I recently read your book, The Fraternity Leader. The organization and get-to-the-point strategy in writing made this book a very good read.
However I am a founder of a fraternity that does not have a house yet. I recently become social chair and I am trying to create the best social program possible. We have no a problems except the fact that we do not have a house.
As a side note, many of our brothers don’t have a place we could use to throw parties/mixers. The one house we do have is right next to our Greek Row. This house has a cap on it which means if the cops come due to a noise complaint the people on the lease will be fined $5,000.
We have had one social during the day that went alright, however this is not going to cut it since we could have had a much better turn out if the party had been at night. Sororities want to have mixers during night. I was considering doing mixers at a venue however this may seem weird if done too much. As social chair I would like to build relationships with sororities as best as possible however not having a house is causing a serious deterrent in our progress forward.
My best thoughts were that we do community service, philanthropies and road trips with sororities. I am very determined to do the best job possible at whatever I do so if you have any ideas, tips, and/or suggestions that would be great. I look forward to hearing from you.
First off – thanks for supporting the site by purchasing The Fraternity Leader. I appreciate the positive feedback.
About your issue – it is my opinion that having a house makes your fraternity experience richer. It does so because it builds camaraderie from living with your brothers. It also gives everyone in the chapter a common place to hang out and this is when the bonds of brotherhood grow tighter.
However, I think NOT having a house may actually be a benefit socially.
I say that because hosting a party at the house is a risk management nightmare. Maintaining guest lists, abiding by university rules, monitoring drinking ages and alcohol consumption, worrying about DDs, guarding against theft and not pissing off your neighbors are all significant issues you have to deal with if you have a social event at your house.
Let’s not forget the fact that a lot of houses don’t necessarily have the room to adequately host a party and that no one wants to clean up the morning after a party.
By not having a house to host a social event in you avoid a lot of these issues. Note that many of these are the issues that normally get chapters in trouble. If you can eliminate the potential for them occurring, you are way ahead of the game.
But that doesn’t mean that it has to have a negative impact on your social program.
To have a good social program – you need to focus on two things. You need for your guests to have a lot of fun and you need the event to be memorable.
Like I stated in my book – you don’t need me to tell you how to have a lot of fun. I am sure you can handle that on your own. One thing I would note is to make sure that your guests have a great time as well. As a host this should be one of your primary concerns.
Also making your party memorable is extremely important. This is how your social program gains respect in the Greek community. There are couple key ways to do this. Make sure your parties are well attended. If it is a mixer with a sorority, make sure they feel special and are excited to attend. Be sure they are personally invited. If it isn’t a mixer, be sure you invite your friends to come. Also, be sure to invite others in the Greek community to attend.
Since it isn’t at your house, make sure it is clear that this is your party. Be sure the fraternity banner is prominently displayed. If hands are stamped at the front door – spend a few bucks and have a stamp with fraternity letters. This is a great way to make sure people know whose party they were at.
Finally, be sure to brand your parities properly. By that – I mean be sure to give your parties a name. It will do wonders for your image on campus if you happen to hit on a great idea and can make it an annual event. This is a key ingredient to making the event memorable.
I hope this helps. Be sure to check out some of these great resources to assist with your party planning:
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.