Two College Students’ Startup Strives To Make Greek Life Events Safer

January 2, 2024 Kaitlyn Dang

When Steve Draughn first joined his fraternity, he instantly began to realize a lot of problems with how the organization ran their events. 

For most fraternity events, wristbands are a common way to track attendance for members and guests. But according to Draughn, they cause a huge amount of headache to distribute, as event organizers have to be physically present to give them to people and they are too easily transferable to those who aren’t invited. 

Disappointed by the disorganized process, Draughn ([an SAE] who goes to UNC) and his Co-Founder Mark Alink (who goes to Purdue) decided to take matters into their own hands. Initially conceived as a back-of-a-napkin idea at 4 a.m. after playing poker, they came up with CLIQInvite, a web and mobile application designed to ensure safe and accurate event planning for, currently, Greek life organizations. They ran their first beta in March of 2023 at Draughn’s own fraternity and due to its success, they officially launched their app in June 2023.

“Most of the problems that occur in houses or events are usually because there are people you didn’t invite,” Draughn said. “It leads to fights between brothers and guests, lots of problems with guest safety, which is the biggest thing.” 

There are over 100 fraternities and sororities nationwide, with more than nine million members. And with every chapter at every university, each Greek life organization is represented by its larger, national boards such as the North American Interfraternity Council and the National Panhellenic Council. Therefore, everything that happens at the local university fraternity is reflected in the organization’s national image. 

Draughn created CLIQInvite to ensure that the reputation and safety of every Greek life organization is protected. He hopes that with this more active solution to creating a safer internal environment, fraternities can continue to exist to promote the shared values of leadership, service and brotherhood, without any unpredictable dangers. 

CLIQInvite allows fraternities to replace wristbands with unique, scannable QR codes that guests don’t even need to download the app to access. The invites are controlled by members of the organization and can be sent through other apps like Snapchat and GroupMe. 

Once the QR code is scanned, it shows what the guest’s name is, who invited them, how many times the QR has been used, how many users were allotted to that code and multiple other features that ensure the integrity of those invites. Draughn said that the organization has to maintain a solid guest and event list to show to their national organization, their schools and their insurance/funding companies to help inform and decide on things like premiums on future events.