View Full Version : No Frills Recruitment...
02-16-2010, 12:04 PM
Ok so my campus panhellenic has decided we are gradually going to be making the change to no frills recruitment. This year (Fall 2010) they are taking away skit night and redoing a little stuff in each night. They really haven't said too much other than the change is coming and our budget will pretty much be half. They are hoping to be compleate no frills by my senior year (I'm a freshmen now). So I was just wondering what other schools have no frills recruitment. Or what is it like? Pros? Cons? anything that may be a little useful, like I said Panhel has told us it was happening, but really hasn't given in definate changes that will be taking place.
Ooh La La
02-16-2010, 01:02 PM
My school is also transitioning to no-frills. As of now, they are only allowing beverages to be served during pref night. They're also telling people to cut back on decorations. No more balloon ceilings. :(
On one hand, I find the whole eating thing while trying to talk to people awkward.
On the other hand, I love decorations. But maybe people will get some sleep when they don't have to spend all night hanging and painting stuff.
02-16-2010, 01:10 PM
My campus is completely no-frills at this point, and I hate it. We can't even have a theme to keep things cohesive and fun. I understand the benefits of it, it makes PNMs and actives alike focus on real connections rather than decorations and theatrics. But I also think no-frills sucks a lot of the joy out of recruitment. It sucks to come up with a cute recruitment theme and then be told it won't fly under no-frills. When I read recruitment stories and hear about skits and decorations and outfits and themes, I get so jealous! We arent even allowed to have words in a powerpoint, let alone to a cute skit. You can usually bend the rules, especially during a transition to no frills, but if one chapter follows the rules perfectly and you dont, there might be some resentment there.
30 second version: There are benefits to no frills, but its boring.
02-16-2010, 01:19 PM
I think your campus Panhellenic needs to define what "no frills" means to them. There's nothing wrong with putting decorative sorority items in your recruitment rooms (T shirts, pictures, etc) that sisters would normally have in their rooms/in the house lounge. There's nothing wrong with having basic drinks available (water, tea, lemonade, etc) because people do get thirsty. There is something wrong (in the "no frills" aspect of things) to have balloon ceilings in gigantic rooms, painting murals on sheets to hang on the walls, and spending tons of money on decorative items that you might only use one year (based on a theme).
The no frills concept was to direct recruitment away from "join the chapter that is the most entertaining!" to "join the chapter that you connected with through meaningful conversations". Hence the reasons why skits are being cut...I've known chapters to do a 20 minute elaborately costumed skit for a 40 minute party. They were doing their best to "entertain" the PNMs instead of really talking to them. Some groups still do slideshows (the 3-5 minute ones), and personally I think that's fine because it can be used to show the PNM the different activities of a chapter and be used to spark discussion for the rest of the event.
Everyone's campus interprets "no frills" recruitment differently. Some count how many balloons you have in a room and allow nothing hanging on a vertical surface. Some just limit the budget and food items (yes, I've experienced the recruitment where the chapters tried to outdo each other on food...so much so that it was a topic of discussion among PNM decisions). If I were that Panhellenic, I would try to envision/define what exactly they were going for in a "no frills" recruitment, and that will help chapters plan accordingly.
02-16-2010, 04:19 PM
As far as I know, NPC Unanimous agreements started saying schools were supposed to phase-out frills starting in the early 90's. That is now when some PNMs were born. This shows how entrenched frills can be.
I pledged at the University of Minnesota in 2002, and fall '02 was the last year we were allowed a skit. I'm not sure if they now allow slideshows there, but we never had one in 03 or 04 (some schools are switching to slideshows instead of having skits).
At Minnesota, during the first 2 rounds, we were not allowed to have any decoration that was not normally in the house. That meant we could get away with, say, a small bouquet or two of flowers in each room, but that was about it. We were allowed a little bit of decor for Pref, but it wasn't much- we did have one balloon arch in a formal living room, and some (electric) candles and larger bouquets in the dining room. I think PHA mandated all that through extremely specific (kinda nit-picky) Recruitment Rules and budgeting.
We were allowed cutesy matching nametags for each round, and allowed to order matching shirts for certain rounds, but nothing like doing a mass order of the same JCrew sundresses for pref or anything. They tried to keep food less-frilly by putting restrictions like no flavored or special-shaped ice cubes, I don't think we could have monogrammed napkins or anything, they wouldn't let us use placecards or write the PNM's name in icing on the desserts, etc.
