“It’s like herding cats.”
“It’s like pulling nails.”
“It’s like cats pulling out my nails.”
Have you said any combination of these phrases before?
Congratulations! You must be a fraternity treasurer.
The reason this gripe is a frequently discussed topic among fraternity brothers is chapter dues. Maybe “discussed” is being too polite. It’s more like most brothers complain and moan about fraternity dues payments, and the chapter treasurer is the one making them complain and moan about it. The chapter treasurer asks politely (how dare he) for the amount the brothers agreed to pay when they first joined the chapter. But we all know too well what ensues next. As soon as the words “fraternity dues payment” leave your lips, it’s like you’ve never seen escape artists this talented since the likes of Harry Houdini.
Where’d your fellow brothers go? Nobody knows. You’re likely not to see them for weeks, until they suddenly show up at the next social, eating and drinking up everyone else’s hard-earned cash.
Now, you think, you’ve got them where you want them. But when you corner them on the couch and start poking accusatorily with your finger (okay, don’t really do that), they grumble and mumble some wild fictions Mark Twain couldn’t have penned better himself. So, here’s the thing. We’ve talked about collecting fraternity dues payment before. Actually, we’ve talked about it more than once. But collecting dues is a whole lot easier when you’re prepared to deal with the Top 5 Excuses Brothers Use to Skip Fraternity Dues Payment.
5. “I Can’t Afford It This Semester. I’m Broke as a Joke,” Jack Jokes.
Okay, a greener treasurer might reason to himself, that seems legit. Jack has fallen on tough times. Jack insists he just had to sell his last cow for some magic beans, and his mom is pissed. But don’t let him climb up that magic beanstalk of a fable he’s selling you. Yes, Jack might be having a tough time paying this semester. Maybe he lost his job or his parents are too tight to pay this semester, or his car broke and he suddenly has a new car payment. All those are possible, but you are no amateur and you’re prepared. You remind Jack of all the options he was already aware of:
He could have worked out a payment plan with you. He could have done extra volunteer work slinging hotdogs at the MLB baseball stadium to earn his keep, thanks to that sweet, sweet vendor deal your chapter worked out with the stadium management. If worse comes to worst, he could have gone inactive for a semester or simply agreed not to participate in chapter events, ceremonies or meetings. He certainly shouldn’t be at this social having this conversation with you now. Don’t be a nincompoop like Jack. For goodness sake, the dude traded a cow for MAGIC BEANS.
4. “I’ll Have It to You Next Week. This Time I’m Not Lying,” Tommy Lies.
This vague idea of “next week” is part of a larger trend of some brothers to put off dues payment because they’ve learned that empty promises work on you, oh naïve, trusting treasurer. “Next week” might mean at the chapter meeting, during the flag football tournament or some other location where, inevitably, he won’t have a dime to spare, sorry bro, he’ll get you next week. See the problem here? The solution is not having overly-flexible payment dates. You should remind brothers frequently before fraternity dues need to be paid. This means emails, physical, printed reminders, group texts/messages, or whatever is necessary. They know when dues need to be in, and even if there’s a more flexible early due date, there absolutely must be a hard and fast final deadline, after which there will be penalties.
3. “I Don’t Have My Wallet on Me,” Frank Insists.
Okay, first off, who doesn’t have his wallet on him, especially when you can plainly see the Subway bag dangling from his fingers, insisting that you “Eat Fresh.” Well, Frank, it’s time to cough up that fresh, fresh green.
As in money.
As in now.
And if he really doesn’t have his wallet? Luckily, forgetful Frank doesn’t have to have fistfuls of cash in your presence to pay his dues. That’s what OmegaFi’s Vault is for, fraternity software designed specifically to help collect and maintain the finances of your chapter. Frank can pay his dues online through an easy-to-use, centralized system. He can use credit or debit, and he’s on Facebook all day so he has no excuse not to open a new tab and make that fraternity dues payment already. If you have to, leave a message on his profile wall: “Frank, make that fraternity dues payment already.”
2. “My Parents Haven’t Sent Over the Check Yet. It’s Their Fault,” Billy Displaces the Blame.
Nothing is ever Billy’s fault, is it? The gym bag sitting in the middle of the common area, dirty tube socks spilling forth and practically crawling away on their own, their terrible musk forming a cloud over the foosball table, is definitely not Billy’s fault. Of course not. Even though on the travel tag, in permanent marker, are the words: “Billy ‘The Rock’ Jones’s Gear. Hands off, jabronies!” Besides the fact that Billy weighs 100 pounds wet, you know his parents already sent the check. How? This is how. Through the OmegaFi system, you’ve already been in touch with the Joneses, and they insist they sent a check and the money has left their account. We all smell what Billy is cooking, and it’s a bunch of body odor and lies.
1. “If You Were My Friend, You’d Give Me a Break,” Kyle Manipulates.
We don’t want to be the ones to tell you this, but Kyle’s a pretty bad friend. Friends don’t try to take advantage of friends in positions of power, especially when it will negatively impact you and how you’re perceived in your role as treasurer. If you’re a pushover for Kyle just because you’ve known each other since grade 2, then imagine what happens when word gets around to the other brothers. If you don’t live near water, you might never have seen a shark feeding frenzy up close.
But let us tell you, you’re about to.
It’s better to be honest with Kyle and let him know you don’t appreciate being taken advantage of. He’s the one hurting your friendship by pressuring you into performing badly as treasurer, not you. Having deadlines and procedures in place, trying to work out a payment plan ahead of time, establishing consistent penalties for non-payment and being able to turn to other executive members to present a united front are all methods you can rely on to avoid privileged treatment. Even for Kyle. Besides, didn’t Kyle steal your girlfriend back in middle school? Oh yeah, you forgot about that. See, we told you. Kyle’s not such a good friend sometimes. But he is your brother. So pay your fraternity dues, Kyle.
In the end, brothers will give just about any excuse not to pay their dues on time--or sometimes they will try to get out of paying them at all. It’s a never-ending struggle between treasurer and, well, everyone else to make sure brothers pay up. That’s why knowing how to respond to the Top 5 Excuses Brothers Use to Skip Fraternity Dues Payment will help you as treasurer to keep that cash flowing into the chapter coffers. Good job.
What are the lamest and/or most creative excuses you’ve heard brothers give to avoid paying fraternity dues? Let us know in the comments below.