why you should not join a fraternity

This article is Day 16 of the series: 31 Days to Better Fraternity Recruitment.

On TFA we talk a lot about why guys SHOULD join a fraternity.  However, here are some reasons why you should not join a fraternity:

1 – You feel pressured to do so

No one wins when you end up joining when your heart is really not into it.  Join because you want to join, not because you could not say no to the peer pressure.


2 – Because your Dad/Brother/Grandfather/Uncle did it

Those guys may have had a great time, and they may be pushing you to joining a fraternity because it was great for them.  However, schools are different, fraternities are different, and most of all people are different.  Just because it was good for your old man doesn’t mean it will be good for you.

3 – If you can’t afford it

First off, you can afford it if you really want to.  I worked and put myself through school and was in a fraternity for all 5 years.  It just depends on how your prioritize things.  That being said, if joining a fraternity is a financial obligation you cannot or do not want to meet, then please don’t join.  If you do your fraternity career will have an ugly ending with a lot of debt and not many friends.

4 – If all you want to do is party and get drunk

Fat, dumb and stupid is no way to go through life.  If all you are looking to do is party you will not be successful in a fraternity environment.  You will end up failing out, and you will probably end up blaming the fraternity for your failures.  Do everyone a favor and don’t join.  That situation ensures you don’t drag us down with you.

5 – If you like to fight

Fraternities already have enough PR problems.  We don’t need you being a tough guy after a few beers to hurt our cause further.  Fraternities are places for gentleman who aspire to be a higher quality student and individual.  If you can’t live up to those standards, then fraternity life is probably not for you.

6 – If you do drugs

Drugs kill fraternity chapters not because of the illegal act, but because of the divide it causes.  Experimentation will lead to a few brothers smoking pot regularly.  They will influence a few other brothers to try.  This will cause a divide in the fraternity because there are some brothers who don’t want to be associated with drug use at all.  And the brothers not on drugs will always win this battle.  Do everyone a favor and get high somewhere else.

7 – If you want to haze others

Hazing is the elephant in the room in the fraternity world.  The definition is hazy and is often ridiculed.  There is no mistaking the known hazers in the chapter though.  These are the guys who get their rocks off power-tripping on naïve freshman.  And these guys will kill your chapter.  They create a divide much like drug use and they open the chapter up for serious risk management / criminal violations.  This is the kind of trouble that gets fraternity officers kicked out of school, brothers in jail and charters revoked.

8 – You aren’t ready

There is nothing wrong with just not being ready to join.  I was Greek for all but the first two weeks of school.  I sometimes wonder how the other half lived.  If you need some time to make sure you are making the right decision – then take it.  Joining a fraternity is a life-long decision.  It should not be taken lightly.

I am sure there are other reasons not to join, but those 8 stuck out in my head.  Realize that if you are a man of high character who aspires to be a better you, then we are interested in you becoming a fraternity man.  However, if you can’t commit to that mindset or the responsibilities that come with it, then there is probably a better place for you somewhere else on campus.






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One thought on “Why You Should NOT Join a Fraternity

  1. Hey Pat,

    Great article. I just started my own fraternity website and wrote an article just like this! Your list has a lot of things I didn’t touch on, which is great. Another reason not to join is that pledging and a fraternity are big time commitments and people should be aware of that before they commit to joining and then realize they can’t contribute enough of their time to it. What do you think?

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