I come from a small, division two school in Texas, and we are in the process of revamping our recruitment process.
I have purchased and read your books and loved what I saw. That being said I am seeking advice on the process of extending bids. We have generated many names by using new tactics, but we are worried about spoiling the quality of our chapter.
We have decided to begin evaluating potential new members, but are confused on a few aspects of this.
1 – What characteristics should we judge?
2 – What kind of points system should we employ?
3 – How do we get the rest of the chapter on board with being this selective? In a lot of brothers minds a man should be extended a bid for just showing interest.
I can’t tell you what characteristics are important for your future brothers. Only the brothers in you chapter can decide what is important to them. That being said, your fraternity has established a set of values that every brother should hold dear. Look for those values in future brothers and you can’t go wrong.
Regarding points systems – I don’t think that is necessary. It just complicates an already complicated process. You know good guys from bad.
Your third question is the big one. The game your chapter is playing by extending bids to every guy off the street is a very dangerous one. I have seen the following process play out too many times.
Your will take a chance on a guy who shouldn’t get a bid. Someone will vouch for him and call him a diamond in the rough. Most brothers will have doubts but will go along anyway. This guy will turn out to be all rough, and no diamond.
This is the type of scenario that will eventually destroy your chapter.
Here are ten reasons why:
1 – The diamond in the rough guy will weaken your brotherhood because brothers will not have any interest in being friends with him. If you don’t want to be friends with your brothers, then what is the point?
2 – This loser brothers will turn off high-quality potential new members. If the men you are recruiting are high caliber, than they will want to be around others that are high caliber. They will have no interest in joining a chapter with dud brothers.
3 – It will turn off sororities. If the men in your chapter are below the standard of Greek men on your campus, then sororities will gravitate to the other fraternity chapters on your campus.
4 – It will create a civil war in your chapter. Dud brothers will recruit dud brothers. Birds of a feather do flock together. This will create a divide between the men that belong and the men that don’t.
5 – You will be introducing problems into your chapter. The last thing you need to do is take a chance on a guy without really knowing who he is. What if he is real trouble – like a drug dealer? I have seen this happen before, and this will destroy a chapter.
6 – Brothers will stop coming around the house because they don’t want to be around their less-desirable brothers.
7 – Brothers will not have as much pride in the chapter. They will realize that earning your letters is cheap, and as a result they will wear them less.
8 – You will create an environment for hazing. Here is how it normally works: Your chapter takes a chance on a guy. No one likes him and everyone realizes it was a bad move. Then you screw with the kid until he quits the pledge program. However, he is determined and won’t quit. That makes the brothers start to really make his life miserable to get him to quit. This is cruel and a stupid way for the chapter to spend its energy.
9 – You will earn a label as the house that anyone can get into. This will have losers from every corner of campus flocking to your door.
10 – Brothers will quit.
I get the rationale behind trying to take in as many guys as possible. It is a business decision. That being said, it is only smart business if you take in the right guys. Take in the wrong guy and it will take you years to get rid of him. You will also lose many brothers along the way.
If you love your fraternity, you cannot let it go down this path. Leaders have pride in their chapter. They believe it is an honor to wear the letters. Put your foot down. Refuse to accept guys who do not meet your highest standards.
If you do, your chapter will become stronger, and your brotherhood will grow faster.