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-   -   No place for average PNMs? (http://www.greekchat.com/gcforums/showthread.php?t=107241)

violetpretty 09-05-2009 05:56 PM

No place for average PNMs?
 
In the age of quota and RFM, I am having a hard time understanding how a PNM with nothing “wrong” with her except being out of state and/or not having recs can get cut from ALL chapters at a competitive campus. Note I am NOT talking about a PNM who gets cut by all chapters but one or two.

By nothing “wrong”, I mean this theoretical PNM is simply average (not poor) in the area of grades, involvement, looks, and conversation, and she does not have a reputation issue. Especially at academically competitive universities, the chances of a PNM looking poor on paper are slim because she wouldn't have been admitted to the university in the first place.

Quota is set to optimize the number of PNMs joining chapters and the number of chapters making quota. Quota is proportional to the number of PNMs in recruitment.

With RFM, the “top” chapters are forced to make the steepest cuts the first round, and the “bottom” chapters are advised to make minimal cuts throughout the process, cutting PNMs who do not meet their membership standards (poor grades, poor conversation/personality, poor personal presentation, etc). This optimizes the placement rate.

Even if this theoretical PNM is from out of state and/or does not have recs (read: unknown), “bottom” chapters have the luxury of not being forced to make steep cuts and therefore have time to get to know her through conversation.

Is there no place for a PNM who is average and unknown? I am not talking about “top 6” at UT or “Old Row” at Bama, etc. I know this may be treading into MS territory, but do “bottom” chapters at competitive schools cut PNMs when there seems to be “no reason” (none of the reasons discussed above) to cut her?

If there are a lot of PNMs getting cut for “no reason”, that’s usually when a Panhellenic looks to Extension.

Perhaps the PNMs/mothers of PNMs released by ALL chapters are simply not telling us on GC any “reason” they could have been cut. And it’s also likely that PNMs who get cut from all chapters are overrepresented on GC because those in the know/with connections don’t need to come to GC for information.

carnation 09-05-2009 06:09 PM

I mentioned about a month ago that I'd spent some time with one daughter, writing recs for students from the private school where she teaches. These girls had it all--over a 4.0 with AP courses, gorgeous, incredible activities and awards on their resumes, and all I could think of was if this was who the average PNMs were competing against, they were in big trouble. I knew there were many more with the incredible resumes and looks; I had met them in Birmingham, Atlanta, etc.

I so feel for the girls who are unprepared or from small towns. What must they think when they get to campus and see all these beautiful and self-confident girls? I've known several who never made it to the first rush party because they were so stunned by their competition.

Some of these girls--truly, there's no concrete reason to cut them. They would be in demand on many campuses; they're attractive, active, social, and so forth. But... when the big cuts come at competitive schools, many groups will keep those whom they know and those whom they know of.

KSUViolet06 09-05-2009 06:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by violetpretty (Post 1843720)

And it’s also likely that PNMs who get cut from all chapters are overrepresented on GC because those in the know/with connections don’t need to come to GC for information.


This.

I say it all the time, but I know that if I were a PNM who read GC, I'd probably assume that most women who rush at big schools DON'T get bids because we see a higher number of bidless women here than I think actually occur in real life. I agree that it is likely due to the fact that alot of the PNMs who come here are not as well prepared as most of the PNM pool at some of the more competitive schools.

Also consider the fact that alot of these unprepared women likely want the same top chapters that all of their friends want. So when they are released from those, they likely do still have a shot at some other great groups, but they aren't interested in those, so they just drop out.

violetpretty 09-05-2009 06:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by carnation (Post 1843723)
Some of these girls--truly, there's no concrete reason to cut them. They would be in demand on many campuses; they're attractive, active, social, and so forth. But... when the big cuts come at competitive schools, many groups will keep those whom they know and those whom they know of.

Of course these PNMs will be cut from top and middle chapters at competitive schools, but does this sentiment apply to bottom chapters who don't have to make "big cuts" per RFM?

violetpretty 09-05-2009 06:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KSUViolet06 (Post 1843724)
Also consider the fact that alot of these unprepared women likely want the same top chapters that all of their friends want. So when they are released from those, they likely do still have a shot at some other great groups, but they aren't interested in those, so they just drop out.

Oh, of course that happens at every school. I'm talking about PNMs who get cut from every chapter, not drop out because they don't like their choices.

