Where do you find guys to rush? This is the most overcomplicated part of rush. Popular mantra is that you need to have weeks worth of elaborate recruitment events. You need to dorm storm and put flyers up all over the place. You need to attend the IFC’s rush functions and help out with freshman move-in. But is all this really necessary??
No it isn’t – all those methods are a waste of time. Do they have some merit? Possibly, but you don’t have time to be focusing on methods that aren’t very efficient. At most schools, rush is only two weeks. Think about your fraternity. How many guys in your fraternity were found with a recruitment flyer? How many guys did you find at an IFC function? My guess would be none.
There are only three ways to find guys who are going to pledge your fraternity. You either know them from home, you meet them at school, or they are recommended to you. That is it. Let’s dive deeper into each category.
Your main focus needs to be recruiting guys from your hometown. I cannot overstate the importance of this. All of us had friends in high school that were a year or two younger than us and chose to follow in our footsteps. You gain instant credibility because you are attending the college they will be attending. Use that edge to your advantage. It is imperative that you reach out to them before they arrive on campus, most typically the summer after their senior year in high school. Really, if you are a true friend, you will be eager to help them with their transition from high school to college regardless of if they want to join your fraternity.
When this situation presents itself, it isn’t a good idea to give them the full-court fraternity pitch until they arrive on campus. They aren’t going to understand, and you most likely will turn them off to the idea. That is not to say that you shouldn’t talk about it. Fraternity is an important part of your college life. It would be strange if you didn’t talk about it. Your goal is to earn the trust of your friend so you can get them to a rush event in the fall. You will have plenty of opportunities to give them the sales pitch then.
If you play your cards right, you will be able to seek your friend out the day he arrives on campus. This will be a hectic day, but you have to make seeing him your number one priority. He will inevitably have questions, and as his trusted confidant you should provide the answers. If you have done enough to develop the relationship, you should be able to plant the seed for him to attend the first rush event.
The beauty of this method is if can get your friend to rush, you will inevitably get a few of his friends as well. He will have a roommate, and he will have a few friends from home. You just have to get one guy out to get several.
The second place to find guys to rush is in the dorms. While it is important to keep the fraternity house completely rented out, it is just as important to have some guys living in the dorms. The dorms will always be a fertile ground for recruitment, especially for brothers who live there.
Truthfully, there is no easier way to recruit guys than by being an RA in a freshman dorm. I was exactly that for two years, and found more than my share of guys. It was really quite simple. You earned instant credibility because you are the first person that the rushee meets when he arrives on campus. You gain instant credibility from his parents because you will have met them the day their son moved-in. They figure that you must have something going for you since you made it through the university’s RA screening process. The ground work is set, and all you have to do it ask him to attend a rush event.
The final way to find guys to recruit is by recommendation. It really doesn’t matter where the recommendation is coming from. What matters is that you take advantage of it.
The easiest recommendation is a legacy. It is absolutely essential that you take advantage of this connection. While this would seem like a no-brainer, you would be surprised how many guys fall through the cracks. I was the president of my fraternity and the university’s man of the year. And when my younger brother arrived on campus, not one guy from my fraternity tried to recruit him. I was shocked. I gave my fraternity all his information before he set foot on campus, and told them that he would be expecting the call. The call never came. Imagine my disappointment.
Regardless, recommendations come in different forms than legacies. Your alumni might give you a recommendation. The guys you recruited from home and the dorms will be able to give recommendations. To be honest, they will become your best recruiters. Be sure to exploit every one of those opportunities.
All the other methods are a waste of time. Fraternity recruitment too often employs the shotgun approach which yields minimal success. If you target your efforts to the areas mentioned above, your fraternity will have a tremendously successful recruitment.
To learn more, check out our most in-depth article on fraternity recruitment: The Complete Guide to Fraternity Recruitment.