How to Kill Your Fraternity

How to Kill Your Fraternity

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 am the newly elected VP of my fraternity. I came in a year and a half ago as a sophomore in a complete rebuilding scenario. We are at a small school and currently only have 16 actives. The average “good” fraternity here has around 50-70 guys.

Before I came in the type of guys that were here made us one of the few pretty much GDI fraternities here. All of those guys smoked pot and were pretty worthless so you can imagine our reputation around campus.

Anyways we’ve recruited and cut dead weight to where now we only have 4 guys before me and the rest are all new guys, and I’d say we have about a 50/50 split between “fratty guys” and “non-fratty guys”. As you know image is one of the biggest things when it comes to pulling in new guys as well as working with sororities.

What advice could you give me when it comes to trying to change the mindset of the guys we have to where we focus on recruiting more of the fraternity type potentials and less of the GDI friends that some of them seem to have? Also any rebuilding advice in general would be nice.


This is my fourth attempt at answering this question…

After reading your question again, and reading Dennis’ reply below, I realize that I probably read too much into this question.  I interpreted the question to imply that you believed you needed to recruit guys for superficial reasons to get your fraternity to the next level.

That mindset will kill your chapter.  I strongly believe that you need to measure the quality of the men in your chapter by their character – not their image.

However, it is obvious you are committed to your fraternity and looking to take that next step.  I apologize for my initial answer….

I hope the intent of your question was how to recruit more high-quality men and how to get your current brothers to buy into that same mindset to continue your rebuilding effort.  I will answer that question…

First, I commend you for expelling the brothers who don’t meet your standards.  That is a very difficult thing to do, but was obviously the right thing as evidenced by your success.  As Dennis references below, I advise quickly removing brothers who refuse to meet the ideals and commitments of the fraternity.  Keeping dead weight around just prolongs the problem.

To take the next step, I think it is essential that all the brothers sit down and discuss what is expected of a brother.  All brothers need to buy into that vision.  This will help you achieve a few things.

It will obviously help you keep your brothers accountable to a set of standards.  They will be defined and they will be clear.  This will help your fraternity.

Also, it will help you focus on recruiting the right type of guy.  You will be looking for guys who meet this set of standards, and that will make recruiting easier.  You will have predetermined what expectations you have for new members.  That should aid you during fraternity recruitment discussions of why you should or shouldn’t take a guy.

Above all else, I encourage you to not take guys who don’t meet your standards.  If these guys make it into your fraternity, they will hurt you because they do not share the same vision as the rest of the brothers.  This will cause an endless string of frustration and cause splits in your chapter.

It will also hurt you during rush.   A high potential recruit could be turned off by your undesirable brother.  It would be awful to lose a future fraternity president over a guy you didn’t want anyway.

About your image, don’t worry about it.  Image is a by-product of opinions you can’t control.  Focus on what you can control.

You can control the quality of the brothers you have in your fraternity.  You can develop relationships with individuals in other organizations (sororities) that will eventually turn into relationships between chapters.

And if you focus on making yourselves and your fraternity better, I promise you the image issues you believe you have will go away.

Also, if you haven’t done so, I encourage you to check out my book – The Fraternity Leader.  This answers a lot of the questions you have – namely How to Recruit and How to Become Popular with Sororities.

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.

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

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