“We serve the community, not ourselves.”

by Matt Mattson

I’ve had this conversation lately with a number of Greek leaders who are planning their fall recruitment strategies.  I thought it might be worth sharing with others.

Twice in the last week, the idea of an All-Greek Barbecue has come up as a means of a) “Showing a strong Greek presence,” b) “Getting our name out there,” and c) “Getting some potentials to hang out with all of the chapters.”  In itself, this isn’t a terrible idea.  I just have a better one, and it comes with a whole new philosophy your organization can adopt this fall for recruitment.

[Side note: Read this blog post from our good friend John Shertzer about the overall "Myth of the All-Greek Barbecue".]

What if, instead of the All-Greek Barbecue during the first week of school, you hosted a Freshman Field Day.  Imagine doing THE EXACT SAME STUFF you were going to do at the All-Greek Barbecue, but this time it isn’t for you, it is for the freshmen students… you just happen to be hosting it.

Here’s my challenge to you as you think about your recruitment strategy for this fall.  Adopt this slogan with regard to all recruitment plans: “We serve the community, not ourselves.”

I’ve written about this before here, but just thought the subtle difference between an All-Greek Barbecue and a Freshman Field Day really illustrated my point.

Think just about the names of these two events.  Which one would likely attract more non-Greek students so you could recruit them?

Think also about the purpose of the events… the All-Greek Barbecue is for your organization. It is selfish.  It is like yelling, “SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY, COME ON DOWN TO THE BIG BROTHERHOOD/SISTERHOOD SALE!.”  The only people likely to show up at that are either desperate for friends or expecting free drinks.  While the Freshman Field Day is purely social, fun, and for freshmen.  It is actually meant to make their day, their week, their life a little better.

Look at every event you have planned for next semester, and ask yourself if it obeys this mantra: “We serve the community, not ourselves.” The more you serve your community, the more you serve others… the more people will wan to serve with you.