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.
I go to a commuter school in the Midwest. People are all basically gone after 3-4 o’clock. My fraternity has about 22 guys, and we don’t have a house, even though we are the oldest fraternity on campus. We may have about 8 pledges this semester to give us 30. We need 45 for a house. How do we get people to join when, we don’t have a house?
First off, having a house should be irrelevant. Guys should be joining your fraternity because of the guys in it. That being said, having a house improves your fraternity experience on a lot of levels, so I understand the desire to have one.
It seems like you are locked into the notion that you have to have an on-campus fraternity house and that is where your 45 man number comes from. While that would be nice, why don’t you try to rent a house off-campus?
It will obviously be smaller, and you might end up paying a little more in rent (after all – the landlord isn’t going to be crazy about renting to a fraternity). But you will have a house, and you can enjoy it right now. This would be my suggestion.
Finally, be sure to start a fraternity house fund so someday you can buy a house for your fraternity.
If you have thoughts on this topic that can help these guys out, please add your comment below.