by Taylor Deer
No matter where I go on the road, whether it is the largest public university in the city or the smallest private college in the middle of nowhere. I ask the audience to perform one action for me, I say:
“Raise your hand if you had no intention of joining Greek Life before coming to your school”
Without any hesitation, the large majority of students participating enthusiastically raise their hands. Most with a laugh because they were probably very against the idea of them ever becoming a Fraternity man or Sorority Woman. My follow up question is:
“Why did you decide to join Greek Life”
A volley of hands shoot up and begin telling their story, almost always starting with something like:
“I was playing Basketball… when I met…”
“I was sitting in the quad…. when I met…”
” I was in a study session when I met…. who was an upperclassman in my major”
“I was playing Humans Vs. Zombie’s when I met….”
Ok, maybe that last one was just my school, but most people who come to college have no intention whatsoever to seek out and selectively choose to pledge their lives to a values based membership organization.
Put yourself back in your own shoes as a freshmen. You just get out of your last class of the day in the middle of your first week of school. You still have no idea where any of your classes are (even though you’ve already been to some of them). Your parents still text you to tell you that your pets miss you. The only person you know on campus is your roommate, and s/he’s a bit strange. You want to meet some new people and make some friends, where do you go, what do you do?
List off the top 10 places you’d go or things you’d do.
Where did “A Fraternity Recruitment BBQ at their house across campus” end up on that list? Or, “Walk around campus looking for the first dude wearing Greek letters, pulling him aside and asking, ‘How can I join?!?!’” Oh, those didn’t make it on there?
We all do this weird thing — we understand that we decided to join our fraternity doing something that had nothing to do with recruitment. Yet, when we become members we try to recruit the next generation by throwing on a rush shirt and walking around campus and having people stand around a BBQ. When that doesn’t work, we are baffled!
Ask yourself this question with your chapter’s current recruitment strategy. Would you be able to recruit you?