Why Did You Join?

by Taylor Deer

I have been spending much of this fall visiting dozens of colleges and universities asking fraternity men and sorority women questions. I want to learn as much as I can about what truly makes great recruiters GREAT.

One of my favorite questions to ask is: “What is the most effective way you recruit members in your fraternity?” Almost always, I hear one of three things.

1)    It is all about getting your name out there!
2)    The reputation of our chapter.
3)    Cookouts!

The most interesting part of this question is that it is answered the same way across a hugely diverse range of schools. From the largest to the smallest, the highest to the lowest percentage of Greek Life; members of Fraternities I have interviewed almost unanimously attribute their recruitment success to these three things.

Even though these members answer this question with confidence, the next question I always ask is “Why did you join?”. Again, across the board the answer to this question has three parts to it.

1)    Within the first sentence they will say the name of a person.
2)    A smile will creep up on their face.
3)    They will tell you a story of how they still have a meaningful relationship with this person to this day.

Many of us came to college never wanting to join Greek Life, and through a personal connection with a member who introduced us to our current chapter, we decided to join.

So my question to you is: Did you join for the cookouts? Or the people you met at them?

Put people back at the center of your recruitment process.