How to Get Accepted by the IFC

interfraternity council

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.

Question:

We were recently voted on by IFC to become a recognized fraternity of our University. Unfortunately, they voted no. In my opinion, I think the voting went this way because they did not want to compete with us on campus. We have more members as a colony than the recognized fraternities, we have great philanthropy and we are good guys.

At this point I am concerned for my group because hearing no from IFC broke our hearts. We tried so hard to get to this point and now it feels like it’s for nothing. My question for you is, at this point, what kind of advice can you offer?

I feel we will be able to keep this going, but a lot of guys will drop because of the ruling. I want to keep everyone, but where do you think we should go from here?

Answer:

I am real sorry to hear the ruling didn’t go your way.  I offer two solutions to your problem.

1 – How my Fraternity Handled this Same Situation

I joined a colony at NC State.  We applied to become members of IFC, and were shot down.

We were bummed.  However, we thought about it, and realized the only drawbacks were not being invited to participate in intramurals and Greek Week.  We were really bummed about intramurals, but didn’t really care about Greek Week.  All in all though, it wasn’t the end of the world.

On the positive side, we did not have to pay IFC dues or play by their rules.  As a result, we had parties during times when IFC prohibited it.  We did not have to attend IFC mandatory functions.  We pretty much did whatever we wanted and showed our ass in the process.

We parlayed this rebel attitude into a very successful year.  We had a ton of fun, and we bonded using the ‘us vs the world’ mentality.  Our brotherhood became very strong, and this was the foundation for years of success.

The next year though, the IFC realized that their organization would be better with us in it, and we were accepted.  Ironically, I become the IFC president a few years later.

That being said, this is the wrong approach.  There is a better way.

2 – How you Should Handle IFC Rejection

First, you need to have your nationals lay the groundwork for you getting accepted.  They need to have meeting with the Greek Life staff discussing what your chapter brings to the table and how to get accepted.  While the Greek Life director does not make the decision, they can definitely influence it.

Next, you need to have your chapter’s executive board have a meeting with the executive board of the IFC.  In this meeting, you need to explain that while you are disappointed you were not accepted, you appreciate them reviewing your fraternity.

Then, and this is key, you need to get them to give you guidelines that your chapter needs to meet to be considered for membership.  After the meeting, follow up with a letter documenting these requirements, and courtesy copy your nationals and the school’s Greek Life office.

Now, you have goals you need to accomplish.  Meet those goals, and then apply again.

While you are striving to meet these goals, be sure to build relationships along the way.  Become familiar with the Greek Life office, and ask for their guidance.  Participate in IFC events when allowed – especially community service events.

Also, become familiar with the other fraternities on campus.  Have your president reach out and meet with the presidents of other chapters.  During these meetings, your president should ask for advice on how to make your chapter stronger.  These conversations will lead to your fraternity having allies during the next vote.

If you do these things, you will be accepted into IFC without fail.  You will be accepted because you will have become part of their community.  You will no longer be viewed as an outsider.  They will see your fraternity as an asset to their organization, and you will be welcomed with open arms.

Don’t let this rejection get your fraternity down.  Use it as motivation to get better as an organization.  Being accepted into the IFC will be much sweeter for your brotherhood when you realize you have had to work hard to earn it.

Of course, ironically, a few short years from now your brothers will be complaining and want to quit IFC because they do not see the benefit.  That’s a talk for another day though…

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.

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