I think sometimes PNMs/moms of PNMs will say they "got cut from every house" when they really mean they "got cut from every chapter they cared to join".

carnation 09-05-2009 06:24 PM

I don't know how the bottom chapters cut when they have to but lately I've been shocked by some of the girls that they've cut. I can see where they might feel like cutting the top of the line girls who will be heavily in demand anyway but I can't figure out why so many of them are cutting good quality girls. Recently, some good, solid girls from our city have been cut; girls who have been leaders here, had steady reputations, and were attractive and social and the local Greeks of all ages have been stunned by it. I've talked to many, many other southern GCers and they've seen the same.

jwright25 09-05-2009 06:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by violetpretty (Post 1843720)
And it’s also likely that PNMs who get cut from all chapters are overrepresented on GC because those in the know/with connections don’t need to come to GC for information.

Yep. I agree with you and KSUViolet06. On many occasions I have read "reports" on GC of the massive amount of women who were released from all chapters at particular campuses, when in fact that is not the case. I've bitten my tongue (fingers?) more than once and resisted the urge to make the correction - no need to kick someone when she's down. (Even though it makes the sororities at that school look like evil monsters.)

I think that we have a rash of mommies who are trying to justify their awesome daughters' release by overdramatizing the number released from all chapters. And I also believe that there are some daughters who don't tell their mommies the whole truth and simply say that they were cut from everyone when in fact they still had options but chose to withdraw.

KSUViolet06 09-05-2009 06:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by violetpretty (Post 1843728)
I think sometimes PNMs/moms of PNMs will say they "got cut from every house" when they really mean they "got cut from every chapter they cared to join".

This too.

Alot of times I really think that when someone says "I/my daughter went bidless at Bama/UT/wherever" on GC, the translation is actually:

"I/my daughter only got invites to 2 or 3 chapters that weren't her faves and dropped out."

jwright25 09-05-2009 06:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by carnation (Post 1843730)
I don't know how the bottom chapters cut when they have to but lately I've been shocked by some of the girls that they've cut. I can see where they might feel like cutting the top of the line girls who will be heavily in demand anyway but I can't figure out why so many of them are cutting good quality girls.

NOT saying this about anyone you know - cause I obviously don't know them. :) However, some bottom chapters cut women who are rude and completely uninterested in them.

Titchou 09-05-2009 06:28 PM

If your national organization requires that you have a rec for all NMs, then it doesn't matter if you are top tier or bottom tier, you have to release the woman if you can't get a form on her. Now of course, there are "ways" to get one but frankly, having been an adviser for many years, I'm not signing one on someone we can't find out about and who is average - particularly at a bottom tier school. Strange as it may sound, they have to be picky too - or they are going to stay on bottom. And she is truly average - average grades, average abilities - she's not going to help you raise your GPA or accomplish those things which your organization thinks you are deficient in.

Granted, some schools actually have an "average" student population. At those schools I might be inclined to take her, but not most other places.

angels&angles 09-05-2009 06:47 PM

Also, sometimes members have their own reasons to cut a girl. I have a very good friend who was released from all chapters. This girls is cute, incredibly smart (I believe she was 2nd in the class, pre-med, all top honors), and nice. However, she was very religious and a little awkward. By the time we graduated I think any sorority would be blessed to have her, but apparently during pre-rush activities she really turned some members off, with her talk of religion and her over enthusiasm.

I can imagine her mother coming on here to say "What happened?" because the girl IS pretty, smart, talented and nice. She just didn't make a good impression on THOSE girls, even if she might have made a good impression on others.

Most of the other girls I know who got cross-cut had reputation or alcohol problems (again not something their mothers probably knew about). The rest all had choices and refused them. It's a pet peeve of mine when girls say they "got released from recruitment" or "cut by all the chapters," when they really had a bid or invitation to one or two groups. I don't know why ANYONE would rather say that they were undesirable to all groups rather than say something like "I decided sorority life wasn't for me right now," or something. I understand not wanting to be a member of the chapter if you really didn't click with the girls, but why paint it as them rejecting you rather than a reasoned decision you made on your own?

Just interested 09-05-2009 07:06 PM

This is going to be a great thread! I can't to hear everyone's thoughts.

