Statistics show that university men who participate in fraternity life form long-lasting relationships with friends and with their respective university, serve in more leadership roles on campus and, on average, obtain higher grade point averages than the campus all-men's average.

In Tau Kappa Epsilon membership recruitment is the most important activity in every Chapter and Colony, as recruiting new members is the way that we perpetuate the ideals of the Fraternity. Without new members, there will be no TKE.

Tau Kappa Epsilon Sponsors the Greek Anti-Hazing Hotline: 1-888-NOT-HAZE

Grand Council Resolution on Legacy Membership

WHEREAS, Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity has reached a stage in its development where many of its chapters are frequently faced with the issue of candidates who are relatives of members of Tau Kappa Epsilon, more commonly known as "legacies," or candidates who are recommended by members of Tau Kappa Epsilon; and

WHEREAS, although Tau Kappa Epsilon recognizes that these legacies or recommended individuals are frequently most interested in membership, chapters should not assume that these candidates will accept an invitation to membership because of their relationship to the Fraternity, nor should the chapter assume that such individuals be entitled to membership only on the basis of said relationship; and

WHEREAS, when a recommended candidate or legacy candidate has been brought to the attention of the chapter, the chapter members have an obligation to introduce themselves to the candidate and to investigate the possibility of extending him a bid. These individuals should be accorded careful attention and consideration as prospective members; and

WHEREAS, letters of recommendation submitted to the chapter by alumni on behalf of a prospective member should be courteously acknowledged.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that letters of recommendation from any alumnus or from any person outside the Fraternity warrant a written response from the Grammateus or Recruitment Committee Chairman acknowledging receipt of such; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the chapter make every effort to meet and objectively evaluate the candidate whose name has been submitted for the purpose of membership; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a reply be sent to the person making the recommendation, explaining whether or not the candidate was initiated into Tau Kappa Epsilon.

Theory of Membership Recruitment

Membership recruitment is the most important activity in every TKE chapter. Recruitment is the way we perpetuate the ideals of the Fraternity and ensure the future success of TKE. Without new members, there will be no Tau Kappa Epsilon. Every member is responsible for making membership recruitment a success.

Membership is Muscle
It has been said that in fraternities, "brotherhood is the bones, but membership is the muscle." This analogy is accurate, because no matter how great the brotherhood, no chapter can successfully function if it doesn’t have the men to do the job. In order to have enough men to conduct a successful athletic program, a quality social program, and meet the financial and organizational needs of your chapter, you need to have a strong membership recruitment program.

If your chapter couldn’t get the social with the top sororities because you didn’t have enough men, you know how important recruitment is. If you didn’t win that important football game or didn’t produce the winning float in the Homecoming competition, perhaps it was because you didn’t have enough members with the specific talents and abilities necessary to do the job. Every TKE chapter is involved in countless activities, and it takes a team effort to achieve success. If your chapter "team" is going to have a winning season, then it’s important that you have a good recruiting effort this and every year.

The men who join today will shape and lead your chapter’s accomplishments in the future. The more who join, and the higher the quality of those men, the greater your chapter will become.

Quality vs. Quantity
It is impossible to go for high quality without a thought about quantity. And it is impossible to set a high recruitment goal without some regard for the quality of the men. Simply put, quality and quantity are not mutually exclusive. They go hand in hand.

Quality means sharp, purposeful men who will contribute to the Fraternity’s future through in a concern for the internal well-being of the chapter. As we increase in size, we increase the number of sharp, good quality Tekes. Soon the percentage of good quality men in your chapter will increase.

In his doctoral thesis, Dr. William V. Muse, Past Grand Prytanis, concluded, after studying more than 70 chapters of many national fraternities, that the single most important factor in determining whether a chapter was dominant on campus is its size. Without fail, the better chapters on a campus were the larger ones. The poorer chapters were the smaller ones.

The oldest excuse for weak recruitment is that the chapter has elected to take a few "quality" men instead of "just taking everybody." Interestingly enough, the chapters who use this line almost invariably have the problems of low Grade Point Average; below-average membership; low levels of participation in campus organizations; poor, mediocre or non-existent reputation among other Greeks, particularly sororities; poor intramural results, and a large amount of money owed to the chapter. In reality, true "quality" recruitment can be determined by how many potential members you turn down, not how many you take. Taking 25 out of 200 men will yield better quality than seven out seven.

If a chapter achieved its recruitment goal, the Recruitment Chairman will be glad to tell you, "We did great...We got 25 guys!" If the chapter fell short, "quality" becomes an excuse. "We only got four guys, but they’re quality guys." By no means does a small recruitment class mean that the men you recruited are not quality men. Saying that the quality of those men makes up for failing to meet your goal is nothing but an excuse. If you want your chapter to be great, you need a large number of quality men. You need to set challenging goals and meet them.

Have you heard this argument? "We don’t want to get too big like the other chapters on campus. Half of them don’t know each other. We don’t want to lose our strong brotherhood by getting too big." It’s an excuse. Close brotherhood is a function of how the membership is built and developed and the level of trust, respect and communication in the chapter; it is not a function of size. Contrary to the opinion of many small chapters, the brotherhood in large chapters tends to be good because there is a team atmosphere and members work together toward goals, while, on the average, there are more disputes, personality conflicts and placing of blame in chapters with fewer members. Lack of success makes people defensive and eats at their confidence. The frustration of not having enough resources and manpower to achieve the success we want, and the necessity of having many members perform tasks they either aren’t qualified for, don’t enjoy, or simply don’t have time for, can destroy the foundation of a Fraternity.

The fact is that there is no quality versus quantity argument. Strong chapters have both.

Why Membership Recruitment?
It would be easy to sit back and hope that just because you put recruitment activity dates on the calendar, quality men will come to you and want to join. But it doesn’t work that way. Membership recruitment requires hard work. It takes a great deal of time and effort on the part of all chapter members to find quality men and convince them that they should join TKE. Good prospects won’t just come to you - you have to go to them. It’s a big job.

"Why bother?" some may say. "We’ve got a close group of members right now; if we just pick up a few new guys we’ll be alright." The answer is simple: membership recruitment is the future of your chapter. If your chapter has a strong recruitment effort, it will grow stronger, while a weak recruitment will make it weaker. New members bring new talents, skills, interests and abilities which will only make the Fraternity experience better for all chapter members. The more quality men you have, the more resources you have that can be called upon when your chapter is facing a challenge and striving for excellence.

Unless we have a positive attitude toward everything we try, our chances of success are very poor. With membership recruitment, this is very important. This doesn’t mean that things will go well simply because you have a positive outlook. But it does mean that you must approach membership recruitment with confidence and the knowledge that your hard work will produce positive results. It means looking for opportunities, not looking to criticize. How many men would we get if we were to approach them with a less than positive attitude? Would you have joined TKE if the Frater who talked to you had not been convinced that TKE was the best thing for him?

But be careful - positive attitude alone won’t make you successful. There is one more very important ingredient that must be considered - work...the willingness to do the job. A good Fraternity works to be good. If we have our programs well planned and organized, the tasks will be much easier.

The work and attitude are the means to success. Knowledge of the work to be done will help to create the positive attitude. For this reason, the Recruitment Chairman must have a very thorough knowledge of recruitment techniques and be able to communicate these ideas to all of the members of the chapter. He must train the chapter and help determine a strategy and management model, but must also set the tone for how the chapter will approach membership recruitment.

