The Truth About Brotherhood


Photo by Athena Pajer

Fraternity brothers rush home at “The Plunge,” held outside Dolson Hall on Friday, February 8.

Posters, shirts, social media; it’s easy to see that it’s recruitment week for the Social Greek Organizations on campus. Millikin has four social fraternities: Alpha Tau Omega, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Tau Kappa Epsilon, and Delta Sigma Phi. All four chapters are overseen by the Interfraternity Council (IFC), who is also responsible for running recruitment week.

The objective of this week is to give potential new members (PNM’s) the chance to familiarize themselves with the varying values, events, and brothers of each chapter.

The week starts with a general information session on Monday night. PNM’s are given a brief overview of each chapter and then given the opportunity to talk to brothers in each organization. The next three days are filled with various activities that aim to showcase the values and spirit of the individual chapters. The week concludes with The Plunge where PNM’s announce where they’ve found their home.

I went through recruitment my second semester at Millikin. I remember feeling overwhelmed and maybe even a little intimidated by the process at times. For future PNM’s I have three pieces of advice to help you through the week.

  1. Explore. It’s always hard to meet new people and take a step outside your comfort zone. Because of this, it might feel more natural to keep to the shadows or only talk to the friends we already know. The important thing to remember is that the active brothers want to get to know you, and they want you to have fun. So, explore new things, ask questions, and meet new people.
  2. Keep an open mind. Since, First Years can’t go through recruitment until second semester, it is likely that as a PNM, you’ll already have some idea about each fraternity, and you’ve probably given some thought as to which one you want to join. With that being said, it’s important to go through the week with an open mind, and really give yourself the chance to learn what each fraternity is actually like. Admittedly, I went into my recruitment week dead set on one fraternity, but after the first night, I was shocked to find that I related really strongly to different components of each chapter. I found myself wanting to go to different fraternities and by the time bids came around, I was really struggling to make my decision. If you refuse to consider more than one chapter, you’re ultimately short-changing yourself from an awesome and possibly life-changing experience.
  3. Be you. Sometimes during the Recruitment process, it can feel almost like you’re on display or under a microscope lens. The important thing to remember is that the goal of the week is for the active brothers to get to know you and see if you will be a good fit with the fraternity. If you try to change yourself, you will quickly find that you can’t fit into the puzzle that you chose, and you won’t enjoy yourself, so just be yourself and have a blast.

Recruitment week can be stressful for everyone, but treasure the experience, because for all you know, it could be one that changes your life. My recruitment experience was the start of an amazing adventure, and it ultimately introduced me to a brotherhood and a love that is unlike anything I have ever experienced.

Being in a Greek Organization constantly pushes me to be a better person and has taught me invaluable lessons about relationships and the meaning of family. My brothers have been with me through everything this year. When I lost one of my students last year, my brothers refused to leave my side, making sure that I was safe and healthy. I would not have made it through the last two semesters without my brothers. They are some of the most important people in my life and I have no idea how I survived without them.

I love my brothers; my brothers love me, and I know they will be by my side for the rest of my life.