As a parent, understanding IFC recruitment goals can help relieve your biggest worries and answer pressing questions about your child’s membership in a fraternity chapter. In general, sending your child off to college as he finds his way and becomes an independent adult can be a challenging experience for any parent.
Add joining a fraternity to the mix, and your mind floods with questions:
Will he join a good group of men who will be good influences on him?
Will he keep his grades up, or will he become distracted?
Will he be safe and responsible? Will the other members?
It first helps to understand that IFC chapters have their own standards and expectations for members, separate from general fraternity membership. That isn’t to say other fraternity groups are worse or better, just that IFC membership is a unique type of fraternity experience.
Most parents want answers to questions such as:
- What Is IFC Recruitment?
- How Does It Work?
- What Does Recruitment and Growth Mean to a Fraternity Nationally?
- What’s the Benefit to My Son (in School and in His Future Career)?
There are many potential roads to success and failure as a fraternity chapter member, but these mirror the same potential paths an undergraduate student would face regardless.
The difference is that IFC fraternity recruitment seeks to bring young men with shared values together, to develop them into leaders, and hopefully to help them overcome the obstacles of youth and become successful and well-adjusted adults.
Let’s take a closer look at how this is accomplished in our Parent’s Guide to IFC Recruitment.
What Is IFC Recruitment? Why Does It Matter?
There’s a lot to learn when it comes to fraternity recruitment. Many different chapters are all recruiting for new members, all with different Greek letter names. There are also different Greek umbrella organizations that manage different chapters. Some are academic, some are faith-based, and many are social.
IFC, or Interfraternity Council, is a campus group that oversees member social fraternity chapters.
There are certain IFC standards and expectations that go along with membership. Those standards and expectations trickle down from Greek leadership to all undergraduate members.
Here are some of those standards and what they mean for your son:
- Fraternity recruitment registration and membership requires maintaining a minimum GPA.
- Fraternity recruitment events are dry. That means no intoxicating substances of any kind.
- Fraternity recruitment and membership are zero-tolerance for hazing and dangerous or risky behavior.
- Recruitment events are based on shared values above all else.
- Membership is about embodying those values together.
IFC fraternity recruitment means all this, but it also means you have a national network of like-minded people all working together toward shared values and goals, so that at the chapter level, undergraduate members can succeed as students, brothers, and men.
How Does It Work?
Registering for recruitment for your son means he must maintain a certain GPA and good standing with the university as a student. He may need to be full-time or part-time, depending on his university.
If he meets these basic requirements, he can seek a bid from a fraternity chapter.
Here are a few steps to help him get started:
- Register via the Center for Student Involvement, Greek Life, or the university’s IFC. Sometimes he must register for recruitment electronically.
- Potentially pay a registration fee.
- Agree to IFC recruitment rules.
- Attend required recruitment seminars or meetings.
- Attend all recruitment events and follow all the rules.
- Decide which chapters are the best fit, based on interactions.
- Await completion of the bidding process, where chapters and members make membership decisions.
What Does Recruitment and Growth Mean to a Fraternity?
Recruitment for IFC chapters has a necessary connection to a larger framework of organizations with shared values. Here’s the effect recruitment has.
At the Campus Level
IFC chapters share values and don’t trash-talk each other or talk themselves up during recruitment. Each chapter offers its own unique culture and group of brothers, but all chapters work together to make recruitment safe, drug and alcohol-free, and values-based. Doing this builds a campus culture that changes the narrative and breeds positivity, leadership, and community.
At the National Level
IFC member chapters also have access to a national network of like-minded brothers, alumni, and national leaders. The NIC, or North-American Interfraternity Conference, offers resources to help both college IFCs and chapter members grow and learn to meet shared expectations and standards. This also creates broad, national networking opportunities and chances for brothers to contribute to fraternity life as undergrads and long after graduating.
What’s the Benefit to My Son (in School and in His Future Career)?
Often the best time to join is freshman year.
As a parent, this probably seems counterintuitive. He’s on his own. He’s learning the ropes of being a college student. School comes first, and the workload, compared to high school, goes way up.
In short, he needs to focus. Learn discipline. Wouldn’t joining a fraternity be a distraction?
In some cases, perhaps—if he joins a chapter focused just on partying; if that chapter doesn’t connect with its community or its university; and if that chapter doesn’t value themselves, or him.
IFC recruitment aims to avoid those pitfalls.
Joining an IFC fraternity early gives young men the time to learn and grow with their brothers and to gain leadership skills along the way.
But, of course, you’re still skeptical. Here are a few steps you can take to prepare yourself and your son for recruitment:
- Check the chapter and national websites for each fraternity, as well as social media. What are their values? What impression do they make?
- Did these sources answer your questions? If not, who can you contact? Look for emails or phone numbers for the chapter president or recruitment chairman, alumni advisors, as well as university Greek Life officials.
- Ask questions such as: How much does membership cost? What does that money pay for? What are the core values of the chapter? How does the chapter provide a student-first experience? What value does the chapter provide both now and after graduating?
After reading this, you should have some idea about IFC values and how membership benefits your child, but it can also be reassuring to discuss these questions with chapter and fraternity leaders to ensure he’s getting the best possible experience.
OmegaFi offers software solutions for Greek chapters for recruitment, budgeting, communication, and more. Learn more about our services or call direct at 800.276.6342.
What are some of your questions or concerns about IFC fraternity membership and recruitment? Let us know in the comments below!