Recruitment Chairman
The key to an effective membership recruitment program is for the Prytanis to appoint a Chairman who will accept the responsibility of organizing and executing it. Because the Prytanis must work well with the Recruitment Chairman, and understands the work and responsibility involved in holding that office, it is important that the position be filled by appointment. The Chairman need not be a great recruiter himself, but must be able to inspire others to action. He must be organized, he must be a hard worker, and he must have the right attitude. Other than the Prytanis, the Recruitment Chairman is the most important person in the chapter.

It is not the responsibility of the Recruitment Chairman to be the team’s Most Valuable Player, though. He is not responsible for recruiting all the new members for the chapter by himself. The Chairman is the coach who must bring out the best in all of his players so the team can win. Like any good coach, he must put the right players in the right positions, teach the fundamentals, and inspire the team. A great Recruitment Chairman makes all-star recruiters out of his Fraters.

Upon selection, the chapter must give the Recruitment Chairman complete responsibility and authority for conducting an effective recruitment program. It is the responsibility of the Chairman, with his committee, to bring the membership of the chapter equal to or larger than the largest Fraternity on campus. It is the responsibility of the chapter to fully support the Recruitment Committee to ensure success.

Recruitment Chairman Qualifications

  • Organized
  • Leadership qualities
  • Responsible and dependable
  • Respected by the chapter
  • Has time to do the job
  • A self-starter
  • Inspiring and motivating
  • Good at delegating


The Recruitment Committee

The first responsibility of the Recruitment Chairman is to appoint and organize a committee. This group should be small enough to be workable, yet large enough to get a big job done. The majority of the committee should be new initiates, for they are usually energetic and have close ties with new students.

The Recruitment Committee must serve in two main areas. The first area, and often the most neglected, is the organization and training of the chapter membership. You’ll want to do this by conducting a recruitment clinic to discuss and review the basics.

The second main area of responsibility for the Recruitment Committee deals with the actual program and procedures for recruiting potential members. Your committee will want to develop a recruitment strategy and plan a program of events and functions which will attract new members to your chapter.

The Recruitment Committee should compare the activities of other fraternities on your campus with your chapter’s own activities. What are the most successful chapters doing? What are the least successful doing? What worked for your chapter in the past? What didn’t? These are just a few of the questions your committee should consider as it maps out this year’s recruitment program.

Designing a Winning Program
Good chapters are innovative; they develop new programs and ideas each year to meet a changing campus environment. It is important that your committee work together to develop these new ideas and plans since a group will generate more ideas than any one individual. Fresh event themes, new activities and tactics will give your chapter an edge over other chapters on campus who are using outdated ideas and programs. Be creative!

All good programs are very specific and are planned well in advance. Remember, your program should include:

  • A goal - the number of new members your chapter is looking for.
  • A strategy - a specific action plan to achieve your chapter’s goal.
  • A schedule - the date, time, and location of recruitment activities.
  • A budget - what your chapter intends to spend on its program.

Carefully consider all the activities that will be included in the recruitment program. As you develop your plans, you must remember to include a great deal of personal attention. Men don’t join fraternities because of brochures, parties, or activities. Men join fraternities because of personal attention from chapter members. Men join because people are interested in them, in what they have to say, and what they can contribute as new chapter members. Good chapters know that every new man is important.

Remember, even if you don’t think a man will join, he will tell others his impression of your chapter. Give every prospective new member personal attention. It will pay off for your chapter in the long run.

Conducting a Retreat
To plan an effective strategy, your chapter must conduct a retreat. This is the opportunity to set a goal and design a strategy well in advance of the recruitment period. To ensure a successful recruitment program for your chapter, you’ll need all chapter members at the retreat for their input in developing plans and making assignments.

The intent of a retreat is to take time away from your normal environment and go someplace where you will be able to focus on the task at hand, in this case planning your recruitment strategy. The most effective retreats are held away from campus and daily distractions in a setting like a lodge or conference center. Generally, you will want to take a full day for your retreat. If the facilities are available, you may want to conduct a two-day retreat and spend time overnight at your retreat site. However you choose to conduct your retreat, it is important to give the chapter members at least a month’s notice of the date, time and place of your retreat so they can clear their calendars and complete any work necessary. It is important that your membership is focused for this retreat.

For this retreat, you will need large pads of paper, markers, and tape or tacks so that everyone in the chapter can visualize the strategy as you work on it.

Setting a Goal
All good recruitment programs include a goal - the specific number of new members that the chapter is looking for and a specific deadline for their recruitment. This should be the first task addressed at your retreat.

Before setting a goal for your chapter, you should consider a number of things. First, you need to ask, "How many new members do we need?" Perhaps your chapter has a number of seniors graduating this year who must be replaced. Or, the chapter may need more men to fill a new house. To be a campus leader, your chapter will need plenty of members with a wide variety of talents, skills and interests. As you set your goal, think carefully about how it will affect your chapter’s size in relation to the other fraternities on your campus.

Finally, set a goal which is both challenging and realistic. How many men did your chapter sign last year? How many men did the largest Fraternity on your campus recruit? Set your sights high, but remain realistic. Make sure that your goal can be achieved with hard work on the part of all chapter members. Most importantly, be specific with your goal. Pick a number. That is the only true way to gauge how successful you were in achieving your goal.

Choosing a Strategy
A recruitment strategy is a specific plan of action designed to achieve your goal. Your strategy will serve as your battle plan and will direct all chapter efforts. It must address all areas of the recruitment process, and cover all the details. If you know what you want to happen and how you want it to happen, you can ensure that the Fraters of the chapter will work together to make it happen.

Creativity is important in any recruitment strategy. New ideas and activities will give your chapter an advantage over others on the campus. The best strategy will include a variety of activities to give each prospective member a good idea of what "Fraternity" is all about. In addition to regular recruitment events, integrate regular chapter activities in the program. Your events should allow prospective members to meet Fraters, develop friendships, learn about the Fraternity, and should include a great deal of personal attention for each man.

A good recruitment strategy should:

  • Identify prospective new members.
  • Include plans to contact prospects.
  • Include various activities designed to show each prospective member what your chapter is all about.
  • Ask new men to join.

In any recruitment environment, good follow-up can make the difference between the success and failure of a recruitment program. Be sure to include strategies for personal follow-up in your plan. This may include assigning prospective members to existing members or creating follow-up teams.

Good recruitment literature and publications should be an important part of your chapter’s strategy. Groups on your campus may already be printing brochures, pamphlets, and other handouts. Carefully consider how your chapter’s publications compare to those of other fraternities. Any publication produced by your chapter should look professional and should outline all aspects of your chapter’s operations (scholarship, character, leadership, teamwork, service, brotherhood, etc.). PowerPoint Slide and video presentations can also be important recruitment tools. Be sure that your chapter’s strategy includes plans for all these public relations materials.

If your chapter is on a campus with very few recruitment restrictions, your strategy will be different from that of a chapter on a campus with a highly formal system. In either situation, the basic ideas and strategies will still work. What is important is to determine what will work for your chapter in your situation to achieve your goal. Take the ideas below and adapt them to your particular campus situation.


Strategies for Recruitment

While it is certainly a good attitude to have, "Every Man Get a Man" is not a sufficient recruitment strategy. It certainly sounds great when the Recruitment Chairman uses it at the meeting. But in reality, it rarely works out that way. What happens is that no one feels personally responsible for membership recruitment, because it’s easy to think, "No one will miss my little part." A better approach is to have a plan that allows everyone to get involved using their particular strengths. Some people are good at meeting people, others enjoy developing publicity manuals, and still others excel at organizing things behind the scenes. By using all members effectively, the chapter can go from being on the defensive to being on the offensive. 

