One of the more challenging and intriguing parts of Greek Life is the spectacle surrounding its recruitment process every school year. Recruitment budgets range from hundreds to thousands of dollars all in the hopes of “swooning” potential new members. It’s a never-ending cycle of cookouts, sports, information nights, game nights, convincing brothers to attend events, bowling, “BDubs,” etc. It’s the struggle of avoiding cliché Q & A’s when in reality all you really need to do is just be yourself. Then finally, it comes time to ask potential new members if they want to be a part of something greater than themselves. All of this and more are constantly running through the minds of recruitment chairs, and while many struggle, it’s a position that Phi Delta Theta’s new Expansion Consultant Daniel Du Bois never felt anything but confident in doing.
“I’ve always been a natural leader when I was growing up. So I couldn’t see myself not being in a position where I could at least motivate and/or encourage other members to push themselves,” said Du Bois.
Daniel Du Bois, the eager Phikeia
An attribute that has always stood out about Indiana Kappa’s brothers of Phi Delta Theta, is the diversity in the characters it brings with each new Phikeia (new member) class. Daniel Du Bois was no exception, being an upperclassman amongst a Phikeia class of mostly freshman. Du Bois had actually avoided joining a Greek organization his freshman and sophomore year despite being approached by two organizations. He had always felt the stereotypes of fraternities held true, but the living arrangement his junior year changed those opinions.
“Actually it’s a funny story because I honestly thought I would never go Greek,” said Du Bois. “I was so turned off by the stereotype of them being large drinking clubs, and that it’s just paying for your friends. So it was really because I moved in with three random guys my junior year and they all happened to be Phi Delts. By being around them 24/7, I actually gave them a chance and saw so much opportunity in the organization.”
Once he became a Phikeia, Du Bois didn’t hesitate to become active in the chapter. His personality was something that stood out at both philanthropy and social events the chapter was participating in, and his unmatched desire to learn more about the fraternity was something respected amongst the older members of the chapter.
“Danny was very eager as a Phikeia,” said his Phi Delt Big Brother Brayden Bridgeman. “He wanted to learn a lot about the fraternity and really respected what people had to say about it. He showed a great interest and was really focused on his goals during his Phikeia program. Travis Campbell gave me Danny as a little, and I was really glad he did. He gave me someone that reminded me of how my big and I were. Danny and I grew pretty close, and he made me come out my shell more since we all know he is a social butterfly. ”
Du Bois’ was also looked up to by the younger members in his Phikeia class.
“Danny was always an extremely active Phikeia while we were completing our pledgeship,” said Anthony Scott. “He was always actively engaging with our entire pledge class. He was also an upperclassmen, and at that time being a freshman, it was good to have an upperclassmen going through the same process to kind of help you along the way.”
One person who gets to see the growth of a Phikeia thoroughly is the new member educator. While Du Bois’ New Member Educator Travis Campbell was able to see that Du Bois had great qualities, he initially worried he might find some struggle imparting the knowledge of Phi Delta Theta to him.
“He was always very energetic, almost like a hyper little kid in a classroom,” said Campbell. “I thought I would have a hard time reaching him and imparting the importance of what Phi Delta Theta is all about, but that was never a problem. He fit in with his pledge class and the rest of the chapter like a puzzle piece. His pledge brothers loved him and all the actives did too.”
Du Bois’ does admit that he and Campbell would “butt heads” frequently, but he also believes he was able to grow a lot as a person from those interactions with Campbell.
“We really didn’t see eye to eye because we were two alpha males sitting in the same room, but we did become two of the closest and driven men in this organization,” said Du Bois. “Even if I did something right, he thought I could do better and I kinda owe my success to that. The biggest lesson I learned from him was ‘Enjoy your victories, but never be satisfied with them,’ and still to this day I hold that with me as a person and as a professional.”
Recruitment Chairman, round one
Aside from Du Bois’ performance in his Phikeia program on a consistent basis, his ability to talk to people and bring them together was something that continued to be noticed more and more once he was an active brother. When the chapter’s recruitment chairman decided to step down from the position during the summer of 2013, the chapter felt Du Bois was the obvious choice to step into the role.
“This organization that became my niche, my home away from home, was essentially in danger of going extinct. So when the opportunity presented itself, I knew that this was something that I would work my a** off to do.”
“Danny as a recruitment chair was the best fit for him in the fraternity,” said Bridgeman. “He really spread his wings in that position because he wasn’t afraid to talk to anybody. He met everyone with the same glimmer in his eye and his big smile on his face.”
Du Bois’ did however face a big challenge, missing out on the whole spring term for the position. The spring is usually a significantly smaller turn out for recruitment, but it is viewed as good experience for new recruitment chairs because it allows them to get an idea of the process. Du Bois was going into the bigger, more formal recruitment process of the fall semester with only a couple of weeks to prepare. On top of that the chapter had just seen the graduation of roughly 20 members, so it was crucial for him to find success in his first semester as recruitment chairman.
“Well I didn’t think I would really get the opportunity to jump into a big position like that,” said Du Bois. “But when the opportunity presented itself, it was something that this organization desperately needed. This organization that became my niche, my home away from home, was essentially in danger of going extinct. So when the opportunity presented itself, I knew that this was something that I would work my a** off to do.”
One of the many things organizations volunteer for on campus is helping incoming students move into their dorms when they first come to campus. Move-in day gives incoming students the opportunity to immediately learn about what’s going on around campus from current students. It also gives organizations an opportunity to recruit potential new members. For Phi Delta Theta it was sort of a “make it or break it” type of day, and it was also the first event Du Bois was exposed to as recruitment chairman. It’s a day that Du Bois remembers quite well.
“My first semester as recruitment chair was definitely an experience, but my first day was my proudest,” said Du Bois. “I had no idea of what to expect. The first thing I remember was how worried our current president Bryce Rector was. We were standing out front of the Johnson B complex during move in day and you could see that he was probably the one person who wanted it more than I did, a big young class. So I just thought back to what I did when I was a freshman. All I could remember is playing Ultimate Frisbee. So during dorm move in, I walked around the halls, maybe carrying a lamp, going to all the open doors and inviting guys to come out and play some Ultimate Frisbee. A few hours later, a handful of brothers were standing on the turf field, and we didn’t know what to expect. Then freshman started showing up and just came pouring onto the turf field. We had about 35 freshmen that first event. It was that first day as recruitment chair that I knew I found what I wanted to do for this organization.”
Du Bois’ first semester as recruitment chairmen proved successful, with 13 of the Phikeia eventually going on to become active brothers. His immediate success in an exec board position put him in contention to be the next president early on in the semester. In a very young chapter, were many brothers had yet to have the opportunity to take on major roles, Du Bois was a stand-out player. However, as November election time approached, those opinions would see a drastic change.