APhiAnna 09-05-2009 07:25 PM

To be honest too, sometimes the advice given on here is more focused on what an alumni/advisor would like to hear in recruitment rather than what a 19 year old sophomore is actually going to want to hear. For example, I agree it's good to ask questions about the philanthropy, GPA, etc. But if it's been two parties and all she's done is ask questions about the chapter, she's gained a lot of information about the sorority but the sorority has gained none about her. They may be stuck...sitting around thinking, "well, she's obviously interested, but can I see hanging out with this girl in my sweatpants around the TV? Can I see myself wanting to be her big? Will she be fun to be with at socials?". So I think it is REALLY important to make sure the actives are learning as much about you as you are learning about them...GPA and community service are great, but at the end of the day we want a sister and at some schools EVERY PNM coming through has incredible GPA, activities and community service.

Benzgirl 09-05-2009 07:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by angels&angles (Post 1843737)
I can imagine her mother coming on here to say "What happened?" because the girl IS pretty, smart, talented and nice. She just didn't make a good impression on THOSE girls, even if she might have made a good impression on others.

Exactly!

I often wonder when I read these stories and think to myself, "wow, I didn't realize that God created so many perfect creatures".

The bottom line is that sometimes a person can rub others the wrong way and with initial impressions, it can blow your chances. Over the years, I have interviewed thousands of people for jobs and hired hundreds. Many times when I didn't hire a person, someone would say, "I know Jane So-And-So. Once you get to know her, she is really a nice person". Well, Jane So-And-So needs to realize that a first impression is sometimes your only impression. Jane may have said something without thinking, implied something or it was 'how' she said something that turned someone off.

KSUViolet06 09-05-2009 07:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by APhiAnna (Post 1843750)
To be honest too, sometimes the advice given on here is more focused on what an alumni/advisor would like to hear in recruitment rather than what a 19 year old sophomore is actually going to want to hear. For example, I agree it's good to ask questions about the philanthropy, GPA, etc. But if it's been two parties and all she's done is ask questions about the chapter, she's gained a lot of information about the sorority but the sorority has gained none about her. They may be stuck...sitting around thinking, "well, she's obviously interested, but can I see hanging out with this girl in my sweatpants around the TV? Can I see myself wanting to be her big? Will she be fun to be with at socials?". So I think it is REALLY important to make sure the actives are learning as much about you as you are learning about them...GPA and community service are great, but at the end of the day we want a sister and at some schools EVERY PNM coming through has incredible GPA, activities and community service.

This.

Conversation is SO important.

At the end of the day, if all PNMs are pretty much equal in terms of grades, recs, and other tangibles, the girls who are going to get the invites are the ones that the members can actually SEE themselves hanging out with in real life. The only way members can discern that is through CONVERSATION.

So while it is good to want to talk to sorority members about the sorority, PNMs need to remember that at the end of the day, that member needs to know about YOU as a PERSON and whether she can see you as a friend and part of the chapter.

With that said, I think conversation comes into play in a lot of these "my daughter didn't get a bid" stories. Mom comes here and says "I don't know what happened, she has a 4.0, was a cheer captain, and had a full slate of recs."

What I think parents fail to understand is that they WEREN'T THERE to see the actual INTERACTIONS between her daughter and the sorority members. It is entirely possible that she was AMAZING on paper, but the conversations just weren't there.

These ARE just my opinions though peeps, so feel free to disagree with me.


baci 09-05-2009 08:19 PM

I love that this thread was originated and it is interesting to see what people say from all over the U.S. I have to be truly honest here from the experience I have at competitive Florida universities. This experience comes from being in an org, helping behind the scenes, and staying close to young ladies who are active members.

It is sad to admit this and actually put it in print. It is all about looks as most important. You have to have the look that the org is seeking! There are many girls who get a pass on everything else if they have "the look". These orgs want to stay at the top and looks are the key. On campus, the student population ranks top chapters by looks. At times, people will say "are you asking me to rank the top chapter overall when it comes to service,activities, grades etc. or just top?" I laugh when I hear this. It doesn't matter if you are in state or out.

I have heard this numerous times in the last few years - "I met and got to know some amazing young girls during recruitment, but they didn't have the looks. We had to cut them." Then I hear - "I met gorgeous girls who lacked conversation and what have you, but we voted them through." What does that tell you?

Honestly, you need the GPA, service, activities, leadership etc. because others will have it, but if you don't have the looks the rest won't take you. (pretty much most girls have the stats behind them or they would not have been admitted to the university in the first place) Let's face it, there are many girls with average looks and they won't make the cuts no matter what their resumes look like. Even the lower tier groups are trying to gain the best looking girls to pull their chapter up.