There are three major recruitment strategies that have proven successful for TKE chapters. Choose the one that will work best for your chapter.

A popular strategy is to divide the chapter into three or more teams. Establishing teams can create friendly competition within the chapter, and can also help all members of the chapter understand their responsibilities within the recruitment strategy.

The Recruitment Chairman should determine the team lineups to ensure a balance of talent among the teams. Announce the teams at the beginning of the retreat, and allow them time to meet together and get comfortable as a team. Also, have the teams give themselves names. This will help give them a sense of identity and will be a fun way of recognizing them.

In a team structure, you have many options. You can assign the responsibilities for each event to a team so that the work is equally distributed. You may choose to keep event responsibilities with the Recruitment Chairman and his committee, and assign each team to a block of residence halls to ensure that the entire campus is covered. However you decide to use the teams, they are an effective way to evenly divide the workload and get everyone involved.

Dual Recruitment Chairman
Some larger chapters choose to have two Chairmen because of the amount of work required. For this to work well, it is imperative that the chapter conduct the retreat and clearly define the separate roles. Two people doing the same job are not very effective and can be confusing for all involved, but splitting the Chairman’s job between two Fraters can allow each man to specialize on a specific area. For example, you could have one Chairman responsible for publicity and marketing, while the other is in charge of events.

In this strategy, the Prytanis takes on more responsibility because he must make sure that the activities of both Recruitment Chairmen are coordinated. This strategy still employs a committee, and both Chairmen utilize the committee for assistance.

Committee Delegation
In this strategy, the Chairman delegates certain functions to the various members of his committee. Each of these committee members may choose to form sub-committees to help them with their responsibilities. The sub-committees may be as follows:

  • Clerical - Responsible for contacting prospective members, keeping records, filling out invitation lists, and keeping the Offices of the Grand Chapter informed.
  • Transportation - Responsible for seeing that Fraters are assigned to prospective members to bring them to the events and take them home.
  • Food and Refreshments - Responsible for making arrangements for food and refreshments.
  • Program/Event Chairmen - Responsible for outlining the framework of each function and seeing hat the separate phases of the event go as scheduled.


Recruitment Events

Now that you’ve identified prospective new members, contacted them, and invited them to your chapter’s functions, you will need to have a comprehensive program of activities to demonstrate the benefits of Fraternity membership and to give each prospective new member an opportunity to meet chapter members.

Everyone in your chapter should understand that these events are designed for recruiting new members - nothing else. This doesn’t mean walking around with a serious demeanor, but there will be plenty of opportunities for socializing with Fraters, watching television, and hanging out at other times during the year. If you expect to conduct a successful recruitment program, everyone should enjoy the events, but all Fraters must concentrate on the job at hand.

The calendar of events should balance regular chapter activities with specific events. Recruitment events should always include name tags, a sign-in book, literature, and posted information concerning future activities.

Get a good mix of events. Schedule a chapter activity, like a football or softball game, followed by a more formal function where prospective new members wear name tags, sign in, etc. This will give each prospect an opportunity to not only "talk" Fraternity but to "do" Fraternity. Also, don’t forget to allow time for chapter members and prospective members to relax, study, and "recharge."

For an event to go well, you must address every detail. The environment should be controlled so that you can facilitate success. This will mean intensive planning before each event and evaluation after. There are many factors to address in a recruitment event, and to ensure that they all go your way, you must address them in your event plan. Creating a flow chart is a good way for Fraters to visualize what will be happening and when it needs to be done. Remember, we must act as a team for recruitment to go well, and all the players must know the game plan.

One of the most important details in preparing for an event is the floor plan. You must know how many entrances and exits there are and make sure they are manned with capable greeters who can guide people into the general area, and you must make sure that the first impression a prospective member gets when he comes through that door is a positive one. You may want to have certain people positioned at certain points in the room, and you may want to have designated floor generals or event coordinators to ensure that everything is going smoothly. Before the event, think about what is going to happen and plan for it. Leave nothing to chance.

Paying attention to the five senses also makes an impact on the success of your event. To have an overall good experience, you must appeal to every sense. This means making sure that the event is well lit and the room or house is clean, that you have appropriate music playing, that the place smells good, that the temperature is comfortable, and that the food tastes good. All recruitment events should include food of some sort.

When planning any recruitment activity, begin with the end in mind. You want both prospects and members to have fun at the event. Everybody commits time and energy to something that they have fun doing. Understand also how the prospective members should feel when they leave the event. They should leave feeling 1) good about themselves, and 2) good about TKE. If these ends are met, you can be assured that people will come back.

Recruitment Event Ideas

  • Regular Chapter Activities - Nothing sells the Fraternity better than the Fraternity itself. Show prospective members from the very beginning what it’s like to be a part of TKE. Often, intramurals, community service and chapter meetings make good events. Including prospective new members in intramurals lets them feel what it’s like to be part of the TKE team. Inviting them to join you for community service allows them to feel good by helping others and seeing a side of TKE that most people miss. Allowing them to watch a chapter meeting lets them understand the business side of the Fraternity in action. All these chapter functions let people see that there’s more to being in the Fraternity than meets the eye.
  • Alumni Night - Show the prospective members that TKE is indeed the Fraternity for Life. Invite alumni from all generations back to a recruitment event. Allow the prospective members to talk with the alumni, and have a few of them speak to the group about their TKE experience and how TKE has made a positive impact on their lives. Be sure to have your Chapter Advisor and members from your Board of Advisors in attendance.
  • Guest Speakers - Invite prospective members for a formal dinner, and have a guest serve as a keynote speaker after the dinner. A member of the faculty or administration, sports coach, outstanding alumnus, or local politician would make an appropriate speaker. Make sure the topic is one that will interest all guests, and have the speaker mingle with everyone afterward.
  • Open House - Sponsor an open house for all prospects to drop by and meet chapter members. Set up different stations around the chapter house or meeting room. Each station should be manned by several chapter members who are prepared to discuss a certain aspect of chapter operations (leadership, scholarship, service, social, athletics, etc.). Move the prospective new members through in an orderly fashion. Allow about 15 to 20 minutes at each station.
  • Meals - There’s nothing college students appreciate more than free food. Use this as a hook to bring prospective members to an event where they can meet the Fraters. Cookouts and pizza are always successful, but creative meals can make for interesting themes and entertainment. Try Buffalo wings, tacos, or any other food you can cook or buy in mass quantities. When doing any food event, make sure the Fraters understand that the focus of the event is to make friends and talk with prospective members - not to get a free meal and leave.
  • Sporting Events - Watching live sporting events or participating in sports can make good recruitment events. Go as a chapter to a watch your college team, and bring prospective members along to sit with you. You can also buy a block of tickets to a professional or minor league baseball, basketball or hockey game and invite prospective members. Inviting prospective new members to play softball, touch football, pickup basketball, indoor soccer, or other games are fun ways to meet new prospects. Again, the focus of the event is to make friends and talk with prospective members - not to be ultra-competitive with other Fraters.
  • Frozen Turkey Bowling - Get a slip and slide and grease it down with Crisco. Find 10 empty two-liter soda bottles and fill them partially with water. Set up the soda bottles as bowling pins and have a bowling tournament using the frozen turkey as the ball (have whole frozen chickens for those who cannot quite swing the turkey).
  • Caddyshack - Get out those old argyles and knickers, put on your golf shoes, find that old alligator shirt, grab the golf bag, pull out your putter and put on some sunblock ... then, hit the course, or go to a miniature golf course.
  • Cookouts - This is a simple function to set up. It can be held either at the house or at another location. Serve burgers, hot dogs, chicken, ribs, etc. You can precede this with a sports activity or another event if you wish. Get the prospects involved by getting them behind a grill.
  • Chili Night - Have a Wild West Party and serve chili, salad and bread. Make a special pot of extra hot chili for those who dare.
  • Pizza Night - Order pizzas from a local business. Have a pizza eating contest. This can be held by itself or along with another function, such as going to the movies.
  • Guest Speakers - The possibilities are limitless here. Invite an outing alumnus, a member of the faculty or administration, sports coach, politician, etc. to speak after dinner or during an evening reception. Try to find an upbeat topic. Coffee, soft drinks, and light snacks can be served.
  • Build Your Own Sundaes - Buy plenty of ice cream and let prospects choose their own toppings such as nuts, fudge, butterscotch, caramel, strawberries, etc.
  • Sunday, Monday, and Thursday Night Football - A favorite for the fall. All you need is a large television, snacks and soft drinks.
  • Go as a Group to School Athletic Events - Invite prospects over for dinner, and then go as a group to a school athletic event. Have a section blocked off for the group if possible and show your school spirit. For away games you can reserve a bus and take your prospects to an away basketball or football game.

