…Unless You Want to Be Different.

by Josh Orendi

funny-be-different-640x413I stumbled into a thought during my drive back to Indianapolis from Columbus, Ohio earlier this week.  I think it was inspired by a colony I’ve worked with that will be doing its first winter recruitment in the upcoming weeks.  They’re great men that are already feeling the pressure and temptations of doing recruitment like the other fraternities on campus.  I found myself thinking:

“The best way to be like other chapters is to recruit like they do … unless of course you’re trying to be something different.”

Consider that the founding members who are celebrated by your organization were not recruited in the traditional way other chapters on campus did it (it’s not possible since there was no chapter to recruit them, right?).  And, those original founders didn’t use “rush” techniques to find the members that followed them.  They had a unique message that sorority/fraternity could be done in a new way.

The founders of your chapter — of every chapter — wanted your fraternity/sorority to be different — very different — or they would have simply joined another group.

This is the time of year when most chapters are focused on:

  • Event calendars, parties, and information tables
  • Uniform Rush policies, rules, and rotations
  • Skits, song, chants, and “bumping”
  • Fliers, banners, chalking, marketing blasts

In fact, if you step back, most chapters are doing almost the same events during the same part of the year for the same group of potential new members – albeit in different color rush shirts.  Remember, if you recruit like them, then the best case scenario is that you’ll become like them.  That’s neither good nor bad.  It’s logical and predictable.  The only down side is that you may be compromising the unique identity that your founders fought so hard to establish.