This is defintely what I know in Florida. Maybe elsewhere it is different, but if your genes were not as kind to you - you won't have as much success as you had hoped. Well, there may be a few exceptions, but I do know for fact that many sad PNMs have faced this and they have amazing stats behind them, converse well, and have connections. They have been cut by even the bottom chapters.

I always say to PNMs - remember your peers judge you and it isn't always what you bring to the table! It is about what they see. It breaks my heart, but that is life.

KSUViolet06 09-05-2009 08:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by angels&angles (Post 1843737)
Why paint it as them rejecting you rather than a reasoned decision you made on your own?


Simple.

If you paint it as being rejected, then you can blame the system and talk about how "tough it is."

It's alot easier for a PNM to say "recruitment at ___ sucks, it's all about who you know. I heard that 800 girls were cut this year after first rounds! It was sooo brutal!" than it is to admit to dropping out of the process and not giving it a chance.

There are quite a few times I've seen a post saying "I went bidless!" only to have the PNM come back (after someone asks) and say "Well I did get one invite to XYZ but I didn't see myself there."

PNMs are certainly allowed to accept/decline any invites they get, or drop out of recruitment. However, I feel like if you do, you forfeit the right to complain about how the system works.



APhiAnna 09-05-2009 08:59 PM

To be fair too, what you are hearing from nervous freshmen PNMs is never going to be true. Girls in our own chapters have a hard enough time keeping it straight. If you ask any PNM at any school that suffered even minor cuts, I guarantee you they will tell you that they just went through the most competitive rush that XYZ University has EVER had. EVER. Obviously top tier ABC may have had a very good idea of who they want to pledge, but I guarantee you that, no matter what campus, there are many chapters who are much more open-minded. And really, do you honestly believe that "XYZ who hasn't made quota in 3 years" started the rush process saying "these 100 girls are the only ones we are interested in bidding and if you aren't already in-state and BFF with at least 3 girls then we will cut you?" No. They are going to be open-minded about EVERY PNM, but they are still going to want women that promote their chapter in a positive way so they can grow. So it's probably not that every single recruitment chair at every single chapter had it out for your since Day #1.

Just go give an example, these are reasons why I, my sisters or my friends at other schools/chapters released women that would fall into "good on paper, good picture, etc" categories. If you saw their resume and their Facebook profile you may have been excited about pledging them until they did one of the following:
* Were you a complainer? "OMG, it's soooo hot...", "Haha sorry I'm sooo tired", "Yeah my roommate is kind of weird and lame", "The dorm food is sooo gross"...
* Did you rest on being shy and think that the burden was on the chapters to realize you'd be more outgoing starting three weeks in?
* Did you only bother getting recs for what your friend's sister's boyfriend told you were the three best sororities?
* Were you rude or disinterested to some chapters during the first round because you "so knew" you were going top tier? Top tier may not have wanted you, but would anybody else want a sister who acted bored either?
* Did you wear clothing in a color that made your normally beautiful skin look pasty? Was your dress silhouette more appropriate to 2003 than 2009?
* Did you talk about how much money you have? Nothing can make somebody look poorer than that...
* Did you only ask questions about the chapters GPA and philanthropy and housing points? We wanted a sister to have fun with too.
* Did you mention you are going to get your sororities letters tattooed on your ass? (This REALLY was brought up to somebody I know during recruitment in EVERY chapter the PNM visited).
* Did you bring up God every sentence to an atheist? Did you roll your eyes when a sister mentioned that XYZ also has a Bible study?
* Did some of your more questionable high school nights end up becoming known to sisters or alumni? Or did you even go so far as to leave the topless kegstand photo on Facebook?
* Were you an "eager beaver" who was trying too hard to be bubbly and "hug attacked" every other member you met?

There are SO many reasons why you may have had a bad rush even if you were average looking with a great GPA.

At the end of it though, blaming the sororities for your mistake will hinder you in life. Rush is a great way of seeing how you do in first impressions. These first impressions will affect your first dates, your job interviews, your impression on coworkers/in laws/professors, meeting with your prospective country club/arts guild/book club/PTA/intramural team/church/synagogue/children's friends parents...and maybe even the second/third/fourth time you rush. It would behoove you to not place the blame on others and sit down and analyze why you may have made some mistakes and how you can correct them for the next time first impressions matter.

Zillini 09-05-2009 09:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by violetpretty (Post 1843720)
Quota is proportional to the number of PNMs in recruitment.

First off a correction or rather clarification. Quota is proportional to the number of PNMs who attend Pref round, not who participate in Recruitment.

