My fraternity is in the process of getting our suspension lifted. I am a newly corporate board member and the rest of corporate board felt that previous active members put our charter at risk and numerous alumni are now taking back control of the fraternity and corporate board.
My questions is how do you start a fraternity back up and get back in good standings with the school when our numbers have dwindled due to no new members because of suspension and the schools sees us as a black eye?
It is unfortunate that your chapter had to go through this experience. It doesn’t have to be a death sentence though.
You first step needs to be to set the vision of the chapter. What are you guys all about? What is important to you? Where are you going to focus your efforts? Having strong alumni support and especially a strong chapter advisor will really help define this vision.
Second, you need to weed out all the guys who are not buying in to the new vision. You need to face facts that some guys joined the old vision of your chapter – the one that put your charter at risk through poor decisions. Those guys will only hold the chapter back. Don’t feel bad about cutting these guys loose. They are cancers to your fraternity and will prevent you from going where you need to go.
Third, focus on strengthening the brotherhood. After all the crap you’ve been though, you need to get morale up. Have a few brotherhood events where the focus is having fun. Take a road trip. Not much strengthens the brotherhood more than a road trip to visit a chapter of your fraternity at another school. Also, have a team building campout. Use the campout as a retreat to talk about how you are going to make your chapter the best on campus and what it is going to take to get there. You really need to improve morale in order to recruit successfully.
Fourth, rebuild your chapter through recruitment. I have written at length about fraternity recruitment and fraternity recruitment ideas. There are literally hours worth of reading material on that subject on this site. One thing that makes your situation different is you have something to sell that your competition doesn’t.
You can sell your potential new members on the fact that your chapter is in rebuilding mode and this means huge leadership opportunities for them. Let them know that if they are motivated they can become known as the guy who brought the chapter back from the brink of failure. The types of guys you need to recover from your situation relish the chance for this type of challenge. Be sure they know that this opportunity is out there.
Finally, don’t try to do too much. Your brotherhood has been stressed through this ordeal. Don’t over-program and push them away. Set a vision, find out who is buying in and start having a hell of a lot of fun. If you do that, recruitment will fall into place.