If you’re hearing about fraternity recruitment for the first time, you may be left asking, “Who? What? When? Where?” Fear not.
The concept of joining a fraternity will feel overwhelming because, well, everything about college life feels overwhelming at first.
Freshman year can feel sort of like kindergarten, but for adults. There’s all this new responsibility.
Yet, like everything else, you’ll get used to it.
And while going out for fraternity recruitment means throwing even more chaos into the mix, it may be one of the best decisions you make as an undergraduate.
Here are a few of the benefits of bidding a fraternity chapter:
- connecting with like-minded men who share your values
- learning crucial leadership skills that will follow you beyond graduation
- networking with alumni in your personal and professional post-graduate career
- giving structure and direction to your social and academic life
- playing a bigger role in your campus community
Here’s the takeaway: What at first seemed like an added stress and burden turns out to be a massive advantage in your college career.
Becoming a fraternity man means going through the challenges of being an undergrad together. It means building bonds with men who will be your brothers for the rest of your life.
Now that we’ve established how great fraternity membership can be, you still must get through recruitment.
You’ve seen flyers and signs and have heard all the buzz around campus. It seems like a lot, but it’s easier than you think.
OmegaFi can help you find your forever fraternity home. Here’s How to Do Fraternity Recruitment.
Step 1: Sign Up!
Registering for recruitment may be different from campus to campus, but generally you’re going to need to provide some basic info about your identity, GPA, and contact info.
There may be a small registration fee.
You may also be asked if you’re a legacy. This sounds like you’re some epic, mythical warrior with a big sword. But really it just means this: you have a family member who’s been initiated into a certain fraternity you’re trying to join.
- be upfront with Greek officials and chapter members about being a legacy
- explain how family influenced their decision to seek a bid
- move beyond being a legacy; define what they would bring to the table as a new member
Legacies should not:
- name drop as a way of showing their worth as a member
- neglect to focus on other important topics such as academics, values, goals
- expect membership based not on merit, but on legacy status
Some chapters may give preference to legacy men, but many explicitly state that they do not. Which is good news whether or not you’re a legacy—it means brothers are seeking quality members. Period.
If you’re not sure how to sign up for fraternity recruitment, ask your campus Greek Life Office or Office of Student Life.
You may have to fill out a form or register online. However, many campuses now use ICS recruitment software, which is a centralized and secure way to register you and track your bidding process digitally.
Step 2: Congrats! You’re a Potential New Member (PNM). But What the Heck Should a PNM Do?
There are a lot of options when it comes to fraternity life, but that’s a good thing. It allows you to find a chapter that’s the right fit for you.
First, let’s debunk a major myth. You’ve seen fraternities in popular movies.These films may be entertaining, but they peddle a lot of false stereotypes. If you run into one of these party-animal, toxic groups, you want to stay far away from them.
One big misconception about fraternity life is that brothers should be the ones grilling, harassing, and ultimately choosing who joins their chapters, treating PNMs like they’re worthless.
While, yes, a chapter will ultimately decide whether to extend a bid to you, it’s also a mutual decision—you have a say, and you shouldn’t be pressured into anything by a chapter, nor degraded, nor harmed psychologically or physically.
That’s called hazing, and it’s illegal.
First and foremost, decide what kind of organization you want to join.
Look into any information your Greek Life officials can provide, including a schedule of recruitment events and deadlines, as well as info on all social, cultural, professional, academic, and other fraternal organizations.
Here are a few rules of the road during recruitment:
- Look for a values-based fraternity experience, such as your IFC provides.
- Be respectful, but also be firm about following the rules, avoiding underaged drinking, hazing, and other risks.
- Follow the schedule, seek conversations about shared values, and have fun.
- Look for a fit that works both for a chapter’s current members and for you.
- Follow the bidding schedule and make choices that feel right to you.
Step 3: I Got a Bid! What Now?
Getting a bid from the perfect fraternity chapter will make you feel like a million bucks. Although don’t count your dollars too soon—there are some costs and sacrifices that go along with fraternity life.
Fraternity dues can range from hundreds to over a thousand dollars, which combined with all members’ dues covers the chapter budget for the semester. There’s also housing and a special meal plan, if you decide to live in the chapter house, as well as potentially other new member fees and expenses.
There are also things you can ask about during recruitment events.
If you plan ahead and know your options, you’ll be fine!
Most of all, be patient. Once you earn a bid, be humble and willing to learn during your new member education. Know that it will all take time, but at the end of the day you’ll be a capable leader and have brothers for life.
OmegaFi offers software solutions for fraternity chapters for recruitment, budgeting, communication, and more. Learn more about our services or call direct at 800.276.6342.
Leave your questions or comments about fraternity recruitment in the comments below.