Recruiting Between Events
While a great deal of membership recruitment goes on during events, potential members are usually sold on the Fraternity by the personal contact that occurs between events. That is the time when it doesn't even feel like membership recruitment and when friendships are made. Although this type of contact must be casual and relaxed, you cannot simply leave it to chance and hope that it will happen. You must have a plan of attack for following-up between events incorporated into your recruitment strategy.

The best approach between events is to make it personal. Take the list of prospective members from your file, and assign one or more Fraters to everyone on your list. Make those Fraters personally responsible for following-up with prospective members, making sure that they are escorted to events, visiting them, taking them to lunch, and ensuring the meet as many members of the chapter as possible.

The Recruitment Chairman should have a tracking system to oversee the contact and follow-up of prospective members. He may want to create a chart and post it in a visible place so that all chapter members may see who is being followed-up with and what work is being done. It is also a good idea to have Fraters report on their contact with prospective members so that the Recruitment Committee can stay informed of the progress being made with each prospective member.

Whatever your approach, it is important that you have organized, effective follow-up. It can make the difference between success and failure.


Conducting a Recruitment Clinic

Every member of your chapter should feel comfortable interacting with prospective members and discussing the Fraternity. To teach new members the essential skills of recruitment and to sharpen those skills of older members, the Recruitment Committee should conduct a clinic before every formal recruitment period. A good recruitment clinic should:

  • Review and explain the chapter's recruitment program, including goals and strategies.
  • Explain the recruitment system and rules on your campus.
  • Help all chapter members to become more proficient in the use of recruitment techniques.
  • Motivate and inspire the chapter to execute the program effectively with good results.

The atmosphere at the recruitment clinic should be relaxed so there can be discussion and a free exchange of ideas, but is important to remain focused on the task at hand.

Review the Recruitment Program
The recruitment clinic is not necessarily the place to determine goals and strategies - that should be done at a separate recruitment retreat. The clinic is the place to ensure that the chapter members know and understand the goals and the strategies that you will use. This review should be done at the very beginning of the clinic to present a "big picture" view of the recruitment program so members will understand how all the details you will discuss later in the clinic fit into the plan.

The beginning of the clinic is also the best time to review the campus and IFC rules and policies. Emphasize to the chapter the importance of understanding and following these rules.

Skill Development
The major focus of the clinic should be to develop recruitment skills in every Frater and develop his confidence in his ability to use them effectively. The best way to teach and develop these skills is through active discussion and experiential learning. A lecture on recruitment techniques is likely to be forgotten, but if members are involved in activities in which they can practice techniques and develop ideas and tactics, they will remember them and be excited about recruiting.

For each of the following skills, you may want to distribute copies of the skill description to all the Fraters and read them aloud. Encourage members to ask questions, and discuss some of the concepts involved in that particular skill. Then do the activities described at the end of each section and give everyone a chance to try these skills and learn from each other. After each activity, conduct a short debrief to make sure that everyone has a solid understanding of the ideas and feels comfortable with the skill.

Introduction and the Art of Conversation
To get to know someone, there's got to be an introduction. All of your Fraters were once strangers until you were introduced; every new person you meet presents a challenge and an opportunity. You may not hit it off with everyone, but there is the chance that you can make a friend who could become a Frater.

You can probably think back to a time when you had the opportunity to introduce yourself to someone, but you were reluctant and hesitant, and the moment was lost. Sometimes our fears are stronger than our desire to make contact. Remember, though, when introducing yourself doesn't work out as planned, the worst you can fear is temporarily injured pride or a minor dent in your self-esteem. The most realistic attitude for you to have toward future introductions is that it will be interesting to see what happens.
Here are a few steps that will help to make for a smooth introduction and facilitate conversation in any situation. They are simple, but not simplistic - we often just forget to use them.

  1. Say Hello and introduce yourself. When you greet someone, they will almost always give you the courtesy of returning the greeting. If you tell him your name, he'll tell you his, and now you've got an introduction.
  2. Smile and shake his hand. Your body language is a key to making someone feel comfortable and to connecting with him.
  3. Get his name. If he's told you his name, repeat it. Say something like, "It's nice to meet you, Ethan." If he hasn't told you his name, ask for it. "What your name?" usually works. Then, when he tells you, repeat it. Repeating his name serves two purposes: One, people like to hear their own name, and two, repeating it will help you remember it.
  4. Ask him a question. Once you've exchanged names and handshakes, you want to actually start a conversation. The best way to do this is to ask a question. The best questions to ask are open-ended ones, which cannot be answered with a simple yes or no.
  5. Listen. It seems obvious, but sometimes our tendency is to ask another question or start talking ourselves. Listen carefully to what he's saying and learn about him as a person. When you shut up and listen, you can begin to understand someone else. There's a reason we have two ears and only one mouth.
  6. Look him in the eye. Making eye contact is one of the best ways to show someone you're interested in what he's got to say. Don't stare him down, but keep enough eye contact to demonstrate genuine interest. Looking someone in the eye is also a good way to help you read body language and non-verbal signals that can help you in conversation.
  7. Get him to talk about himself. Find out what he's interested in, and ask him about it. Avoid stock questions for anything other than introductory purposes.
  8. Reflect. This is where the listening comes in handy. Reflecting is the skill of checking out what you hear and repeating it back to the person as you interpret it to ensure that your meaning matches his meaning. When you can do this, you let the person know that you are paying attention to him, you are listening and you understand.
  9. Ask "Why?" Asking someone why they feel or think a certain way about something will get them thinking and will let them know you are interested in finding out more about him and making a friend, not just gathering information.
  10. Avoid conversation distractions. This means simply being courteous. If you're having a conversation with someone, don't be rude - do not smoke, chew gum, or wear sunglasses. Don't watch the television behind him, and don't try to involve yourself in other conversations around you. Focus on the conversation and pay attention to this potential Teke.
  11. Open the door for future contact. If you're talking with someone you want to talk to again, ensure you have the opportunity to do so before you finish the conversation. Ask him where he lives, and get his Email and cell phone number. Once you're sure you've got his information, invite him to the next event. Give him a specific date, time and place. Offer to pick him up.
  12. Give a friendly good-bye. When you're ready to end the conversation, or if you want to introduce him to a new Frater, be sure that you are friendly when you close the conversation. Tell him you are glad you met him and got to know him, and that you look forward to seeing him again. Give him the kind of good-bye that lets him know you want to talk to him again.
  13. Practice. Meeting people and carrying on engaging conversations is a skill, like any other. As such, the more you practice it, the better you will get and the more comfortable you will feel. The beginning of the school year is an especially good time to practice meeting people.

