in a fraternity, and brought me to a rush event. I trusted him because of his position in the dorm but also because he seemed like a good guy.
I can still remember the first time I walked into the fraternity house. The image that was burned into my impressionable mind was the paddles hanging over the fireplace. It was like I was walking into movie.
That first rush event was a blast. I was invited back the second night, and had an even better time.
That second night we went to a minor league baseball game. I attempted to buy spicy peanuts (called Hotnuts) but the girl did not have change for the $20 I handed her. So I told her not to worry and to give me $20 worth of Hotnuts and gave them to everyone who wanted them.
So that night I earned the nickname “Hotnuts”.
While it definitely wasn’t planned, that really helped the fraternity during my recruitment. It made me feel like a part of the group, and not like an outsider. I felt accepted, and became very comfortable at the house.
So two nights turned into two weeks, and next thing I knew nearly all my friends on campus were a result of the fraternity. However, I still was not sure about joining.
Unexpectedly one night I got a knock on my dorm room door. It was the president of the fraternity along with the most popular brother. They were wearing suits and their fraternity pins gleamed on their lapels.
I was offered a bid. I guess I knew this was going to happen, but didn’t really understand the process. Again, this was all a new experience to me. I asked if I could have a day or two to think about it.
So I took the bid, and spoke to my Dad the next day. I was looking for advice/approval. But what he told me was unexpected. He told me that he had spent the previous 18 years raising me to make my own decisions. I was a man now – and it was up to me to make these types of choices in life.
So I ended up signing my bid.
It was definitely important that the brothers went out of their way to make me feel accepted and wanted. I became their friend, and the thought of not being part of the group if I didn’t join definitely crossed my mind.
More than that I liked the opportunity the fraternity presented. We were only a colony when I joined, and the thought of helping to start 100 years of tradition instead of following 100 years of tradition was very appealing. I knew I would have early opportunities to make a difference, and that is what I wanted.
Finally, I think the true reason of why I joined a fraternity was because I had never had that type of experience before. I was a military brat, and went to 10 different schools growing up. I went to 3 different high schools. I was always the outsider and don’t claim many close friends because I never had the time to develop those relationships. Joining a fraternity made me feel like an insider, a feeling I never had.
The point of this article is that we all join for different reasons. Mine appeared to be due to friendships and opportunity, but really it was because I was looking to be accepted.
Think about this when you are recruiting. What is the real reason this guy is interested in fraternity life? The better you get to know someone, the higher chance you have of finding this out. And if you can fulfill that need in the recruit’s life, chances are you will have a brother for life.
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