Open Recruitment – The Role of IFC

Daniel Greenebaum, Coordinator of IFC Services
North-American Interfraternity Conference

Recruitment, it is one of the most important roles for IFCs around the country.  What do I do? How do I get struggling chapters more involved? How structured is too structured?   To kick off our standards series in the blog this year, we would like to focus on the role IFC has to play in recruitment, how that relates to the NIC Standards and some traps to avoid when thinking about maximizing your success.

The role of IFC is to advocate on behalf of the fraternity experience.  In relation to recruitment, that means that IFC should be focusing on cultivating interest in the fraternity experience on their campus. That’s it – nothing more, and nothing less. Understanding and communicating this expectation is the most important step for any IFC, as it clearly defines the scope of their work. IFC should be helping to facilitate the recruitment process, and in doing so, should take care to ensure that the recruitment process is in alignment with NIC Standards, which call for the following:

Open Recruitment – Defined as the ability of undergraduate chapters and qualified, interested men to enter into an agreement on membership at a time that is in their collective best interest.  Simply put: The ability to recruit any male, at any time.

Commonly asked questions for “IFC Recruitment”:
Q: Does reserving a period of time for IFC Recruitment, during which chapters may not hold events, violate this standard?
Not at all. If the IFC wants to increase interest from high quality potential new members, that is good. With pooled resources you can increase PR for that event, to drive interest for chapter recruitment. In addition, presenting all of the options for men to join might open the door for a man who does not like the first chapter he visits, to consider a second.
Q: How structured is too structured?
Having an IFC recruitment period to organize the start of recruitment can be beneficial In preventing confusion for potential new members Chapters should be allowed to function in the manner they feel will attract the types of men they are looking for. Don’t mandate who can or cannot receive a bid based on their attendance to events or other arbitrary criteria. As far as the NIC is concerned, there are two rules to enforce:

  •  Enforcement of a minimum GPA for membership – NIC Standards call for a minimum GPA of a 2.5 GPA(high school GPA if college GPA is not established) in order to be eligible for membership. This requirement is critical in helping aid in the academic success of both men and Member Fraternities.
  • Prohibition of alcohol and drug use during recruitment activities – There is no place for drugs and alcohol in the recruitment and new member education process. Recruiting with alcohol creates mismatched expectations and can lead to later behavioral challenges within a chapter and community. Removing alcohol from recruitment allows chapters to recruit men who are looking for a fraternity experience that is more than a social experience.

Recruitment is a responsibility of both the IFC and chapters on campus. There is no “one size fits all answer”, so don’t feel like you need to solve it in your first semester, or even that you’ve failed if it isn’t perfected by the time your term ends. Bringing in new members to your community is vital to the success of the next generation of greeks and members believe in your abilities enough to entrust you with it. Be confident. If something isn’t working say so. If you ever feel like you’re struggling or like you struck gold with your solution to a problem, I encourage you to reach out. The Coordinators of IFC Services, are here to provide the help you need. We are always learning and by sharing what you’ve figured out, you could give us a resource to utilize to help another campus with the same problem.

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