Second, as to why bottom tier (and frankly I hate that phrase as well as the whole concept) Chapters might cut perfectly good PNMs. If Susie Super was released from her dream Chapters and even if she then accepts invites from bottom tiers, she may still get cut. Why? At 18-19 it is really hard to control your emotions and the disappointment she is experiencing may show through. Or perhaps in the early rounds Suzie acted disinterested because she never dreamed that the top tiers would release here. Perhaps the only reason why the bottom tier Chapter didn't cut her because of this was due to the fact that Panhellenic told them they could only release X amount.

Even bottom tier Chapters have standards and more than just GPAs and resumes. They don't want to extend bids to PNMs who really don't want to be a member of their organization because many may end up dropping out.

This is why it is so important for PNMs to not only keep an open mind and be interested in all Chapters. More importantly they need to show it to all the Chapters at every round, not just in the rounds at the Chapters they are left with.

Benzgirl 09-05-2009 09:18 PM

I always laughed at one girl in my chapter that would say, "I'm black-balling any girl that is a name-dropper" and her roommate would follow up with, "I'm black-balling any girl that doesn't drop my name". Of course, the second one was in gest, but I can't say the first one was.

The bottom line is you may never know what you said or did that rubbed someone the wrong way.

tld221 09-05-2009 09:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by violetpretty (Post 1843720)
In the age of quota and RFM, I am having a hard time understanding how a PNM with nothing “wrong” with her except being out of state and/or not having recs can get cut from ALL chapters at a competitive campus. Note I am NOT talking about a PNM who gets cut by all chapters but one or two.

By nothing “wrong”, I mean this theoretical PNM is simply average (not poor) in the area of grades, involvement, looks, and conversation, and she does not have a reputation issue. Especially at academically competitive universities, the chances of a PNM looking poor on paper are slim because she wouldn't have been admitted to the university in the first place.

Quota is set to optimize the number of PNMs joining chapters and the number of chapters making quota. Quota is proportional to the number of PNMs in recruitment.

With RFM, the “top” chapters are forced to make the steepest cuts the first round, and the “bottom” chapters are advised to make minimal cuts throughout the process, cutting PNMs who do not meet their membership standards (poor grades, poor conversation/personality, poor personal presentation, etc). This optimizes the placement rate.

Even if this theoretical PNM is from out of state and/or does not have recs (read: unknown), “bottom” chapters have the luxury of not being forced to make steep cuts and therefore have time to get to know her through conversation.

Is there no place for a PNM who is average and unknown? I am not talking about “top 6” at UT or “Old Row” at Bama, etc. I know this may be treading into MS territory, but do “bottom” chapters at competitive schools cut PNMs when there seems to be “no reason” (none of the reasons discussed above) to cut her?

If there are a lot of PNMs getting cut for “no reason”, that’s usually when a Panhellenic looks to Extension.

Perhaps the PNMs/mothers of PNMs released by ALL chapters are simply not telling us on GC any “reason” they could have been cut. And it’s also likely that PNMs who get cut from all chapters are overrepresented on GC because those in the know/with connections don’t need to come to GC for information.

im total lane swerving, but i feel like regardless of council this will apply.

http://rlv.zcache.com/bell_curve_tsh...58trlf_400.jpg

while it's great to go into Rush with an optimistic view about one's PNM-ness, if youre not coming with something extra, who's going to remember you? and this is good or bad extra, which is why there are a small percentage at the "oh hayle to the naw" end and the "omg this girl fart smells like rainbows and sunshines, give her a bid now" ends--those PNMs had to have done something out of the ordinary to stand out. Or, on paper, they were so extraordinary (whether its 4.0/team captain or 2.5/general slacker) their fate was kinda written in the sand from the beginning.

i dont think you have a hard time understanding, i think you have a hard time believing and accepting it. especially when there are posters who are outright saying things like "if you're wearing a 5-year old dress or complain about the hear, its a wrap."

Having a "place" for "average PNMs" is like an place for average people in life in all situations-dating/relationships, classes/grades, promotions, etc. There's a place for the average but opportunity doesnt always knock, or as often. It's called "competitive" for a reason.

I.C. a Pi Phi 09-05-2009 10:08 PM

I think these factors are out of the PNM's control but do happen.

1. At a larger school, when round one consists of 12 parties day 1 and 6 parties day 2. Who do you think are going to be remembered more? The chapter girls who see 12 rounds of girls, then vote, or those who only see 6 rounds of girls?

