01 July 2015 ~ 0 Comments

The Complete Guide To Managing Bids In Your Fraternity



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If you’re going to take on the responsibility of managing a frat, membership is among the most important factors to consider. New members are the lifeblood of your organization; they are the ones who will keep the frat alive once you’ve graduated and moved on. You need to make sure they’re the kind of people you want in charge when you’re gone, and that’s something that begins right in the recruitment phase.

Today, we’re going to take you through what’s involved in managing bids, bringing in new members, handling rush week, and hosting a bid ceremony. Let’s dive right in.

What Exactly IS A Bid?

Simply put, a bid is an official invitation to join a fraternity. It can take many different forms – a formal invitation on paper, a verbal agreement, or even an email. The important thing is that it’s generally sent out at the end of the recruitment process, and signifies that the recipient is to become a part of a frat’s brotherhood.

Recruitment Techniques

First thing’s first, you need to figure out how you’re going to handle the recruitment process. How are you going to send out bids to prospective members? Will you be a closed organization that only offers bids to select students, or an open frat that accepts membership requests from anyone, and extends bids to any who wish to join?

Depending on what your answer was, your frat’s going to look very different. You might get a reputation as a highly exclusive brotherhood that accepts only the best, or a welcoming house that anyone’s free to join. Or you might, like Sigma Alpha Epsilon, end up with a reputation as the deadliest frat in America.

Once you’ve worked out what kind of recruitment you want to promote, it’s time to get the word out. It’s time to make people want to join you. Demand Media’s Chris Blake recommends the following tactics:

  • Work as a team: Most major fraternities divide each chapter of their organization into diverse teams in order to cover the most ground and recruit the best potential members. You should do the same.
  • Don’t be afraid to get serious: Most people, when they hear the word ‘fraternity,’ immediately associate it with one thing – partying. If you want your frat to be looked on as more than a party house, invite potential pledges to an information session detailing what it’s actually about – show them that you’re a social club, not simply somewhere to get drunk over the course of a weekend.
  • Get potential brothers involved before they join:  Invite potential brothers to some of your fraternity functions. That way they’ll see what your frat is about, and you’ll be able to work out if someone’s a fit for your brotherhood based on how they mesh with everyone at your events.
  • Exercise diversity: Don’t just host a recruitment drive on campus for a single day during rush week. Look in a wide range of diverse locations, and attend a wide range of different events to maximize your frat’s visibility. The more brothers you’ve got out there, the more prospective pledges they’ll pull in.

The All-Important Bid Ceremony

Once you’ve invited someone to join your frat and received their acceptance, the next step in the recruitment process is the bid ceremony, also known as bid day.

“On Bid Day, each fraternity on campus will gather in celebration to accept bids as new members. If someone accepts a bid, Bid Day is the day they officially become an associate member of their chosen fraternity,” reads a post on Seattle Pi.  “Most bid days take place on the weekend and fraternities celebrate the entire weekend to celebrating new membership. These celebrations can range from cookouts to full-fledged parties.”

After the celebration – and a brief membership period – the formal initiation ceremony takes place, and pledges are fully inducted into their chosen frat.

Closing Thoughts

And remember that at the end of the day, being a member of fraternity is about being part of something bigger than yourself. It’s about being personally involved in an organization that’ll change your life and the lives of everyone involved for the better. So long as you keep that concept in mind throughout your recruitment process, you’ll bring in a crop of pledges that will inevitably make your frat a better place.

Need custom printed t-shirts and other swag for new signups in your frat or sorority? Design or upload your own, and print your own shirts in our design studio.

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