If you’re a member of a fledgling IFC fraternity chapter or colony, congrats. You’ve embarked on a daunting-but-exciting journey.
One of the main challenges you face is establishing yourself on campus.
It’s easier said than done, as you may already be finding out. For one thing, you’re competing with all the other longstanding (and likely bigger) chapters on campus. You can’t rely on your reputation or numbers during rush.
Chances are, you don’t have a chapter house. You’re holding chapter meetings in unused campus classrooms and holding social events at the president’s apartment.
His neighbors are not impressed.
Bidding potential new members will also take an innovative approach. But that’s ok--it’s been done many times in the past, and you’ll succeed at it, too.
You also must show the university that your organization belongs on campus. Administrators need to know you’re not going to be the chapter who breaks all the rules and has a GPA dropping faster than a freshman who misses first-day attendance.
The point is, you have a lot to prove. But you’re scrappy. If anyone can do it, you can.
Just keep in mind one thing: When you’re building something new, you always need the right tools. This is especially true of fraternity chapters.
Chapter members must always rely on community and whatever resources they have at their disposal, but this is most apparent when you’ve chartered a new chapter.
Luckily, IFC chapters are inherently part of a community. Your college’s IFC offers a variety of tools to get you on steady ground.
OmegaFi wants to dig in and look at a few of those tools here today.
Starting a New Fraternity Chapter? Use These IFC Tools.
Community Service Events: Go to All of Them
Community service should always be at the heart of a fraternity chapter.
You likely have your own fraternity philanthropy that you’re proud of, but as a new chapter it’s not always easy to pull off the big-number success of chapters with more men, more alumni, and more resources to draw from.
This is where your IFC comes in. They will usually hold community service events in addition to whatever projects individual chapters have going on.
It means you have an inroad to foster goodwill and make a meaningful impact on your community.
Make no mistake, this is a big deal.
You want to show your worth as men who not only contribute to the community where they live and go to school, but who’re willing to dig in and show their capacity for charity and hard work.
Whatever the IFC’s community goals might be—helping homeless Vets, raising money for cancer research, collecting canned goods—make it a point to participate.
Taking part in charitable events gets your name out there, helps you bond with members of your IFC and other IFC fraternity chapters, and gives your brothers a sense of purpose and civic duty.
Take Advantage of IFC Recruitment Tools
Rush week can be a dog-eat-dog situation out there. Sometimes you come out on top, and sometimes you don’t.
The problem for new chapters is that you don’t have a lot of the same bells and whistles to attract PNMs that established chapters might.
For instance, what do you tell someone who asks where your chapter house is?
For that matter, where do you hold your rush events in the first place?
PNMs might wonder why you have so few members. They might be dissuaded by the fact that joining a fledgling chapter could be a lot of extra work on their part, and you don’t quite have the established image to pull off the cool factor.
Here’s the thing, though.
While some PNMs are attracted to fraternity life for the big house, the swarms of brothers, and a lay-about lifestyle, those are very much the wrong PNMS for any chapter—and especially a new chapter.
Don’t worry. Your IFC is here to help save the day.
They’ve established a set of rules to make recruitment fair for everyone. And most importantly, IFC recruitment is values based.
What does that mean? Essentially, if you play by the IFC rulebook, your recruitment won’t be about big parties. Instead, you’ll tailor rush around meaningful conversations with PNMs to decide if they’re a good fit for your chapter.
Every chapter follows the same basic set of rules, the same shared rush calendar, and the same opportunity to gain new members.
It’s always a little harder for new chapters to find pioneering brothers willing to put in the work, but with IFC recruitment tools, rush will be much more fruitful.
Join Your IFC
Joining your IFC as a chapter liaison or an IFC officer can give you greater insight into their decision-making process, as well as a closer relationship with your Greek Life office, and a better grasp on the needs of all chapters on campus.
You can also voice the needs of your own chapter and strengthen your place in the IFC community.
As an added bonus, the IFC officer structure is often pretty similar to a fraternity chapter’s. By observing how the executive board functions, you can gain perspective on how to manage your own chapter more effectively.
You’ll also learn general leadership skills and have access to various other IFC tools that outsiders might not be able to utilize.
Whatever your goals, new IFC chapters face many challenges that require the right tool for the right job. Your college council wants you to succeed as much as you do. Help them help you.
Are you a fledgling fraternity chapter or colony? What IFC tools have you found most useful as you build your ranks and establish yourself on campus? Let us know in the comments below.
OmegaFi has helped new chapters manage their financial, communication, recruitment, and other goals. See what fraternity tools we have to offer here or call us direct at 800.276.6342.