How To Win The Fraternity Recruitment Game

by Taylor Deer

Here are the Rules:

  • Your school has 10,000 students. 5,000 of which are men.
  • Of the 5,000 men, 100 will show up for Rush Week and join Fraternities.
  • These men, will join because of big parties and huge rush events.
  • Of the 8 total fraternities on your campus the average size of a chapter is around 30 men.
  • Your chapter is the smallest with around 15 members.
  • Your chapter does not have the money/time or effort to throw as big of parties or as huge of rush events as any of the other chapters.

Here’s the game:

  •  You have two weeks out of the year to compete against the 8 other chapters, who are all striving to meet the same 100 men that you are. Each of those 8 chapters have more members, money, time, and effort than your chapter does.
  • Recruit a larger pledge class than the rest of the chapters to become “Top house” by the end of the year.

Sounds un-winnable  doesn’t it? That’s because it is. If you’re saying to yourself, “hey maybe we could like, throw bigger parties or something” you’re clearly “that guy” who always goes bankrupt first in Monopoly and blames it on the dice.

Clearly, it’s a fools game, and sadly we convince ourselves to keep playing it year, after year, after year. When we lose the game, by getting a smaller pledge class than the rest. We somehow convince ourselves that we won and that next year will be better, we then start preparing to be better at the game that we will ultimately lose. Every. Time. We. Play.

It’s madness! Ask yourself, is your chapter playing the game? Really, is your chapter playing the game? Then there are two possibilities.

  1. You lose (sorry)
  2.  You win, congratulations! You’ve spent the most money and risked the most to get 3-4 more pledges than the rest of the chapters. Your members will be so exhausted that it will be near impossible to convince your chapter to exert the same effort next semester and eventually, you lose.

Here’s an idea. What if you never played the game at all? In fact, what if you invented your own game? What if it looked like this?

Here are the Rules:

  • Your school has 10,000 students 5,000 of which are men.
  • Of the 5,000 men,  4,900 will not show up to Rush Week
  • None of these men will join because of Parties and Events
  • Of the 8 other fraternities the average chapter size is 30 men which represents less than 5% of campus. Your chapter is the smallest with 15 members
  • Because the other chapter’s are too busy playing the other game. None of them will be competing for the 4,900 other men on campus

Here’s the Game.

  • You have 52 weeks out of the year to recruit out of the 95% of men on your campus that are not joining for parties and events.
  • Make as many friends as you can by doing normal friend activities (biking, bowling, watching TV, eating lunch, studying etc.)
  • Pick the men that fit your organization the best and repeat the process next semester.

Which game would you play?