2. Your last name. If a chapter starts discussion at the beginning of the alphabet, and seven hours later you are at the "w" 's and everyone just wants to go to bed. Or vice versa, the chapter discusses and cuts heavily at the beginning of the alphabet because they are fresh, but seven hours later has significantly less discussion.

These are just random thoughts, but things that can happen. Another reason why there is not only *one* perfect house for each PNM.

KSUViolet06 09-05-2009 10:21 PM

Another thing:

There usually are a couple chapters at a school that EVERY PNM wants to be in.

The truth of the matter is that these top chapters are likely the ones that have to make the heaviest cuts.

I find that the most Average PNM go into recruitment wanting the top chapters that everyone else wants. She likely will say that she sees herself the most in the top groups and feels that she fits best with them.

Only problem is that the top chapters have heavy cuts to make and Average PNM is not going to get an invite. She is typically not as prepared for recruitment as those girls who DO get invites back to Top Chapters.

So she gets cut by Top Chapters, and even though she still has some options, she is upset and feels that she fit best in those, and drops out.

I guess my point is that alot of times, the Average PNM thinks she belongs in a top chapter, not realizing that those chapters an only extend so many invites and are only considering the Top PNMs.

Everybody wants to be an ABC or an XYZ, but everybody is not going to get an invite. It's just part of life.

myopicsunflower 09-05-2009 10:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by APhiAnna (Post 1843773)
If you saw their resume and their Facebook profile you may have been excited about pledging them

...or what you saw on their Facebook profile might have made given you reason to cut them.

Quote:

* Were you rude or disinterested to some chapters during the first round because you "so knew" you were going top tier?
...or if you spoke rudely about ABC at XYZ's party because you "so knew" you were going XYZ.

Quote:

* Did you mention you are going to get your sororities letters tattooed on your ass? (This REALLY was brought up to somebody I know during recruitment in EVERY chapter the PNM visited).
O_O

Did this PNM pledge anywhere???

Quote:

* Did some of your more questionable high school nights end up becoming known to sisters or alumni?
This goes back to recs. Everyone knows that recs are important and that, at some schools, you need them for every house. But you want GOOD recs, and because alumnae send recs directly to chapters, you don't know if an alumna wrote a rec that said "This girl is a big bowl of awesome and would be a tremendous asset to your chapter" or a "no rec."

Hypothetical situations:

* You ask your math teacher to write a rec for you, because you've gotten good grades and have good rapport with her. Your teacher likes you well enough, but she has also caught wind of how you had a few weekend benders, and she's heard from teacher lunchroom talk about how you act with peers in other classes. As much as your math teacher likes you as a student, she may not think you are a fit for her sorority.

* You send your resume to the local Alumnae Panhellenic. Anna Alumna from XYZ doesn't know you personally, but she sees that you go to Local High School, and her friend's daughter went there. So Anna Alumna makes a phone call. Her friend's daughter may have had bad experiences with you, or she may have heard bad things about you. Anna Alumna is concerned. She may write a "no rec," or she may write one that is tentative. Either way, that rec is not a glowing one, and it could lead to a cut during rush.

Quote:

Rush is a great way of seeing how you do in first impressions. These first impressions will affect your first dates, your job interviews, your impression on coworkers/in laws/professors, meeting with your prospective country club/arts guild/book club/PTA/intramural team/church/synagogue/children's friends parents...and maybe even the second/third/fourth time you rush. It would behoove you to not place the blame on others and sit down and analyze why you may have made some mistakes and how you can correct them for the next time first impressions matter.
Absolutely.

UGAalum94 09-06-2009 12:20 AM

I think there are places for average PNMs but "average" isn't where a lot of us on the outside really think it is. Grade inflation and higher admission standards at some schools make a GPA that used to seem awesome only average and a list of activities that used to be dazzling only average.

So a girl who used to be average in GPA and activities is now actually below average for the campus but alumnae and parents may not realize it. And this is without getting in to how a PNMs reputation might not be "average" and adults might not know it.

I don't quite look at things like Baci does. I think looks are a component and will help a girl a lot if the other factors are all in place, but at my campus a girl who was "only" good looking probably would have been looking at middle chapters on down. For top chapters, you apparently needed looks, activities, GPA, awesome personality, and often a certain kind of family background. Sometime even average looking girls who were excellent people ended up in top chapters.

