How Should a Fraternity Give Out Bids?

How to Give Fraternity Bids

Question:

I’m wondering how your fraternity decided to give out bids. My chapter does not come together to decide who gets one – the Recruitment Chair and one or two other guys, usually the former Recruitment Chair and an assistant to the current simply decide together. I feel that this results in a lot of “The Recruitment Chair liked you so you’re in” rather than “The chapter liked you so you’re in” which is how I feel it ought to be.

Can you offer any advice on how I might suggest that the chapter has more input on the bidding process?

Answer:

How to Give Fraternity Bids

We would hold a brotherhood vote to determine who got bids.  If my memory serves me correct, we required 2/3 of the brotherhood to vote yes to get a bid.  However, the president also had the authority to give bids on his own.  This was to be used as a last resort in case a situation popped up where we couldn’t wait for a brotherhood election.

I was president for two years, and I think I exercised this privilege once.  This time we had our brotherhood vote on Sunday, and we were pinning our new members on Wednesday.  We ended up bringing a new guy out Sunday night, Monday night and Tuesday night and it was clear we wanted to give this guy a bid.

There was no time to organize a brotherhood vote.  So I consulted with the exec board and everyone agreed he should get a bid.  So we did it.  This is about the only scenario where I could see it being a good idea for just one person to have the authority to make the decision on a bid.  Notice even then I consulted with others.

I really don’t like how your chapter does it.  I find it very hard to believe that any fraternity would go along with the setup you currently have.  Having a few guys determine responsible for who gets accepted into the fraternity is ludicrous.  Unless your chapter is very apathetic, I would imagine there will be an outright revolt soon if you don’t do something.

While this policy has to change, the last thing your fraternity needs is for it to be done poorly.  Imagine the negative impact to rush if this issue blew up during a rush event.  I can see a couple brothers seeing a guy get a bid, but then becoming pissed publically because they don’t think he deserved it. And of course, no one wins when you air your dirty laundry.

What you need to do is have a sit down conversation (alone) with the chapter president about the issue.  Let him know your concerns.

During this conversation, let him know that you would like to bring a motion up during your next chapter meeting to make a change regarding this issue in your local constitution.  Be prepared to give him a letter that states the change and when you want it to be presented at a meeting.  Of course be sure to follow whatever policies you have in place for changing your constitution.

Now the issue will be out in the open, and the brotherhood will be forced to act on it.  Be sure that you don’t make it personal about the current or past recruitment chair.  It is not about them at all, it is about a bad policy that is in place.

If enough brothers feel the same way you do, then your fraternity should pass this and your problem will be solved.  If it doesn’t pass, then your fraternity has some serious issues that I would worry about.

Hope this helps.

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

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