While We Have Your Attention: Spare Change for the Fraternity?

posted in: Fraternity Manifesto | 0

Dear Student,

We want to thank you for all you have done for the Fraternity, our fraternity, the one you pledged your life to.

Few understand lifetime membership as you do. Men like you volunteer in your community, and when you follow the rules and report your hours, we use those statistics to help with lobbying efforts or to convince the Rolling Stone that we are not sexual predators.

Men like you organize major fundraisers for our philanthropic partner. You are helping the world, even if you cannot see the payoff first hand. We know this because our philanthropic partner put out a press release acknowledging all of the good work they did.

Chapters could not complete our annual report to maintain good standing within our fraternity were it not for students like you. We know that you have an almost identical checklist at your university, so we DOUBLY thank you for your effort! The paperwork you complete is essential to the future of our organization.

All of that is a lot of work to take on in addition to your academic ambitions. We thank you for voluntarily complying with our expectations under threat of expulsion or loss of charter.

We also want to thank you for participating in our leadership programs. It is important to give members of our organization face time with one another. That’s what brotherhood is all about, right? All being said, we apologize that we can’t actually discuss your problems at such programs. There are too many legal repercussions if we acknowledge that you break our rules.

But, you got something out of the programs, right? Maybe you were simply too sleep-deprived to remember filling out the post-program surveys, but rest assured that you gave us a “thumbs up.” Such surveys are an important part of our effort to make data-driven decisions. (You like data, right? You kids and your gigabytes. lulz)

Yeah … You definitely got something out of it, something that will change your life and how you operate forever! In fact, you should probably be thanking us for all that we have done for you.

Our alumni leaders are tirelessly working to draft new rules to address your brothers’ subpar behavior. We spend several hours each month figuring out how to make sure you don’t even have to vote on those rules. Isn’t that nice of us? We are saving you time where it counts: organizational decision making.

We hope you appreciate the fraternity’s office staff for maintaining a relationship with your college or university. It is important that we maintain this relationship, because you are a little too young to handle such high profile politics. Plus, if you fuck it up, they’ll pull your recognition, and then we’ll have pull your recognition. If we don’t, then some 23-year old campus advisor will bad mouth us at a professional conference, and being liked is kind of what joining a fraternity is all about. You get it ;).

Anyway, about our fraternity – which is also kind of yours:

Remember that oath you made one or more years ago? Remember how you pledged your life to us? Well, we need to call upon that oath just one more time.*

You see, the men who came before you, in addition to creating traditions of senseless hazing, elitism, substance misuse, and a whole bunch of isms and phobias, they still suck. Almost none of them volunteer as we, the esteemed leaders of our fraternity, have done to make sure that you do not make fools of yourselves (as young men tend to do – no judgement).

Even worse (MUCH worse), fewer than 3% are donating to our foundation. As you know, the Fraternity Foundation provides a portion of the funding for the educational programs we require you to attend. You would have to pay the full cost of those programs were it not for that significant, yet incomplete, portion.

We want to close that gap, and we already know that we can get money from you are dedicated to our organization’s success and future.

So, just this one time,* may we ask that you donate to the Fraternity Foundation? Your dues help keep our ever-growing office staff … well … growing. That’s good, it makes us look like a real fraternity at those aforementioned professional conferences. But we can’t afford to create more educational content for you without your donation. (P.S. have you checked out the fraternity store? See our list of approved vendors so we collect royalties you know your merchandise is correctly branded)

Did you know that undergraduates who donate are twice as likely to continue donating as alumni? Isn’t that exciting?! Imagine how much of a boon that will be to our balance sheet over the next 50 years! Today we only require that you take part in offer 6 educational programs. That’s not nearly enough; we want to get bigger BETTER! You want to be better too, right? Well, a better person starts giving back before it’s even truly “back.”

Imagine a day where BETTER men like you can be required to attend 10 or more educational programs, all funded through student dues and donations! The way fraternity was meant to be. The vision of our founders.

We believe that you are the leaders of the future. Do not let us down.

*Depending on how things work out this may not actually be the last time we make requests via oath-driven guilt trips.

Disclaimer: I, Nik, donate to my chapter’s “leadership fund” within my fraternity’s foundation. Foundations and educational programs are awesome, but fraternity educational programs are too bland, generic, and copy-paste to be worth their current costs (IMO). Additionally, yes, it IS messed up that fraternities are increasingly turning to students for donations when they already pay for everything else and accomplish anything our organizations can gloat about.

See: The Dues Are Too Damn High