There is a risk involved in meeting and starting a conversation with a stranger, but the potential benefits far outweigh the potential drawbacks. Put your fears aside, put the risk in perspective, and remember that your conversation with a prospective member is an investment in TKE.

Role play a recruitment event. First, have one Frater act as himself, and another act as a prospective member that doesn't know anything about TKE and doesn't know the person he is about to meet. Let the two meet and talk. After a few minutes, have the chapter give observations and feedback. Point out the positive things the Frater did and the things he could have done better.

Once you've finished this exercise, split the chapter into members and potential members, and have everyone practice. Give everyone the opportunity to play both roles, and let Fraters exchange feedback and observations on how their partner performed.

After you've met someone, the key to making him a friend and Frater is following-up with him. Because a formalized recruitment setting can be unnatural, it's hard for a prospective member to tell if you are really interested in him as a friend or if you are just being nice. If you follow-up effectively, he will know that your interest in him as a friend and potential member is genuine. Here are some elements of effective follow-up:

  • Thank him - Let him know that you appreciated his attendance at your event and that you hope he had a good time. Courtesy always makes a good impression. You can do this with a written thank you note, with a phone call, or in person.
  • Call - This is an easy way to follow-up. Say hello, remind him who you are ("This is Bryston from TKE") and converse. Ask him how he's doing, if he enjoyed your most recent event, and if he'd like to do something with you. Invite him to play basketball, eat lunch, or lift weights with you. Tell him about your next event and invite him to come. Tell him you'll pick him up, and set a time.
  • Visit - Stop by his room to say hello. Bring another Frater whom he has not met and introduce the two of them. This is a chance for you to spend time with him in a relaxed atmosphere, on his turf, where he's bound to be more comfortable. Visiting is also a good opportunity to get to know more about him by seeing where he lives. You'll also have the chance to meet his friends, who might also make good prospective members. Making a connection at his place is a good step toward making a friend.
  • Invite him back - Invite him to future events. You can do this with a visit, a phone call, an Email, or a written invitation, but however you do it, make sure that he knows he is welcome at your next event. Never assume that because you've put the event on a calendar, that he will think he is invited and come on his own.
  • Pick him up - The best way to make sure that he comes to your event is for you to physically bring him there. Set this up in advance by arranging to pick him up, and be on time. You don't need to give him a ride there; you can walk with him to the event if it is nearby. Bringing a prospective member to an event gives you a chance to talk to him on your way over and lets him feel that he's got a friend at the event before he even walks in. When you get there, you can introduce him to other Fraters instead of him having to introduce himself.

Have two Fraters role play a follow-up telephone conversation. Make sure that the Frater thanks the prospective new member for coming to yesterday's event, invites him to the next event, and even offers to pick him up. Have the chapter offer observations and feedback.

The Membership Quality Board

In order to bring quality members into the chapter, you must clarify your definition of quality and have a means to evaluate quality in prospective members. That’s where the Membership Quality Board, or MQB, comes in.

The MQB consists of the Prytanis, Hegemon, Recruitment Chairman, Chapter Advisor, a representative from the Board of Advisors and two at-large undergraduate members. The MQB develops and recommends recruitment standards for approval by the chapter. The standards must be objective and measurable, and should be a listing of the qualities the chapter is looking for in new men.

First, the MQB must meet to generate recruitment standards for recommendation to the chapter. Once the recommendations have been compiled, they should be brought to the chapter for discussion and voted on for approval. Setting high standards will help you recruit highly qualified, motivated new men, and help you assure that the chapter will continue to prosper.

What Type of Men Should We Look For?
In selecting new members, look for men with potential. Find those men who will contribute something to your chapter. Studies of Student Body Presidents over a period of five years at six universities clearly pointed out that "generally men who became Student Body Presidents did not have highly successful high school backgrounds. Instead, they were highly ambitious men who were frustrated at the high school level." Don’t ignore this type of "diamond in the rough."

You will have to make decisions on who will be asked to join. Friendship and potential are important factors. However, you need to be objective with your recommendations. Here are some areas to consider:

  • Does he have a sound reason for coming to college? The man we want desires a college degree because it will do something for him. Men who are just interested in a "good time" usually turn out to be apathetic chapter members.
  • Was he involved in extracurricular activities in high school? If he has interests in sports or clubs, he will be interested in many phases of the Fraternity.
  • Can he afford it? Be honest on this one. While we certainly don’t want to exclude people for financial reasons, it makes no sense to recruit a man who can’t afford to join or who won’t meet his financial obligations.

The Interview Process
Early in the recruitment period, the interview process should be explained to potential members.

The interview is an opportunity for members of the MQB to ask the prospective member a series of informal questions and provide him information about the benefits and obligations of membership. The discussion might focus on his high school involvement, academic record, and past involvement in outside activities. The MQB may also want to discuss what he can bring to the Fraternity and what he thinks he can gain from it. During the questioning, ask the prospective member, "If you were to receive a bid to join Tau Kappa Epsilon, would you accept it?" This is not an offer to join, but a way to determine his interest early.

If the entire MQB interviews the new man, he will probably feel nervous. To make him more comfortable, create a number of interview boards by splitting the members of the MQB into sub-boards, with one or two MQB members heading each one. Then fill out each interview board with a few Fraters who know the prospective member. With preparation, a board of three or four Fraters can conduct an effective interview. Provide a relaxed atmosphere so you can get to know what the prospective member is really like. Choose a comfortable location. This is an informative conversation, not an inquisition.

The MQB should use a written Evaluation Form when meeting with each person. After the meeting, the MQB should measure the prospective member against the recruitment standards, and, based on their evaluation, make a recommendation to the chapter whether or not to bid him. The MQB does not determine who receives a bid - that is determined by a chapter vote. The MQB simply makes a recommendation based on the recruitment standards and their interview. However, if the chapter chooses, it may authorize the MQB to extend the bid.

The MQB is the key quality control mechanism of the chapter. Their role in interviewing potential members and ensuring that they meet the chapter’s standards is paramount to long-term stability.

Sample MQB Interview Questions

  • What do you expect to get out of the Fraternity experience?
  • What activities are you involved in?
  • What is your area of academic emphasis?
  • What talents can you offer to the Fraternity?
  • What accomplishments are you most proud of and why?
  • How do you balance your social, academic and athletic commitments?
  • What do you expect and hope for out of your college experience?
  • What are you looking for in a Fraternity?
  • Do you understand the responsibilities and obligations of membership in TKE?
  • How do your parents feel about you joining a Fraternity?

Sample Recruitment Standards
To qualify for membership in our chapter, a prospective member must meet or exceed the following:

  • Grade Point Average of 2.3 for incoming freshmen; 2.25 for those with college grades.
  • The ability to meet all financial obligations of the Chapter.
  • Involvement in other organizations (community, church, high school, or college).
  • Talents or skills that will benefit the Fraternity.
  • Agrees to support and abide by all national, state, and local laws, the Constitution, Bylaws, and policies of the International Fraternity and Chapter, as well as those of the University.

