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My fraternity may be going on social probation. I am afraid of not being competitive come rush. Can you help?
You are right, being on social probation can put your fraternity at a disadvantage during rush. However, it doesn’t need to be a death sentence and isn’t as bad as your brothers think.
First, before you even think about rush, you need to be sure your fraternity is clear on what you can and cannot do. When you received your punishment you should have received this information. Obviously, your fraternity needs to take advantage of what you can do. You probably aren’t prohibited from having brotherhood events or road trips. You might even be able to have date functions and formals. Be sure you understand your punishment so you can articulate it during rush.
Second, the probation itself is not going to be what hurts your fraternity during rush. If you are open about the situation, and tell your perspective new members what you can do and what you have planned, then they will accept it for it is and focus on the positive.
However, they will notice if the entire fraternity is comprised of morose brothers because of the probation. Probations tend to suck the life out of the fraternity, and that is what will really hurt your during rush.
During these times it is especially critical for the leadership team to step up and lead. Character is defined during trying times, not the good times. Find a reason for the brothers to be excited about the fraternity, and be sure they focus on those reasons.
Finally, be sure that your fraternity doesn’t commit the same violations that got you put on probation in the first place. Accept your punishment like men even if you don’t agree with it. Make the best of the situation and move forward with dignity and class.
If you do that, recruitment success will follow.
To learn more, check out our most in-depth article on fraternity recruitment: The Complete Guide to Fraternity Recruitment.