Getting the Best Pledge Class For Your Fraternity

fraternity pledge photo

It is almost time to start a new year of fraternity recruitment. This means getting those guys who will grow and improve your brotherhood. Some guys in your chapter will want athletes, some want partiers, and some will desire scholars. But just because the chapter wants the perfect pledge class, doesn’t mean it is going to happen overnight.

It is like asking out a girl. To get her to commit to a date you need to put in a foundation to make her feel comfortable around you. If her friends dislike you or if you have a reputation, you are not going to have an easy time getting her to accept your invitation. Same thing with targeting certain recruits, you need to set a foundation so they find an honest reason to commit to your brotherhood.

Recruiting Athletic Guys

To get the most athletic guys, you need to be able to recruit at the gym, on the basketball court, and in the club sports arena.

The best athletes are some of the first guys approached by other fraternities. As such, you need to aggressively pursue these guys.

Some chapters make the mistake of trying to recruit athletic guys by sending a team of five guys out to a pick-up game or just two guys to the gym. The issue is those guys are going to stick to their routine and not focus on recruitment.

For basketball send 3 or 6-7 which forces people to talk to guys on the sideline, or play in games without their brothers. When it comes to the gym or other sports like soccer or pick-up football send as many as you see fit, normally over 5. The wider the net, the more fish you can catch. At the end of the game ask the guy or group of guys if they want to come out to another game. After getting a few more games in then ask him to visit the house to meet some of the brothers.

Recruiting the Partier

When it comes to the partier, it isn’t too hard because they come to the parties. Sell them on your social calendar and your parties. I do give one warning, if they are only there to party and do not chill with the brothers after; chances are they aren’t rushing to be a brother.

If this does become the case, do yourself a favor and don’t invite him back. It is not worth letting this guy back in unless he is there for the brotherhood. Let some other fraternity feed his desire to party.

Any guy friends he invites are still possibilities, but if they are displaying similar interest as their friend, chances are they won’t pledge. Their commitment is to themselves, not the brotherhood.

Recruiting the Scholar

Every brotherhood needs students who are committed to their grades first. It is not hard to set the foundation to recruit these possible new members. You do need to make sure brothers are not just selling the social aspect of Greek Life. Chances are many of these students may be a member of the exec board because they want to be involved. If not, at least they boast your brotherhood’s GPA.

Recruiting Leaders

There are guys who care about their future after college, getting a good job and learning leadership from being in a fraternity. To recruit these guys the best idea is have some brothers volunteer to be RAs or participate in certain programs around campus. These programs allow new students to interact with older students, where your members can tell great stories of college and being a part of your fraternity.

Brothers should be able to spot these students from a mile away. The goal is to get these A-type personalities to talk about fraternity in private. In some cases the brothers may need to just spur a private conversation with one or two people in private and discuss the possibility of meeting some of the brothers.

Recruiting Legacies

To many this man is the 95% student who will almost definitely jo*in your pledge class just because someone in their family already did it. Well there is a reason it is 95%, there are two ways this guy may not join your brotherhood.

The first is he did not satisfy your brotherhood with what he brought to the table, and sometimes they still give him the bid. I am so against that. If he does not fit what your brotherhood is looking for, he needs to go. Even if he is the son of the alumni association’s president, you need to stick with what your brotherhood is looking for.

The other issue which is more prominent is that the legacy does not want to join a fraternity, or does not want to join your brotherhood. At that point you need to accept that he made his choice either by rejecting your bid or worse, not showing up to any events.

The best way to judge this is to keep a running list of legacies on campus and shoot them a text/email asking them to visit the house with their family member. If they reject or don’t give you the time of day after the first 2 or 3 tries, then don’t bother. Your energy can go to other possible recruits.

After setting your goals as a brotherhood and following some of the suggestions above, you should be able to give bids to the best and forget about the rest. If you did a good job with your events and built the right connections expect a high return on the number of bids given out. Expect a strong pledge class with men you believe fit what your brotherhood needs.

– This article was written by Michael Barbalace, a brother of Chi Phi Fraternity and contributor for the

To learn more, check out our most in-depth article on fraternity recruitment: The Complete Guide to Fraternity Recruitment.

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