Can Fraternities Recruit Without Alcohol?

by Josh Orendi

alcohol4Two articles caught my attention this month.  This one and this one.

Universities are literally cancelling fraternity recruitment (USC) and disallowing freshmen the right to join fraternities (Princeton and nearly UNC).

On respected campuses with high profile fraternity communities, long traditions of alcohol consumption by minors — especially during recruitment — are being challenged.  The irony is that alcohol in recruitment was officially banned by most national fraternities decades ago, every IFC in the United States has a strict policy against fraternities serving minors, and 95%  of men being recruited are underage (consumption by minors became illegal in most US states by 1984).  Still, this is a real issue so I’d like to offer a real answer to the original question:  Can fraternities recruit successfully without alcohol?

The answer to the question is YES*.  The asterisk is there because too many fraternity men don’t believe they can, have never seen it done, or don’t care to try.  The YES is in all caps because not only is it possible, it’s highly probable.  In fact, it’s proven!

Phired Up’s Dynamic Recruitment system is a year-round, values based, relationship-focused recruitment model.  It allows any fraternity chapter to recruit successfully without the use of alcohol.  Here is a scrolling page of testimonials to prove it.  But, there is a catch.  Dynamic Recruitment only works for chapters that are willing to do the work.  “Work” it seems is the problem.  It’s more work to recruit on substance than it is to recruit with substance.

Perhaps the real question is whether it’s worth the work for fraternities to continue to break the law, national policies, and the oath of their ritual by recruiting with alcohol.  Based on recent actions, the answer once again seems to be “yes.”  And, if the two articles above indicate a trend, we may see more recruitment restrictions and flat out removal of fraternities from campuses in the future.  From my perspective this doesn’t make much sense when there’s a better model with a track record of yielding a higher quantity of higher quality members (without the use of alcohol).

For information on the NIC position on alcohol and recruitment rights, click here.
For information on FIPG risk management policies adopted by many fraternities in the 1990’s, click here.
For information on the Amethyst Initiative to lower the legal drinking age, click here.

Phired Up is a proud partner of the NIC, its 75+ member fraternities, and the hundreds of universities that partner with us to provide quality (alcohol free) recruitment education to their fraternity communities.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words in Recruitment

by Doug Sweeney

ds-actions“Actions speak louder than words.”

The age-old saying applies to your recruiting efforts as you begin this fall.

The firm handshake will make a stronger impression than the casual wave.

The way you carry yourself will speak louder than the words on your “rush” shirt.

The flowers you give a sorority at their meeting will say more about your fraternity than your announcement.

If you haze, that will speak louder than the values of your organization was founded on.

The deeds you do in your local community will speak louder than your recruitment flyers.

Your personal phone call will speak louder than your mass email.

Your warm welcome to a new student will make a greater impact than the decorated table at your organizational fair.

You’re actions speak louder than words.

So remember that this fall and don’t speak too loud with your “rush” shirts, banners, flyers, mass emails, sales pitches, tables and letters… unless you and your brothers/sisters know your actions speak louder.   Remember your letters and values on your t-shirt are just words.   You control your actions.

People don’t join organizations.  People don’t join words.  People join people.  People join actions.

The Secret Tactic For Getting People to Join Your Group

by Matt Mattson

careWant to know the top secret tactic to get people to join your group?  Want to know how to really trick someone into agreeing to membership in your organization?  Want to know the evil technique we teach the best recruiters?

Here it is…


Actually care about people when you talk to them.

Really be interested in them. Learn from them. Be concerned about them.  Be really, genuinely kind to them.

Care about people because it is the kind, values-based, human thing to do (not so you can recruit them).


That’ll trick ‘em for sure.

People join people.  There are no magic word-packages, no perfectly manipulating interview questions, no cheerful door chants, no excellent house tours, no skits, no t-shirts, no put-the-pretty-girls-in-front tactics, no awesome events, no catchy slogans, no professional branding campaigns, no cons, and no ruses that work.  People join people.  And they’re much more likely to join people that actually care about them than otherwise.

So try it out this semester. Let us know if it works.

Recruitment: A Responsibility & A Privilege

by Matt Mattson

resp-and-privI had the absolute pleasure recently of talking to the Executive Director of Alpha Omicron Pi, Troylyn (Troy) LeForge.  We were chatting about organizational growth and some of the amazing work that AOPi has done recently in that department.

Amongst a bucketful of other nuggets of wisdom, Troy said something to me that really struck a chord.  She talked about the importance of seeing fraternity/sorority recruitment as both a responsibility and a privilege.  These are my interpretations of that conversation — she said it much more eloquently than I could, but I wanted to share…

Your founders granted you an amazing privilege. You get to give the gift that they gave to you. You have the privilege, the opportunity, the power to share your organization with someone new.  You have the privilege of building the FUTURE of your organization — the future is in your hands. You’re blessed to have this privilege, and you’ll never have a better chance than now to take advantage of this opportunity than right now.

There are literally thousands of men and women on your campus that deserve and desire the experience your organization offers. Will you work hard enough and smart enough to give it to them? You have a responsibility to find them, meet them, befriend them, and help them understand the life-changing power of your group.  The depth of their collegiate experience lies in your hands.  Whether they will have the pleasure of sharing the life-long bonds your organization offers or not is up to you.  Will you do your best to fulfill that great responsibility?  Potential members are counting on you.

What’s Your Recruitmentality?

by Josh Orendi

recruitmentalityAs fall approaches, most student organizations are focused on getting their fall class of new members.  That’s one way to think about recruitment.

Rather than thinking about recruiting people into the chapter/club/group this fall, what if you thought about expanding and fueling your movement.  Talk to people about — better yet show them — the “why” of your organization.  Inspire and lead your movement.

That’s more fun and effective than trying to recruit a few handfuls of new members to learn the history, pay dues, and take over your officer positions.

Shift your Recruitmentality from Static to Dynamic…

Static Recruitmentality:

  • Join my chapter.
  • Make ‘em come to the house.
  • She’s cute, let’s pref her?
  • We need more people.
  • We already took our class, recruitment is over.

Dynamic Recruitmentality

  • Let’s create something different and better.
  • Let’s get out of the house.
  • She shares our passion and values, she’d make a great sister.
  • More people on campus deserve the gift of our organization – let’s give it to them.
  • We’re already building our Names List for the next class and teaching this class how to recruit.

What movement are you leading?  Talk with freshmen and transfer students about their passions, commitments, ambitions, and fears.  Your organization may be the vehicle that helps them achieve their dream (which in turn helps you accomplish yours).