As far as the OP, once you take the aspect of grade and credential inflation out of the picture, I think the majority of girls getting bids are "average" for the campus. When I look at the girls I know who rush at UGA and Auburn, what separates out the PNMs who end up at top chapters from mid and low tier chapters ultimately comes down to high school popularity. I think it's mainly that the girls who are already at college want the most popular girls from their high schools but it may also be that the really popular girls know how to turn it out in social situations like rush.

AGDee 09-06-2009 01:49 AM

I would think some of this may have to do with who the PNM cuts early in her recruitment too. If there are 14 chapters and they have to go from 14-10-7-3, for example, it's possible that for second parties, 2 top chapters dropped the PNM and the PNM dropped the bottom 2 chapters to go to 10 parties. The next cuts, perhaps 2 more of the top chapters drop the PNM and the PNM drops the bottom 1, getting the middle 7 parties to attend. It's possible THEN that those middle 7, having to make major cuts before Pref would all cut the PNM. Therefore, there could have been 3 chapters that might have really liked and wanted her, but she cut them early on.

It's also possible that she lacked enthusiasm for those bottom chapters and the chapters could tell. You don't really want someone who doesn't want you, no matter how small you are.

UGAalum94 09-06-2009 02:00 AM

AGDee, what you describe is certainly possible and I think Carnation has observed that pattern in real life when she's talked about how it's actually better to get hard after first round than second, for those reasons.

But I'm still kind of skeptical like other people earlier in the thread. The number of girls completely cut out or dropped from recruitment is so small at the places it gets reported.

Your hypothetical scenario requires seven chapters to almost be at an even place in RFM or just that she be the most unlucky girl in the world to miss the bid list at every one but not get released earlier from some of the seven.

I think that some girls may truly "slip thorough the cracks" and get dropped even though there's nothing wrong with them, but I think it's far more likely that the majority of "average" PNMs get placed.

jamalter 09-06-2009 10:36 AM

This is an interesting thread for a mom of a PNM at Alabama, who is trying very hard to understand the whole process. I've never been involved with greek life, and my daughter certainly was not "prepared" like I'm reading so many were. This leads me to my thoughts on why my daughter had such an easy time with the process as opposed to some very sad stories that I've read in GC, and may serve as advice to other PNMs trying to understand how to be successful.

My daughter really is "average" at least compared to some I've read about on here. She had a 3.3 GPA, was captain of her volleyball team, had a few minor clubs/organizations that she was involved in (no leadership roles however), and went to a small private school where her rank was right in the middle. She is cute, but not drop dead gorgeous. She didn't take recs seriously, and had recs for less than half the houses. In fact, up until about a week before rush, she was undecided if she was going to go through with it. But at Bama, if you rush, you move in a week early, and this sounded good to her, so she started the process. She had no idea about the different houses and therefore, had a completely open mind going in. I think this is what differentiated her. She pretty much enjoyed every house she visited, maximized all her options every step of the way, and in the end went to the max of 3 pref parties and loved them all.

Had I read GC prior to this process, I would have told her not to bother - she would never make the cut. Bama is too competitive and she wouldn't stand a chance. So why do I think she was sucessful? Because she was relaxed, open minded and never stressed about not making the cut at this house or the other. And that's what I would stress to all new PNMs.

Having said this, no offense, but I still think the process is bizarre.

AXOrushadvisor 09-06-2009 01:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by violetpretty (Post 1843720)
In the age of quota and RFM, I am having a hard time understanding how a PNM with nothing “wrong” with her except being out of state and/or not having recs can get cut from ALL chapters at a competitive campus. Note I am NOT talking about a PNM who gets cut by all chapters but one or two.

By nothing “wrong”, I mean this theoretical PNM is simply average (not poor) in the area of grades, involvement, looks, and conversation, and she does not have a reputation issue. Especially at academically competitive universities, the chances of a PNM looking poor on paper are slim because she wouldn't have been admitted to the university in the first place.

Quota is set to optimize the number of PNMs joining chapters and the number of chapters making quota. Quota is proportional to the number of PNMs in recruitment.

With RFM, the “top” chapters are forced to make the steepest cuts the first round, and the “bottom” chapters are advised to make minimal cuts throughout the process, cutting PNMs who do not meet their membership standards (poor grades, poor conversation/personality, poor personal presentation, etc). This optimizes the placement rate.

Even if this theoretical PNM is from out of state and/or does not have recs (read: unknown), “bottom” chapters have the luxury of not being forced to make steep cuts and therefore have time to get to know her through conversation.

