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It is recruitment time, and my fraternity is very interested in extending an individual a bid. He already lives many of our values, has a great personality, is an RA, and is on Student Government.
The problem is the guy has money issues. Some people have talked with him and he thinks he can pay over a period of time if we let it be extended through the summer. With most people this would be an issue but is it OK to make this exception for since he excels as a student leader?
This is a great question, and a common problem. Most guys don’t plan on joining a fraternity, and thus they don’t plan for the financial commitment. Let’s face it, joining a fraternity is expensive and college guys don’t have a lot of money. This can make the situation tricky.
My fraternity has a famous story about this very situation. The brothers at the house had become friends with the guy hired to work in their dining hall. He was a poor kid, and the thought of him being able to afford joining a fraternity was crazy. However, the brothers really liked him, and agreed to invite him to join. Realizing that he couldn’t afford to join, they decided that they would increase their dues to cover for this brother.
To make a long story short, this brother was Rafer Johnson, and I wrote an article about him a few months ago (The Most Awesome Fraternity Man you Have Never Heard of). He is the model brother and citizen. And he became a brother because the guys of this chapter realized that fraternity was about the brotherhood, not about the money.
You guys should follow the same example. You should never downplay the financial commitment of being in a fraternity. However, if the guy thinks he can work it out over the summer, you would be foolish not to work with him – especially if he is an RA. He could become the most important guy in your fraternity’s recruitment efforts.
That being said – every fraternity at every school is missing a huge opportunity if they are having their new member class pay dues. The new member class should have to fundraise for their dues. This will teach them to work together, and also lessen the unexpected financial burden. It will also eliminate a major reason why guys don’t join fraternities.
If you have thoughts on this topic that can help this guy out, please add your comment below.
To learn more, check out our most in-depth article on fraternity recruitment: The Complete Guide to Fraternity Recruitment.