How Can Your Son Benefit From Fraternity Membership?
For your son, making the transition from high school or a community college to a four-year college or university may seem like an imposing challenge. One or more of the following questions may be on his mind:
- Will I fit in and make new friends?
- Will I be able to succeed academically?
- Will I be able to get involved in campus organizations and better my leadership skills?
- Will I find other people interested in the same things that I am?
- How can I prepare for my career?
- Will I feel like a part of the campus community or just another number?
Fraternities exist as a proven support network for your son as he embarks on this new period in his life. Over 400,000 students across the country are currently fraternity members.
The fraternity can help personalize your son's college experience by offering a scholastic support system; hands-on experience in leading committees, managing budgets, and interacting with faculty and administrators; exposure to potential careers through educational programs and discussions with alumni; the chance to give back the community through service projects; and close friends who will cheer him on when he is successful and support him when times are tough. With all these opportunities available to them, it is no wonder that fraternity members tend to graduate from college at a higher rate than those men not involved in fraternities.
As a parent, you are undoubtedly concerned about your son's college experience and the choices he will make.
The Power of 3%
Greek men and women represent only 3% of the overall population of America, but that 3% is a very powerful and influential group of individuals:
- 48% of all US presidents have been Greek. Of the 16 U.S. Presidents who had the opportunity to join a fraternity, 13 took that opportunity. President George W. Bush is a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon.
- 42% of US Senators are Greek.
- 30% of US Congress members are Greek.
- 40% of all US Supreme Court Justices have been Greek.
- 30% of the top executives of Fortune 500 companies are Greek.
- 10% of all listed in Who's Who are Greek.
How Are Fraternities Able to Produce So Many of Our Nation's Leaders?
To answer this question, we should look at what fraternities do.
A college fraternity provides a young man with the opportunity to learn how to work together with people, whether it is for higher grades, the best homecoming float, a community service project, or merely to keep the house clean. A fraternity provides a unique combination - it's a family, it's a business, it's a home away from home and it's an organization in which students can develop confidence as they acquire competence.
Whether a student chooses to head up a community service project, serve on one of the dozens of chapter committees or assume the responsibilities of a major officer - the opportunities of leadership are unlimited, The important thing is that these principles of leadership are learned through experience. This experience teaches fraternity men that success is not automatic - that knowledge and performance are what count most.
A fraternity man learns how to develop sensitivity regarding the desires, goals, and aspirations of setting an example, how to delegate responsibility and how to accept failure as well as success and glory. He learns that a true leader must have the courage to stand up for his beliefs, while also being attentive, interested and responsive to those who may disagree.
Too many students come to college, sign up for classes, study from test to test, memorizing material and then feeding it back at test time. They may get good grades and graduate but it is surprising how many college graduates are around looking for jobs because they did not develop the ability to work with people or the basic qualities of leadership while they were in college. The qualities of leadership are easily acquired. They must be tested and developed by each person. A fraternity or sorority provides the opportunity for students to do just that. That is the power of 3%.
The Recruitment Process
Even though there is a formal recruitment week (formerly called "Rush"), most fraternities begin their recruitment programs before that week. Formal recruitment is a four day long event that enables college men to visit each fraternity. Potential Members (formerly called "Rushees") are not required to visit every fraternity, but potential members are advised to visit as many fraternities as possible, so they can find the fraternity that they like the most. If a fraternity wants a potential member to become associated with (also known as pledging) their fraternity, the potential member will be given a "bid." No one is required to accept a bid immediately when it is given. The bid can be held until the end of formal recruitment or until the time specified by the fraternity offering the bid (some can be held for one full semester, some one full year). Once a potential member has accepted a bid, he has agreed that he wants to begin the process of becoming a member.