To manage and lower your fraternity and sorority risk, you need to start looking at your recruitment policies. Greek organizations today need to be more aware than ever about maintaining a positive public image. While it’s essential to set and enforce sensible rules for your Greek chapter, it’s ultimately your members who make or break your reputation.
How does better recruitment affect risk? Better recruitment lowers risk for both fraternities and sororities by:
1. Improving the Greek chapter’s reputation
2. Attracting members who are less likely to violate rules
Any organization’s strength, integrity, and cohesiveness rely on its talent acquisition, or in the case of Greek life, its recruits. One of the most important things you can do to avoid controversy is to make sure you recruit the right members. In short, better recruits equals lower risk for your organization.
How Does Better Recruitment Lower Fraternity and Sorority Risk?
Chapter risk starts with recruitment. You need good members who are willing to follow rules and uphold the integrity of your organization. Discussed below are the ways that better recruitment leads to lower fraternity and sorority risk and how to recruit higher-quality chapter members.
1. Better Reputation
If you’re trying to build a positive reputation for your organization, you have to focus on many factors. You can’t always control the general public perception determined by the media.
Unfortunately, negative stories on any topic are often favored in the news. The public is always more fascinated with controversial issues than lower-key positive ones. While you can’t control what the media reports, you can take specific actions to help your organization maintain the best possible image.
Your primary responsibility is to make sure your members behave responsibly. This all starts with recruitment. By recruiting the right members, you avoid potential mishaps. It’s essential to seek members who are likely to contribute rather than detract from your organization’s reputation.
2. Lower Risk of Violations
What you want for your organization is members who are genuinely involved, not merely there for the status and parties. Involved members are motivated to uphold their own reputations as well as that of the organization. By contrast, members who don’t feel any real sense of commitment to an organization are less likely to abide by the rules and monitor their behavior. That’s why paying close attention to your recruitment methods and philosophy is one of the best ways to lower your risk of violations.
All of this starts with recruiting members who match your organization’s goals and values. Of course, your efforts don’t stop after recruitment.
It’s best to look at new member education as an ongoing process to ensure recruits continue to develop as members and don’t stray from your community’s standards.
No matter how diligent you are, it’s inevitable that you’ll make occasional mistakes. Rather than aiming for perfection, strive to build a chapter where the vast majority of members are fully committed to your organization’s values. This type of cohesion lowers your risks and encourages new members of a similar mindset to join. At the same time, it makes your community less appealing to inappropriate members.
Most Greek organizations are responsible and provide numerous benefits to members. The public, however, isn’t always aware of this. Chapter advisors and officers are now under unprecedented pressure to make positive changes or risk losing their communities. Let’s look at some ways to improve recruitment and manage organizations so that fraternities and sororities can maintain a positive image both on and off-campus.
How To Recruit Higher Quality Chapter Members?
While there are many worthwhile strategies you can take to influence a member’s behavior and enforce your organization’s code of conduct, the issue begins with the recruitment process. Many fraternities and sororities are so eager to recruit new members that they don’t make the necessary efforts to find people who are indeed a good match. Students join Greek organizations for a variety of reasons. Some are looking for community and meaningful connections. Others are looking for an excuse to drink and party. If you want to exclude such recruits from your fraternity or sorority, it’s essential to use discernment in your recruiting efforts. Below are some guidelines to keep in mind to recruit higher quality members who are likely to reflect your organization’s values.
1. Identify Your Ideal Target Members
Make a list of qualities that you want to see in recruits. It’s up to you whether this includes a strong commitment to academics, involvement in sports, or an interest in specific areas such as business or community involvement. Then you can pursue these recruits.
Social media provides some useful tools for targeted recruiting. Existing members, for example, can look at the profiles of social media friends on campus to find suitable candidates. GreekXperience also provides advanced recruiting tools for better targeting.
2. Emphasize the Right Aspects of Membership
If you want responsible members, make sure you don’t present your organization as only for socializing and partying. Talk about your values and members’ responsibilities.
3. Show That You Take Rules Seriously
At this point, just about every Greek organization has rules against hazing, alcohol and drug abuse, and other potential problem areas. Don’t merely pay lip service to these rules. It’s important to emphasize to potential recruits that you enforce these rules and that violations will result in expulsion from your chapter.
4. Have a Quality Over Quantity Approach to Recruiting
Organizations generally cause problems for themselves when they’re overly obsessed with numbers. This causes you to recruit anyone willing to join. If you want to recruit more suitable members, maintain the position that membership is an honor and that you only admit the best.
5. Make Member Education an Ongoing Process
While it’s essential to educate new members on the rules and policies of your organization, it’s equally important to have ongoing education and reminders. Discuss relevant policies regularly at meetings and in any information, and distribute digital or printed versions to members. Encourage senior members to mentor and help newer members fit in and conform to the rules.