So I was thinking about Fraternity & Sorority Recruitment. We are in the throes of that chaos at the moment and I spend most of my days just trying to keep up without pulling my hair out. That is why I wanted to reflect on some thoughts one of my students brought up today that really scare me.
We were talking about recruitment. Arguably, this should be one of the most sacred and carefully scrutinized times of a person’s process. This is your chance to see if this individual has the professional, social, academic, and personal values and characteristics to be granted the gift of wearing your letters. It is a chance to see if they value the service you do, if they are passionate about the values you were founded upon, whether or not they can withstand the pressures.
Instead of this, we have turned it into something else. A fling of a courting process that ends in a marriage that may or may not be reasonable as we rush to the parties at the end of the week (I think that is the only reason the term rush is reasonable here) where after a whole week of trying to sell how awesome we are, we spend a weekend demonstrating what is often times the worst of us. Ask any advisor, chapter president, or risk management coordinator and they will have a whole list of horror stories associated with this weekend.
And we make up excuses. We had to go a whole week without alcohol. The women and men have been apart all week (heteronormativity much?). And my personal “favorite” That’s just the way it is. It is the guys first chance to prove how masculine they are.
Well, the student I met with today said something that made me realize as an advisor that I have begun to slip into that myself rather than fighting like I used to. We were talking and when the conversation shifted to bid day parties, he said that while he knew there were folks you had to appease, his chapter (a new one on campus) of 53 men were all recruited last spring without a drop of alcohol. We want quality men that can change and improve the quality of Greek Life here.
He is right. Now I am not saying that you cannot drink. I am asking why, after a whole week of trying to be awesome and gain awesome members, we feel the need to fall into the abyss and in a single weekend ruin any good we could or have done for the image of Fraternity & Sorority Life over the past year.