Finding out that your charter is being pulled is every brother’s waking nightmare. Maybe you joined a cool chapter that hazed too hard and partied too much or, on the flip side, your house may have gone under due to a lack of interest by brothers and rushees. If it’s the former, you can seek moderate reassurance in the fact that you went down with the ship; your falling out could be compared to sinking a party barge with a woman on your arm and a funnel in your mouth. If it’s the latter, a charter being revoked over a lack of interest is downright pathetic and probably well-deserved.
Depending on the severity of your specific case, nationals could either pull your charter in perpetuity or temporarily (with the chance to recharter down the road). This is where the great dilemma begins. If you’re in a boner chapter that goes under, getting a fresh start with some help from consultants could honestly be very good for you. But for many chapters, I believe it is simply best to end things on your own terms and not let nationals rid you of your true values.
While I have been fortunate enough to avoid any severe disciplinary action thus far in my college career, I still hold a strong opinion on the subject. I understand that each chapter is full of great history that you may not want to ruin, yet in many cases voluntarily closing up shop is still the best option in my eyes. I’m not saying you should tell nationals to eat shit and subsequently disaffiliate over a slap on the wrist, as that is just selfish to alumni and younger actives. But when either a very long-term probation period or shutdown is looming, officially ending things on your own accord may be the best course of action to protect everything that you and your fraternity alumni have built.
It is very unsettling to imagine the chapter house that I so dearly love being vacated entirely or, even worse, being occupied by a different fraternity. But what’s even harder to stomach is a nationals consultant coming in to hand-pick new brothers. Obviously they are required to pick kids who they do not think will make risky decisions, which was the house’s lifeblood when you and the guys were still around. We are all well aware that the days of our alumni were the golden days of fraternity life, therefore many of them are far more understanding of your borderline primitive habits than you may think. A large concern of the voluntary shutdown route is the disrespect alumni may feel, as alumni are often as upset as actives to see a chapter’s demise. But I believe many would understand your decision given the circumstances.
Ending the life of your chapter is a terrible concept, but the grim reality is that it oftentimes is the right thing to do. Tradition lies at the heart of every chapter, and the day tradition dies, so does your fraternity. One-hundred percent of the time, I would elect to end tradition on my own terms, with the brothers who still appreciate it, rather than let it fall by the wayside thanks to a new group of actives who should not be a part of the chapter in the first place.
Just remember one thing: the best way to avoid such a terrible scenario in the first place is to not get caught..