Identifying Prospective New Members

How do you find prospective new members on your campus? First, your chapter should keep a running file containing the names, addresses, cell phone, and Email address of all prospects that you identify. Update and expand this list as the recruitment program continues. Several methods can be used to identify prospects for this file:

  • Fraternity Forum - This is an activity conducted on many campuses by the IFC. If your system is having a Fraternity Forum, ensure that you are prepared. Set up a table that displays the many facets of membership in TKE, make sure that the table is always well-manned, train members in the skills of conversation that they will need when working at the table, and be sure to get contact information for prospective members.
  • Recommendations - Ask professors, coaches, deans, and sorority women for names of students that they think would make good Fraternity members. When you get these names, you also get an easy introduction - simply tell the prospective member that he was recommended by the Professor or Coach as a potential Fraternity member.
  • Residence Hall Lists - The name, telephone number, and year in school of students are usually contained on these lists, and may be available through the residential life office.
  • Incoming Student List - This list of new students can be very helpful and may be available from the admissions office.
  • Student Directories - An excellent resource for names, hometowns and other information.
  • Alumni - Fraternity alumni can often identify new men on campus who may be interested in joining your chapter.
  • Information Table - During registration or the first few weeks of school, man a table at the student center. Take down names of prospects that stop by or indicate interest.
  • General Functions - Your chapter can sponsor a contest, party, or campus event. Have a sign-in book to get the names of all who attend
  • Classes - All of your Fraters attend classes with unaffiliated men who may join a Fraternity. Classes are easy places to start conversations and make friends with potential Tekes.
  • IFC List - On many campuses the IFC will provide all fraternities with a list of freshmen and other men who are interested in joining fraternities. Do not rely on this list to be your only list.
  • Friends - Have all chapter members sit down and come up with a list of friends or men they know who are possible recruits. Ask each Frater to submit at least three names.

Contacting Prospective New Members
Once you have identified a number of men who may be interested in joining a Fraternity, you need to contact each prospect personally. The face-to-face approach is always best and is much more effective than a telephone call, Email, or letter. This is probably the most important aspect of recruitment. Always try to make a good first impression with any potential member. Written invitations or a printed calendar of chapter activities will help to remind each prospect to attend your chapter’s activities.

In a restricted recruitment system, contact with prospective members prior to the formal period is limited. Carefully check the rules on your campus as you make your contact plans for inviting new men to functions, and review them with your Greek Advisor to clarify questions you may have.

Here are some ideas to help you as you contact prospective new members:

  • Group Visits - Send chapter members out to the residence halls on campus. Small groups of two or three men can present prospective new members with a calendar of events and invite them to Fraternity functions.
  • Man To Man - Each member in your chapter should be responsible for inviting one, two or three prospective new members to every recruitment function.
  • Telephone - Chapter members can telephone prospects at their residence hall or apartment inviting them to functions. This is particularly effective after a prospect has already attended one event.
  • Letters/Email - Publicity manuals, brochures, and letters of invitation can often be sent out. Be sure to follow-up with personal contact.
  • Publicity Blitz - Spread the message of your chapter’s activities across the campus with posters, table tents, brochures, and buttons...anything that will contact students and get them to Fraternity functions. This is very important and should be stressed in every "strategy."


Ask Him to Join

You've located the prospective new member, contacted him, interviewed him, and shown him what your Fraternity is all about. Hopefully, he now understands the benefits of Fraternity membership and is comfortable with chapter members. Now it's time for the most important step - asking him to join. All too often, chapters go through all the steps and then fail to ask the new man to join.

As your chapter plans your recruitment program, you will want to carefully consider the rules pertaining to membership recruitment on your campus. Often, chapters are not allowed to extend an invitation to join a Fraternity until after a certain date or certain requirements are met. Also, some campuses only allow bids to be presented in writing by an impartial source. Once you understand the rules for bidding in your particular situation, you'll want to decide the following:

  • Who will ask the new man to join?
  • When he will be asked to join?
  • How he will be asked to join?
  • Where he will be asked to join?
  • What will happen after he has been asked to join?

Remember, personal attention is what sells Fraternity membership. When you ask a man to join, it should be in a warm and personal atmosphere. Here are some ideas which you might incorporate into your chapter's recruitment strategy:

  • Recruitment Chairman - The Recruitment Chairman may invite the prospective new member to come to some private location to discuss the benefits of membership. After a candid discussion, he invites him to join.
  • Committee - This technique involves two or three chapter members who, preferably, know the prospective member well. They sit down together in a private location and discuss the Fraternity openly and honestly. They ask the new man to join.
  • Friend One-on-One - This technique is used as part of the buddy system where chapter members develop friendships with prospective new members. The man who is most comfortable and familiar with the prospective member asks him to join.
  • Prytanis - Sometimes it is effective to have the chapter president (because of his prestige and authority) invite prospects to join. This emphasizes the importance of the invitation.

Whenever you ask a man to join, you should always offer him a written bid. This formalized approach conveys the importance of his decision. Also attempt to give the bid in a private setting. The atmosphere should be controlled and free of time constraints.


Other Considerations

How long should your program last? This, of course, depends on your particular campus situation and what other Fraternities may or may not be doing. Perhaps you'll want to schedule activities before or after the traditional period on your campus. It is definitely to your advantage to conduct two or three intensive recruitment periods each year. Be sure that your timetable is neither too long nor too short. A program that lasts eight weeks is probably too long and will wear out even the die-hard members of your chapter. On the other hand, an effort that lasts only a week can hardly be effective. Strive for balance and a realistic schedule which will allow the chapter to achieve its recruitment goals.

Once you've decided on a particular recruitment strategy, you'll want to sit down and schedule all the events that will be included in your chapter's program. The Recruitment Committee should meet and go over the school calendar, discussing the various alternatives for the date and time of each event. Make sure that your schedule does not conflict with campus or community events and that appropriate time is allowed for chapter members to follow-up on a personal basis with each prospective member.

Once your committee completes its timetable, be sure to review all the events in the chapter meeting. Then, post a large copy of the calendar in a prominent place, and distribute copies to each Frater. It's important that each man understand all the events, their dates, times and locations. Have enough copies of the calendar printed so that chapter members can hand them out to all prospective new members. Finally, be sure to order supplies, refreshments, and materials for all your recruitment functions far in advance. Avoid last minute headaches and problems by planning ahead, ordering ahead, and having supplies on hand be fore recruitment even begins.

Developing A Budget
A budget is a spending plan. In order to use the limited financial resources of your chapter effectively, you'll need to come up with a recruitment budget. The Recruitment Committee should decide on a budget figure for supplies, flyers, and each event. The combined total of all these functions and any additional costs will make up your chapter's total recruitment budget.

If the budget is greater than the funds available to the chapter, the Recruitment Committee will need to decide which events will be eliminated or cut back, or decide if they will try to raise money or have events sponsored. As the committee considers spending reductions, it should set priorities to avoid cutting essential programs. It is usually better to have a number of inexpensive functions rather than one or two large, expensive parties or events.

Income from chapter members and chapter accounts should be figured conservatively. At the same time, expenses for each function should be calculated liberally so the committee will be able to keep the recruitment budget balanced and can avoid overspending on any one event.

