Joining a New Fraternity after Quitting or Getting Kicked Out or Transferring

Quitting a 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.

Leaving a fraternity and joining a new one is the most asked question on  Here is a comprehensive assortment of questions I have recently received as well as answers.

Question 1 : I was recently kicked out of a fraternity and was wondering if I would be able to rush another fraternity? I was officially kicked out and have the letter of proof for the new fraternity.

Answer: Yes – you are a free agent and can join a new fraternity that will accept you. Realize that some may not want you because you were kicked out of another fraternity. You will be seen as damaged goods. Regardless of what happens, be sure to change whatever behavior got you kicked out of your fraternity. If you got kicked out, you probably need to take a long look in the mirror and fix some things…

Question 2: I recently have been initiated and learned that I joined the wrong house due to many reasons. I really want to join a house with actual structure instead of a disappointing organization that has none. My house doesn’t have any secrets so I’m sure it’s not against our bi-laws to drop and join another house but I’m unsure.

Answer: At your initiation you made a pledge to become a brother for life. This means you will remain a brother through the good times and the bad. It is kind of like marriage without getting yelled at as much.

Seeing that this is the case – I recommend you make the best of the situation. You will actually have an extremely rewarding experience if you take it as a challenge to rebuild your fraternity. Learn everything you can about running a successful chapter. My book, The Fraternity Leader, is a great place to start.

Once you understand the concepts of building a strong chapter, start recruiting brothers to help you change your fraternity culture. It takes one guy to start a movement. That one guy will become two, then three, then eventually the entire chapter. It just takes that first guy with the motivation and drive to make change happen. And being that one guy is extremely rewarding. I hope you choose to be that guy.

Question 3: Our chapter at my university got its recognition from our school and our charter from nationals taken away. Some of our pledges broke off and recolonized XYZ at the university. I was initiated in the previous fraternity but when they took our charter most of our memberships were also taken. Can I now join the other fraternity that some of our brothers started? I cannot find my status with my previous fraternity on our national website and our chapter is shown as inactive. If I am still a member of the previous fraternity can I be members in two national IFC fraternities?? Or does that only work when I switch universities?

Answer: If you were given a release from your national fraternity, you are no longer a brother. I would double check this by sending your national hq an email asking them to verify.

If you are no longer a brother, you can join another fraternity. Like the guy from question 1 though, you need to make sure whatever role you played in getting your fraternity kicked off campus changes. You were either part of the problem or part of the culture that created the problem. Regardless of your role, you need to be sure you don’t infect another chapter with these issues.

If you are still a brother in the fraternity, you cannot try joining a new fraternity.

Question 4: I am an initiated brother who has transferred. My new school does not have my fraternity. Can I join another one?

Answer: No. You are an initiated brother. Once you are a brother, you are a brother unless you get expelled.

You essentially have three options.

First, you can start a new chapter on your new campus. Your national hq would probably be all about this idea. They will probably send staff to assist your efforts. It would be pretty awesome (but extremely hard work) to be a founding father of your chapter.

Two, you can petition your national hq to grant you your release so you can join another fraternity. The undergraduate experience as a brother is an incredible one. Brothers on alumni executive committees who are responsible for these types of decisions realize this. Often they will grant the release because while it is awful to lose a brother, it is worse to deny a kid an opportunity to have a fraternity undergraduate experience.

Third, you can be a brother without a chapter.  This is a crappy option, but is one that most guys who transfer end up doing…

Question 5: How do I quit my fraternity to join a new one?

Answer: This process is often similar to the expelling a brother. In most cases, you can’t quit a fraternity. You need to be expelled.

So your first step is requesting your chapter or fraternity to expel you. Every fraternity has a process that must be followed.

Realize though that the ultimate decision is not made at the local level. Your chapter does not have the authority to expel anyone. They simply have the power to make the recommendation to the national headquarters.

Final Thoughts:

Loyalty is a virtue that should be honored.  It is one of the most sacred values of fraternity men and it is the bond that ties us together.  Do not take joining a fraternity lightly, as it is a lifelong commitment.  The purpose of the new member period is to determine if you want to make that lifelong commitment.  It gives you time to learn more about the fraternity and make sure it is right for you.  If it isn’t, then quit then.  But once you are initiated, be loyal and honor the commitment you made during your ritual.

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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