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It’s Time for Fraternity Men to Redefine Moxy

by Dr. Colleen Coffey-Melchiorre

What is moxy? People use the word “moxy” a lot when we talk about men or the actions of men. We use this word to describe “cool guys” – the Van Wilder, Jason Bourne, and John McClane types. Our society uses moxy to describe dudes that are sexy, tough, strong, athletic, carefree, rich, straight, and popular.

I believe we are misusing this word in our society.

Urban Dictionary defines moxy as this: “Self-possessed confidence. An attitude of fearlessness in everyday circumstances. The capacity to stand alone in favor of an unpopular opinion or course of action with a casual demeanor.”

Moxy means being tough enough to do something different and better.

I had the great pleasure of working with a room full of smart engaging fraternity men this week. They are their chapter’s Presidents and Recruitment chairs. To say that they were gentlemen would be an understatement. These men belong to an organization that puts them first. The truth is that fraternities all around the country are full of men that are amazing, and we here at Phired Up get to teach them how to recruit more men just like them. I like to tell these fraternity men to have the moxy to do it.

The best way to get dudes to join a frat is to recruit like a “frat”. Recruiting like a frat is simple: get a bunch of guys together and do guy things that make you feel like a guy. Drink lots of beer, host a big party, talk about women, make less than interesting choices, sit around and watch sports on TV, grill out, and hope that people show up to eat your stellar meat. Recruit guys with a high chill-to-pull ratio – clutch men that you can put through a pledge process to do more frat stuff with.

If it sounds like you can do better than that, you can moxy up and be a fraternity. As a fraternity, you can have the courage to recruit differently and better, and do so with ease.

It’s a simple concept- fraternity was established to make good men better men. Fraternity exists to gather people together to challenge and support one another to become the best and most authentic versions of themselves. Fraternity should be the safest place on a college campus for young men to suffer, make mistakes, practice vulnerability, try new things, and to become who they are supposed to be. Fraternity was created for men to gather together in fellowship with one another, to show each other love without condition or judgement, and to develop a support system through college and through life. We don’t meet men that want this type of experience playing beer pong; we meet them by getting to know them through meaningful conversation during processes created to intentionally connect with others.

The fall term is about to begin, and thousands of young men will step onto college campuses for the first time. They won’t show it, but they are scared, they are vulnerable, and they want to belong during college and in life. All they want, really, is to identify as being part of something. Whether they know it or not, they need YOU fraternity men to show them the way. How do you recruit the right gentlemen into your organization? How do you moxy up to the challenge of turning “rush” into recruitment? How do you continue to become a picture of what fraternity is supposed to be?

1. Get ready to listen: ask good open questions of prospects outside of the traditional “name, major, high school”.  Consider asking questions using words like what?, why?, how?, and can you tell me more?. Your job as a recruiter this Fall is to be the chief listener on campus.

2. Get ready to host: be the person who is the host in every situation. Take an attitude of serving and helpfulness. This can range from move-in day help, to passing out course syllabi, to holding the door for others. Show up on campus this fall planning to welcome others into your community in helpful ways.

3. Get ready to interact: Get social, and I don’t mean with hashtags or alcohol. Make a plan to invite new faces to stuff you’re already doing. Have coffee with others, play pick up sports, host study groups, invite people to do see a show, do laundry, go to church, or go to a game. Plan to interact with strangers and turn them into friends.

4. Get organized: Use ChapterBuilder to organize and manage the names of all the new people you meet. It’s free. You’ve got no excuses.

5. Get deep: To recruit men that are going to be your life-long best friends, get into the deep zone with your conversations. Build meaningful relationships and become someone’s reason for joining.

Moxy up this fall and recruit with purpose and conversation. Special thanks to the gentlemen of Chi Psi Fraternity for hosting #babyjune! I look forward to watching you recruit men with whole you make a “lasting bond that transcends self-interest and the limitations of time or place.”