Why Such a Rush?

by Austin Netherton

For many undergraduate fraternity men, the overwhelming and hurried occasion we call “Rush” is in wrapping up on campuses across North-America. I often hear from chapter leaders that this time period is recognized as the time when the most (and potentially only) effort is made by a chapter to recruit potential new members (PNMs).

But why?

We as fraternity men (and yes, I have been guilty of this as well) spend weeks and hundreds of dollars planning out elaborate rush events, perfecting the designs for this year’s rush t-shirt (where we copy and paste our letters into either the Patagonia or PBR logo), and then open our doors expecting PNMs whom we have never met to flock into our organizations.

Who knows? Maybe this process is successful for you. However, in my experience, it results in a year after year cycle of attempting to justify the countless hours and dollars spent planning for one week while still wondering, “Why we can never quite reach our chapter’s recruitment goals?” If this story sounds familiar to you, then you have to recognize that this happens because we never actually give ourselves the chance to truly meet the PNMs we are recruiting, let alone an opportunity to build a relationship worthy of calling someone “brother”.

There are countless ways we can discuss on how to be more successful in recruitment, but one idea stands out to me ahead of anything else at this point in the year. All you have to do is simply change the way you look at recruitment. Yes, it is that easy!

Think about it. We all know that recruitment is a relationship business, right? So why is it that we hold firm to the idea that these relationships can only come about during rush week? If we want to reach our membership goals, then we need to expand the way we look at recruitment. Rush is just a single portion within a much larger picture. It is most often a single week within a process that can in reality be carried out over the course of an entire year. So instead of investing all of our time and money betting on this one chance, let’s take it day by day from here on out and work smarter to be more successful!

There are four small weekly activities that you can implement into your chapter’s recruitment efforts this Fall that, when accomplished as a whole each week, will increase the actual recruiting you are doing, and in turn increase your success.

Try this regimen out for a few weeks and see what happens!

Weekly minimums:

1 Names driving initiative. You can’t recruit who you don’t know. Everyone knows that right? There are countless qualified men on every campus that go every year without being recruited. Why? Because no one ever took the chance to meet them. Get out of your seat, introduce yourself, and prepare to grow the list of men you know on campus.

1 Call session. Grab a group of your brothers, order some pizza, and make some calls to introduce yourself! This is your chance to make a first connection with your newest PNMs.

10 Small activities. Now don’t worry! This is not like planning events for rush. Think of these events as small everyday things that can even happen any place at any time. Think outside of the box! Even doing something as simple as laundry with friends can be used as a small activity!

1 Chapter activity. This time you can think a little bigger, but don’t over-do it! This can be as simple as going to dinner as a group and inviting PNMs to join in on the conversations, thus giving yourself and others the chance to get to know them better.

There are countless examples of these four activities and more that can be found within our free recruitment resources page.

Remember, work smarter not harder! Let’s start looking at recruitment beyond rush week and let the success follow.