Once the budget is finished, it should be approved by the Prytanis and Crysophylos to guarantee that it fits within the overall chapter budget, and then distributed to all chapter members. Event chairmen who are responsible for the planning and execution of each specific recruitment event should understand that they will only be allowed to spend the amount budgeted for their specific event. It's up to the Recruitment Chairman to control costs and monitor expenses.

There are a number of costs involved with a successful recruitment program, but not all of the funding must come from your chapter's operating budget. Since membership recruitment is a time when you generate a lot of publicity, you can use sponsorship from local businesses to help fund your events. Every time you create a flyer, poster or t-shirt, you have space that can be used for advertising. Talk to businesses in your community that rely heavily on student business, and offer them the opportunity to sponsor your recruitment program. You can offer them advertising space in a brochure, on a flyer or on a t-shirt in exchange for a financial or other contribution. For example, if you are hosting an event where you need food, you may be able to get a restaurant to provide food for you if you are willing to display a banner or promote their business in some way.

Cooperative arrangements with businesses are beneficial for all parties involved. You have the access to students and student business that they need, and they have money and products that you need. Working together, everyone can win. Remember when talking with businesses that you must be professional in your presentation and prove to them that sponsorship will benefit them.


The Do's and Don'ts of Recruitment


  • Approach membership recruitment as an opportunity to make new friends.
  • Use a firm handshake and look a prospective member in the eye when he is introduced. Don't release his hand until you know his name, and remember it. Eye contact is important.
  • Stop talking and listen. Let him tell you what interests him.
  • Be honest about finances and all other obligations of membership.
  • Create a friendly, relaxed atmosphere.
  • Be cheerful, honest and enthusiastic at all times.
  • Attitude is contagious. Make yours worth catching.
  • Give a prospective member written information before he leaves.
  • Involve alumni in your recruitment activities.
  • Sell the Greek system first, then sell your chapter.
  • Encourage all men to go Greek.
  • Make sure all the members are wearing letters or their badges. Dress neatly.
  • Make sure the prospective members meet other prospective members in whom you are interested.
  • Use first names as often as possible.
  • Use a positive approach. Say "I look forward to seeing you tomorrow," not "I hope I'll see you."
  • Keep your house clean.
  • Recognize prospective members on campus by their first names - they'll be impressed.
  • Make a prospective member feel at home, but avoid forced hospitality.
  • At formal recruitment functions, have name tags for both Fraters and prospective members. Keep them near eye level.
  • Find common ground for discussion.
  • Enlist the aid of prospective new members who will join to talk with others.
  • Discuss improvements and future plans for the house and chapter.


  • Don't criticize or make any sarcastic statements about your Fraters, your chapter or your alumni.
  • Don't badmouth any other Fraternity.
  • Do not talk only about yourself. Listen to the prospective member and talk about his interests.
  • Do not leave a prospective member by himself. There is nothing more awkward than being alone among strangers. If you must leave, introduce the prospective member to another Frater first.
  • Do not be rude, even to someone that you are not interested in.
  • Do not criticize anyone. You may be knocking the friend of a prospective member.
  • Do not act tired or bored, no matter how tired you are. This affects both Fraters and prospective members.
  • Maintain enthusiasm.
  • Do not congregate in groups with other Fraters if there are wandering prospective members.
  • Do not swear; foul language never helps and may do harm.
  • Do not tell inside jokes. An outsider will feel left out and insulted.
  • Do not give up if a prospective member wants to wait to join; good salesmanship may change his mind.
  • Do not apologize for the weak points of your chapter. Stress how they are being improved, and emphasize your strengths.
  • Do not lock rooms during open house. Prospective members may ask, "What are they hiding?" Make sure the whole house remains open.
  • Don't try to convince a prospective member that you've got what he wants unless you are sure you've got it.
  • Don't assume the prospective member knows everything about Greeks and fraternity life.
  • Don't lie about your chapter or its accomplishments.

Making Deferred Recruitment Work

A recent trend in the Greek world is moving toward deferred recruitment. That is, more and more colleges and universities are establishing regulations that determine that first-term students cannot be extended a bid or initiated until a designated time, which is a certain period after the beginning of school.

There are different variations of deferred recruitment. Some campuses allow men to be extended bids at any point during the fall, but do not allow candidates to be initiated until the second term, once they have met a minimum grade requirement. Some campuses do not allow bids to be given until the second term or, in some extreme cases, until the student's second year at school.

There are some significant arguments involved with deferred recruitment from both the pro and con side. As an International Fraternity, Tau Kappa Epsilon does not support deferred recruitment, but we do support the institutions that have made the decision to move to a deferred system. To best illustrate the problem with deferred recruitment, an analogy is most appropriate. Deferred recruitment is like moving to a new city and deciding you want to buy a new car. You have seen all the cars on the market, you have decided that you would like to buy one, and you are comfortable with your decision. You understand that buying a car is a major decision and commitment, and you are ready to make your purchase. Except the city tells you that you can't buy the car for six months. Deferred car buying, they tell you, and if any dealership tries to sell you that car without telling the city, it will be slapped with fines and penalties and placed on probation.

It sounds kind of ridiculous when you look at it that way, doesn't it? But the argument is not simply a freedom of association issue. The fact is that on most campuses where there is deferred recruitment, the Greeks have earned it. In many cases, a school has made the determination to go to a deferred system because of unreasonably low grade point averages for new member classes that consistently fell well below the all men's average, unreasonably high drop-out rates for new members of Fraternities, and an intolerably high rate of hazing incidents. The quite understandable argument is that if students cannot join Fraternities right away, they cannot be sucked into the seemingly glamorous Fraternity lifestyle that so often leads to the abuse of alcohol, they will have time to establish themselves academically, and they will have the time to get used to college life and gain the necessary perspective and experience to make wise decisions. In addition, it is presumed that students who have been in school for at least one term will be less likely to put up with the ridiculous and sometimes dangerous abuse of hazing.

So now you're asking yourself, "How can we possibly make deferred recruitment work?" The first step is to make a change. Unfortunately, the facts speak for themselves. If we ever want to get to a point where the college will trust us with first-semester freshmen again, we must prove that we are capable of providing benefits to them. We must raise the overall GPA of the chapter and, in particular, we must pay close attention to the academic progress of our new members. The new member GPA should be equal to or higher than the chapter GPA as well as the all-men's GPA, not below it. This means developing an academic program that puts an emphasis on scholarship, provides resources such as tutoring and scholarships for the chapter members, and raises the level of academic expectations. It means incorporating academic training into the candidate education program and teaching our new men how to excel academically, all the while providing a good role model for them to emulate.

We must not tolerate alcohol abuse. The behavior is simply inexcusable. Yes, college students drink. There is no argument with that fact. But when that drinking leads to physical illness and academic failure, it has gone too far. Unfortunately, alcohol abuse is rarely just an individual thing. People's inability to handle alcohol is often taken out on women in the form of rape and sexual assault, or on candidates in the form of hazing. We must grow up, Fraters. For one, the world no longer accepts this childishness. And two, the continuation of these types of behavior is not leading us to greater personal growth and development. It is leading us to destruction.

If we cannot change the meaning of Fraternity from an organization based on beer, women and hazing to an organization that aids college men in mental, moral and social development, we will soon become like the dinosaurs; extinct, with no place left for us on the Earth. That may sound unrealistic, but the facts remain. The number of Fraternity and Sorority chapters closed in the last five years is staggering. The challenge is before us, Fraters. We must rise up to it.

