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.