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Question: My fraternity is fairly new, and we initiated a bunch of guys who should not be in our fraternity. They are really into drugs, don’t care about giving back to the community and don’t attend any of the mandatory fraternity functions we have. I am embarrassed to call most of them my brother and a core group of us feel the same way.
We want to change our fraternity culture by changing how we recruit. How do we find the right guys?
Answer: Changing the culture of your fraternity is a challenge that a lot of young chapters face. To grow, young fraternities accept everyone under the sun to get numbers up, then find themselves stuck with guys that they really don’t want.
Your first step is you have to remove the drug influence from your fraternity. You have to have a hard rule that there are no drugs on fraternity property – ever. I think a lot of guys turn to drugs when they are bored. It is often a symptom of an unhealthy chapter. Improve your fraternity and you’ll often rid yourself of the drug problem.
Improving your culture through fraternity recruitment is a solid plan. To make sure you find the right guys, look into their past.
I believe the best indicator of future performance is past performance. People rarely change. If you want more guys who take academics seriously, recruit more guys who excelled academically in high school. Chances are if they got good grades there, they will get good grades in college. If you want guys who are active in community service, find guys who have a history of it. Same for athletics…
It is very challenging to recruit a guy who only wants to party and get drunk and turn him into someone he is not. It is much easier to take someone who already displays a history of the attributes you are looking for.
However, note that if you can get a strong core of guys who display some of these higher attributes, then eventually the culture of the fraternity will start to lean in that direction. The guys who didn’t find those virtues important will start to see value in them and try to achieve in ways they haven’t before. And this is one of the beauties of fraternity.
Guys will often conform to those they are around. If they are around a bunch of losers, then they will probably become a loser themselves. However, if they are around a group of high achievers, then they will probably achieve as well.
Find these quality guys. Make them a priority during recruitment. They will become the future leaders of your fraternity.