As we make these changes, we will become more prepared to recruit quality men to become members of Tau Kappa Epsilon. This brings us back to deferred recruitment. Recruitment is the process of making friends, and you can make friends every day and introduce them to the Fraternity. Deferred recruitment is actually deferred bidding or initiation. Nothing can stop you from meeting new people and making new friends.

With that in mind, take advantage of the extra time you have in the fall to convince even more people that joining a Fraternity is a worthwhile investment. Do this by demonstrating your sterling character, by actively participating in community service and telling people about it, by excelling in academics and showing potential members how you can help them academically, and by developing the kind of member education program that you are comfortable telling people about, one that will help men grow and learn by challenging them and pushing them to achieve to the best of their abilities.

When we address the real issues of what we are all about, we can begin to turn the tide and shift the momentum in our favor. But complaining about deferred recruitment will not change anything. We must simply do something about it.

Other Recruitment Skill Activities

Here are some other activities that will be helpful in getting Fraters to think about membership recruitment and some effective techniques and ideas.

Killer Questions
This activity gives Fraters a chance to practice answering some of the tough questions that prospective members ask. Take 3x5 cards and write one of the following questions on one side of each of the cards, and a number from 1-25 on the back. Distribute them randomly to the Fraters, and then ask the person with #1 to stand up, read the question, and answer it for the group. After he's answered, give feedback on his response and discuss other ways to answer the question. Continue with the rest of the questions.

  1. Are you really close to all the brothers in the chapter?
  2. How much does it cost to join your Fraternity?
  3. Why is your chapter so small/large?
  4. I heard that another Fraternity are real jerks. What do you think of them?
  5. What do you do for community service? Do you have to do it?
  6. My girlfriend is in a sorority. What do you think of them?
  7. I'm worried about my grades. What can your chapter do to help me in school?
  8. Why do you have to send all that money to National?
  9. What do I have to do to be initiated?
  10. My parents think Fraternities are just an excuse to party. What can I tell them to change their minds?
  11. My brother was a Teke at University. Does that mean I automatically get in here?
  12. How much does it cost to be a member?
  13. I don't drink. What are your parties like?
  14. My parents don't want me to join a Fraternity. What if I just didn't tell them?
  15. I'd like to join, but I don't think I can afford it. What can I do?
  16. I really like you guys, but I don't think I want to join. I can still hang out with you, right?
  17. My girlfriend doesn't want me joining a Fraternity. What should I do?
  18. I don't think I have enough time to join a Fraternity.
  19. What happens in your candidate education program?
  20. What do you do with your alumni?
  21. I have friends who want to join other Fraternities. Will I still be able to hang out with them?
  22. Isn't being in a Fraternity like paying for your friends?
  23. If this chapter hadn't been here, which Fraternity would you have joined?
  24. Has the chapter changed since you joined?
  25. Are you still close with your friends from before you joined a Fraternity?

Who Got You?
Ask all the chapter members to name the Frater who was most instrumental in getting him to join. Have them think back to the time when they joined what they thought and felt. Ask questions like:

  • How did you meet this Frater?
  • How did you get to know him?
  • How did he demonstrate his interest in you?
  • What got you to say yes?

Make a list of the Fraters who are named most often. If they are present, have them talk about what they did to get members to join. Ask questions like:

  • How did you meet these Fraters?
  • How did you know he would make a good Teke?
  • What did you do to make him a friend?
  • What did you do to influence his decision?

Selling the Product
In order to sell, you've got to know what your product is. You've got to know the benefits of joining and all the wonderful things about Tau Kappa Epsilon and you've got to be able to help a prospective member understand that this is a product he truly wants to own. As a chapter, compile a list of selling points of your chapter.

Be specific with the points you bring up - it's the details that are most convincing. Be honest with this exercise; don't try to sell something you can't truly offer. If you find at the end of this exercise that you don't have very much to offer, maybe you need to reconsider what you're doing as a chapter. Some topics to consider:

  • Chapter activities and achievements
  • Your members' interests and personalities
  • Leadership and management opportunities
  • Ways your chapter can fit the new member's needs and interest
  • Community service involvement
  • Academic support and success
  • Social offerings and opportunities
  • Intramural involvement opportunities
  • Alumni networking and support
  • Housing opportunities
  • Chapter heritage and tradition
  • Brotherhood and friendship

TKE Jeopardy!
This activity will review some essential Fraternity facts that people often ask about and your members should know. It's important that your members know the right answers and are all saying the same thing. This is an entertaining way to make sure that your chapter has got it together. Set this game up like the Jeopardy! television show. Have three players and one host. For the game board, you can use a large sheet of paper. Create a square grid of 36 boxes, six across by six down. In the top row, mark six categories and put point values of 1 to 5 in the boxes below each category heading. For categories, you may want to use TKE History, Chapter History, Chapter Operations, Chapter Facts, and The Candidate Period. Next, prepare answers for each category that all chapter members should know. As with the television show, the Fraters should answer in the form of a question. Some answers could include:

  • TKE History: When TKE was founded. Where TKE was founded. The number of chapters in TKE. Famous TKE alumni. Five chapters in the area.
  • Chapter History: When this chapter was founded. The number of alumni of the chapter. When the house was built? Awards the chapter has won. Notable chapter alumni.
  • Chapter Operations: The initiation fee. Chapter GPA requirement. Dues each term. House capacity. Most significant chapter tradition.
  • Chapter Facts: Number of members in the chapter. Chapter GPA last term. Candidate GPA last term. Number of different majors represented in the chapter. The name of the Chapter Advisor.
  • The Candidate Period: The candidate fee. The length of the candidate period. Requirements of candidates. Purpose of candidate education program.

Involve all members in this and make it a competition. Give prizes to the winners, and distribute a sheet with all the correct answers and questions.

The Ten Commandments of Membership Recruitment

  1. Think like a guest and you'll be a good host. Remember, a prospective member has probably just graduated high school and is most likely leaving home for the first time. Make him feel at home.
  2. A prospective member probably knows very little about Fraternities, because he doesn't know any more than he's read in the papers and been told by "somebody who knows." He doesn't know the terms we use and doesn't even know the Greek alphabet yet. Explain everything.
  3. Sell the Fraternity system first. A prospective member has to be sold on the idea of a Fraternity before you can sell him on your chapter.
  4. Spectacle is cheap, meaning that it's cheap in effect. Personal contact is paramount; spectacle can supplement it, but it cannot replace it.
  5. Keep in mind what you are selling. You're selling a group of friends who share the same values. That's what he's buying.
  6. Make friends. Most men join a Fraternity where they have the most friends and believe the other brothers to be the best group they can find. Be yourself and put your best foot forward and try to present yourself as a good example of your chapter. Be honest, straightforward, and friendly.
  7. You get what you recruit. The trouble with most recruitment techniques is they attract the more casual, insincere types, and worse, they frighten away or disgust the highly motivated men who will do something for the chapter and in return improve themselves.
  8. What's the competition? Is it the other Fraternities or the new residence hall on campus? In either case, do not knock the competition. You show and explain why your chapter is better than the competition.
  9. Keep good records. If you talk to a great guy, it is to your advantage to be sure he doesn't get lost in the shuffle. If you find a successful technique, give it to the Membership Recruitment Chairman. Don't trust your own memory, write it down. Use a small pocket notebook.
  10. Plan ahead, think, try. Be positive in your approach and don't pass the buck. Everybody has a job to do and they must all do it in order to be successful.