At Northwestern (where I'm on the advising team) they still get away with a ton of frills. The women essentially transform the main floors of their chapter house to fit with their set 3 theme (cover walls, bring in different furniture, costuming, etc). They really enjoy it, and it is certainly impressive, but I can't help but think they're spending a lot of time on something that doesn't necessarily translate to being a better rusher. They may very well impress the PNM's with their decorations, but are they getting to know them and having effective conversations?
So, after that long story, I would say make sure PHA is clear about what each chapter can and cannot do, as it is not fair for some folks to follow the new rules and not others, enjoy doing the frills you are allowed, and take the extra time you have that would have been spent decorating and polish your sisterhood and conversation!
02-16-2010, 05:23 PM
Yeah i wish they'd tell us what is/isn't allowed as far as decorations go. They've told us we could have one banner for the whole week (we don't know if that means the banner can hang everyday or just one.) And someone mentioned no tableclothes or something like that (this was a friend in a different chapter not panhel so Im not sure of the accuracy). Balloons weren't really in use this year when I went through formal, only a few houses used them and they were table decorations and door greetings. As for food, we don't serve it or drinks. None of the chapters served it this year. The outfits were similar but not matching already, so they weren't order. Only our ohilanthropy shirts matched and they are a "chapter " set , so they actually arent the individual girls. So to me this already seems no frills ish, compared to other rushes. I just don't see what more there necessairily is to cut out, although I'm sure they'll find plenty.
02-16-2010, 05:57 PM
Every school tends to define "no-frills" differently.
As far as my school, each chapter was only allowed one bulk-ordered item of clothing for recruitment. Meaning that we could match, but we couldn't all be wearing the exact same item from the same store. Example: We all wore brown polos one year, but we couldn't all be wearing the SAME brown polo from Express. Confusing. And yes, they checked to make sure.
Each chapter usually reserved its one identical item for philanthropy day and ordered a matching philanthrophy shirt.
We also went to "no singing" in my last year. I believe songs are only allowed at Preference. No balloons EVER. Food is allowed during House Tours and Pref. We also have not had a skit round since before I was in college.
Past thread on no frills: http://www.greekchat.com/gcforums/showthread.php?t=82638
02-16-2010, 08:42 PM
Right now, my school only has one somewhat "no frills" round. Sisters are allowed matching shirts with only the group's letters on them (no pictures), nothing can be served but water provided by Panhel and the only entertainment allowed is a 2-minute slideshow (music, words and pictures only - no video). The other two rounds allow pretty much anything, though Panhel caps the amount groups are allowed to spend (not including matching clothing).
Honestly, I really wish we would go to no-frills. Every year there's drama over checking receipts to make sure no group went over budget, and a few years ago one group caused $2,000 worth of paint damage when they taped decorations to the walls (all parties are held in on-campus rooms loaned to us by the University). Now no groups are allowed to affix anything to the walls, which also causes drama.
On top of that, the amount of work required to put on these elaborate parties is so disproportionate to the benefit. PNMs look around, think "that's cool" and leave it at that. At worst, they prefer groups with better decorations (the problem KSU was mentioning). The sisters don't enjoy the decorations because they're a pain to make, haul around, put up, take down and store. Our LCs are always dismayed at how "all-out" we go, but if we didn't it would look terrible in comparison to the other groups. Finally, the amount of money put into all this just sickens me. Thousands of dollars are wasted every year on these parties. I would much rather use that money for a date party we could actually enjoy or for a philanthropy event to benefit RIF. PNMs wouldn't know the difference, unless this was their second time going through - and even then, I doubt the lack of decorations would make them rethink their decision to go Greek.
I think our Panhel wants to go no-frills, but some girls in other chapters are strong advocates. They think PNMs won't find recruitment fun without decorations and they enjoy the atmosphere. Ironically, I think a lot of the advocates are girls who haven't had to work to put those parties together (whereas my chapter used to be so small that everyone had to do everything). If it was up to me, we would conduct every party like Icewater - matching shirts or dresses, water provided by Panhel and a short slideshow allowed in the first round.
02-20-2010, 04:30 PM
One thing that I admire about NPC organizations is their willingness to attempt to make a good impression on PNMs so it is a two way street. This is unlike in NPHC organizations where we expect potentials to be born only wanting to join one organization and berate them if they even look at another org out the corner of their eye. I guess if things like similar attire and skit nights are being cut for budgets then going no frills is understandable. I do think there is something to be said about the fun aspects of recruitment that are meant to entertian and impress PNMs.
02-20-2010, 06:24 PM
One thing that I admire about NPC organizations is their willingness to attempt to make a good impression on PNMs so it is a two way street. This is unlike in NPHC organizations where we expect potentials to be born only wanting to join one organization and berate them if they even look at another org out the corner of their eye.
Did you just cross yesterday or something?
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