losing a fraternity election

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.


So I recently lost an election for my fraternity in which I was a lot more qualified for and experienced for than the candidate running against me. The position was Public Relations Chair. I feel that one of the only reason other person got elected was because he knew someone to get him discounts off of shirts.

I used the Article How to Win a Fraternity Election by saying what I plan to do for the future of Public Relations. On top of that I was Philanthropy and Fundraising Chair for two semesters. I’m really having a difficult time getting over losing the election and feeling as though my advice and experience are not properly being utilized in my fraternity. What advice would you have to get over this problem I’m having?


Do not be demoralized by losing an election. Having a title means nothing about leadership. A title does not make one a leader, nor does being a leader necessarily gain you a title. Strong fraternities gain their strength not by those with titles, but by those who lead from the middle.

The more leaders that step up within any organization, the stronger that organization will be. It is when organizations rely on the leaders with titles that the organization loses its ability to function at its highest potential. Think the Pareto Principle, where 20% do 80% of the work. Do not let your organization function that way. Step up and be a leader, regardless of not having a title.

Basically, you do not need to be the Public Relations Chair to be in leader for your fraternity in the area of Public Relations. Speak with the elected Chair and let it be known that you have many ideas and want to work alongside him. No one will ever say no to help. Fraternities are democratic organizations and no one has the power to tell you NO.

Regardless of losing the election, do what you set out to do. Do not let anyone deter you from doing what you feel is best for the fraternity. Stepping up a being a leader is what being in a fraternity is all about. Titles mean nothing.

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.

This answer was written by Joe Thompson, the author of thefraternityblog.blogspot.com and contributor for the thefraternityadvisor.com. If you are interested in writing for thefraternityadvisor.com – let us know (CLICK HERE)!

2 thoughts on “How to Get Over Losing a Fraternity Election

  1. Getting your Chapter to realize that 20% of the members cannot sensibly do all the work required of a fraternity is the key. You need to make them realize that 100% of the Chapter needs to be doing the work if they want to be the most successful. Fraternities are built on the notion of democracy and brotherhood. If only 20% of the Chapter is doing all the work, how is that supporting brotherhood at all? It sounds like only 20% of the Chapter cares about the fraternity. The entire Chapter should be taking on the responsibilities of membership. Are they living the ritual by not doing the work? Are they really being the best brothers they can be? Questioning their brotherhood and loyalty might seem like a difficult task, but that is what has proven to work in my experience.

  2. Your reply to this email really helped me greatly to get over loosing that election. I will definitely consult with the PR chair elect and discuss my ideas with him. Although, I feel that the Pareto Principle should be more utilized in our Fraternity and I feel that their are a lot of people who should be doing more. I want more than anything for my Fraternity to rise up to its full potential and have more than half of our brothers step up and lead. Since our fraternity is so new we will have 10 brothers graduating this year. I hope that this will spur a change in our leadership and involve more people stepping up to the challenge to lead. Do you have any suggestions for applying the Pareto Principle and getting other brothers, besides myself, to step up and lead regardless of having titles?

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