Fraternities at RIT just wrapped up recruitment, and with so many college men getting ready to begin their Greek Life experience, I thought it was appropriate to share some information on how Fraternity recruitment works.
The first thing to keep in mind is that there are three governing Greek councils which oversee Fraternity and Sorority Life: the Interfraternity Council (IFC) for social Fraternities, the College Panhellenic Council (CPC) for all Panhellenic Sororities, and the Multicultural Greek Council (MGC) for multicultural Greek organizations. Each governing body sets their own recruitment standards and procedures. I am a part of IFC, so this blog will explain how IFC recruitment works.
Let me begin by saying that I am a brother of the Sigma Chi Fraternity, and have been for 3 years now. I have gone through 7 recruitment periods, and while the IFC recruitment process has changed a few times, the general process works this way: Fraternity recruitment begins the first day of classes, and goes on until the third week. Most fraternities will have a week or two of open events, where anybody who’s interested can attend. It is generally recommended that you attend as many open events as you can, and that you check out at least three different organizations. To find out about when and where these events are, you can find the recruitment posters for each organization pretty much all over campus, or you can reach out to a specific organization and ask for their calendar – usually they will be table sitting for the first week, or will have an interest form on their website. All events are dry events, which means no alcohol.
These open events are meant for you to get to know the members of the Fraternity, and for them to get to know you. We recommend you ask as many questions as you have, and that you talk to as many people as possible. You want to make sure that the organization’s values resonate with you, and that you feel comfortable around its members. Be yourself! Don’t try to impress a specific organization, chances are that you’ll find at least one organization where you fit in perfectly without having to change anything about you.
After open events, if a Fraternity has taken an interest in you, they’ll invite you to their invite-only events. These are the events where you get to ask more personal questions, and they’ll ask more personal questions to make sure that you fit in with the standard of men they are looking for. Invite-only events will culminate in a formal interview, after which the Fraternity will vote on who they hand out bids. Finally, if you receive a bid from one (or multiple) Fraternity, you will have some time – usually a week – to decide whether you want to accept it. Once a bid is accepted, the New Member intake process begins, and this process varies a lot depending on each organization. RIT has a strict non-hazing policy, and I personally have a high sense of respect for our Greek community.
This is a brief overview of what the process looks like, and some organizations may deviate a bit from it. Each Fraternity decides what kind of events they do, and they may even have signature events. But at the end of the day, your decision to go forward with an organization should not be based on how cool the events were, or how nice their letters or colors are; it should be based on who are the people that you connect the most with, and what organization’s values resonate with you the most. A good test that I often pose to Potential New Members (PNMs) is “who are the men that you would like to see at your wedding?”
Being a member of a Fraternity has been one of the most enjoyable and meaningful experiences of my college life, and if you are remotely curious about it I recommend you give it a chance. Do not, however, take the decision to join lightly, as being a Fraternity brother is a life-long commitment, and it is definitely not for everyone. But I am sure that anyone that’s gone through the process and is a member of an organization now will tell you that they have not regretted it once.