Rethink Recruitment

Divided, mysterious, fake, status-oriented, unsafe. When the three executive boards of the Cornell Greek Community, referred to as Tri-Council, gathered together to discuss the state of our community in Spring 2016, these are the thoughts that came to mind. That year, all three councils saw membership numbers decrease as negative publicity rose. Students were hesitant to join a community wherein they saw members straying from their values and organizations that were fragmented and disconnected.

Our members experienced the benefits of the Greek community -- Greek GPA, philanthropic service hours and dollars raised were all on the rise -- but those successes were not communicated to the greater student body. We knew we needed to change how campus perceived our organizations in order to keep providing students with enriching experiences.

It was clear that when one council or even an individual organization was not living their values, every other Greek organization suffered the consequences. That made the first step easy to identify: uniting under one common goal and message. We joined forces for the first time to turn recruitment on its head so it was no longer done on a chapter or council level, but was about introducing all new students to the Greek community. The concept was simple -- One Greek Experience #1GxP.

The entire first semester was centered around this theme with events organized by the Tri-Council. All 64 chapters came together to host bi-weekly information sessions, a volleyball tournament, and a major kick-off event. The kick-off event, a carnival and fair on the main quad, brought 1,500 students from across campus together to learn about the Greek community and meet current members. No Greeks were in letters or told attendees their chapter; instead, they were there to share common experiences of all Greeks. Even though individuals were not pitching their own chapters, we received 30% more volunteers than we requested, which shows the buy-in of members in the communal recruitment effort.

Overall, the approach worked. In 2017, the Interfraternity Council saw a 40% increase in registration, Panhellenic Council saw a 50% decrease in recruitment withdrawals, and both the Interfraternity Council and the Multicultural Greek Letter Council were able to charter new chapters. All over the country, Greek life is at risk of extinction. Now is the time to tackle problems head on and to band together for the sake of progress.

Share this post:

Comments on "Rethink Recruitment"

Comments 0-5 of 0

Please login to comment