Remaining Fraternities Discuss Promotion Strategies for Greek Life

Lianna Brown ’22 , Staff Writer

The decreased number of fraternities on campus has caused the remaining organizations to change the way that they are marketing themselves to potential members. 

Over the course of the 2017-2018 academic year, two fraternities, Kappa Sigma and Phi Delta Theta left campus. This left just one non-multicultural and non-historically black fraternity, Delta Sigma Phi, on campus, along with multicultural fraternity Sigma Lambda Beta and Kappa Alpha Psi, a historically black fraternity and one of the Divine Nine and five sororities, to which Delta Sigma Theta was added this November, making the number of sororities on campus double the number of fraternities.

Ian Ridgway ’19, president of Delta Sigma Phi said, “it is our responsibility [as a fraternity] to put ourselves out there and make our name known to the student body” to recruit and garner attention from men who may not know much about Greek life. 

Ridgway said that in order to meet prospective new members, “We set up a table at activities fair as well as have multiple philanthropy events in which people can learn about our chapter.”

Esai Flores ’19, president of Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity, Incorporated, explains that they recruit mainly through informational sessions and programming events.  

“I am not too familiar with how the Delta Sigma Phi or Kappa Alpha Psi recruitment process tends to work,” he stated. “…but I assume is mainly similar with Delta Sigma Phi focusing more on Rush Week in the spring.”

“During our recruitment process,” said Ridgway, “we have an info session where officers from the chapter share information and answer any questions. As the week progresses we have an informal ‘meet the brothers’ with free food and games…. We shift towards more formal conversations.” Delta Sigma Phi added 15 new members last semester and they are expecting about the same number of recruits this coming recruitment season.

Sean Ryan, associate director of Fraternity Life and Experiential Leadership Education said fraternities “are starting to market themselves in the way to be more successful and make the students more successful and I would imagine that there will be another 15 to 18 more men joining this spring and about 3 to 5 men joining the multicultural fraternities.”

Kappa Alpha Psi and has a different recruitment process. Current members usually approach possible candidates, but they too have stepped up efforts to gain new recruits. Pelumi Onabanjo ’19, president of Kappa Alpha Psi said, “We hold an informational meeting and we advertise for it across campus. Most of our initiates aren’t known until the probate, [which is the] welcoming [of the new members], so it is more of we post a flyer and we put a phone number on the poster so people who are interested can talk to a brother about what we do.”

Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity is expecting more, due to “more intentional recruitment this year on our part and fostering the relationship with possible recruits earlier,” according to Onabanjo.

Ridgway said, “We are making an effort to work with the other two fraternities as well, with the understanding that growth for any chapter is growth for the Greek community.”

“There are only two other fraternities on campus,” stated Flores. “…and if more were to go then incentive to want to be part of a fraternal organization would decrease because the diversity and choice of an organization would be absent. So, in the end a decrease in the number of frats on campus might provide a few extra individuals, but more frats on campus allows for a greater community and an increased interest in Greek life.”

Ryan said, “We are starting the initial process of trying to figure out [what bringing new fraternities to campus] is going to look like. Right now, we have an opportunity to rebuild our community and figure out what we want the fraternity community to look like on campus, so we are being extremely intentional about what…the students want.” 

Phi Delta Theta is expected to return in 2021, Ryan said. “It all depends on the assessments from the students and figuring out what they want.”