Is there no place for a PNM who is average and unknown? I am not talking about “top 6” at UT or “Old Row” at Bama, etc. I know this may be treading into MS territory, but do “bottom” chapters at competitive schools cut PNMs when there seems to be “no reason” (none of the reasons discussed above) to cut her?

If there are a lot of PNMs getting cut for “no reason”, that’s usually when a Panhellenic looks to Extension.

Perhaps the PNMs/mothers of PNMs released by ALL chapters are simply not telling us on GC any “reason” they could have been cut. And it’s also likely that PNMs who get cut from all chapters are overrepresented on GC because those in the know/with connections don’t need to come to GC for information.

Hi Violet. I almost think the new release methods make recruitment more competitive. With the way our school is doing recruitment, these girls get 15 minutes to show who they are during the first round. If your reserved or shy it is really tough to shine through as the top PNM's going through. If you have done any membership selection during the past couple of years you know your releasing PNM's that would make excellent members and it really becomes a numbers game (getting to the invite number panhellenic gives you) more then any thing.

I worked with a "bottom" Chapter and like someone mentioned on here they do release women who are mean and rude to the girls. I have seen PNM's make active women cry because they were so awful. It would be hard to have those women come back. Some "bottom" Chapters like the fact that their Chapters are small- it had the house I worked with split. There was actually a group of women who didn't want to grow and prosper. They felt they joined the Chapter because of the size and it didn't need to change. What I don't understand is "bottom" chapters releasing for grades. I think if I was trying to get numbers up I would take grade exceptions. I have seen Chapters pick up some good women this way.

My niece went through recruitment right after the new release figures were implemented. 4.0, beautiful, good morals and values- really the total package. She had a flawless recruitment until the night before pref where she was dropped by everyone, but 2 houses. I got a call in tears and I told her to stick it out. She did pledged a GREAT group who was in a rebuilding phase, became recruitment chair, made a difference and it is now a top house on campus 4 years later. Her adorable sister came in right behind her. Even though she couldn't see herself in this group at first it has worked out great for her and her sister. There are happy endings:)

AXOrushadvisor 09-06-2009 01:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by APhiAnna (Post 1843773)
To be fair too, what you are hearing from nervous freshmen PNMs is never going to be true. Girls in our own chapters have a hard enough time keeping it straight. If you ask any PNM at any school that suffered even minor cuts, I guarantee you they will tell you that they just went through the most competitive rush that XYZ University has EVER had. EVER. Obviously top tier ABC may have had a very good idea of who they want to pledge, but I guarantee you that, no matter what campus, there are many chapters who are much more open-minded. And really, do you honestly believe that "XYZ who hasn't made quota in 3 years" started the rush process saying "these 100 girls are the only ones we are interested in bidding and if you aren't already in-state and BFF with at least 3 girls then we will cut you?" No. They are going to be open-minded about EVERY PNM, but they are still going to want women that promote their chapter in a positive way so they can grow. So it's probably not that every single recruitment chair at every single chapter had it out for your since Day #1.

Just go give an example, these are reasons why I, my sisters or my friends at other schools/chapters released women that would fall into "good on paper, good picture, etc" categories. If you saw their resume and their Facebook profile you may have been excited about pledging them until they did one of the following:
* Were you a complainer? "OMG, it's soooo hot...", "Haha sorry I'm sooo tired", "Yeah my roommate is kind of weird and lame", "The dorm food is sooo gross"...
* Did you rest on being shy and think that the burden was on the chapters to realize you'd be more outgoing starting three weeks in?
* Did you only bother getting recs for what your friend's sister's boyfriend told you were the three best sororities?
* Were you rude or disinterested to some chapters during the first round because you "so knew" you were going top tier? Top tier may not have wanted you, but would anybody else want a sister who acted bored either?
* Did you wear clothing in a color that made your normally beautiful skin look pasty? Was your dress silhouette more appropriate to 2003 than 2009?
* Did you talk about how much money you have? Nothing can make somebody look poorer than that...
* Did you only ask questions about the chapters GPA and philanthropy and housing points? We wanted a sister to have fun with too.
* Did you mention you are going to get your sororities letters tattooed on your ass? (This REALLY was brought up to somebody I know during recruitment in EVERY chapter the PNM visited).
* Did you bring up God every sentence to an atheist? Did you roll your eyes when a sister mentioned that XYZ also has a Bible study?
* Did some of your more questionable high school nights end up becoming known to sisters or alumni? Or did you even go so far as to leave the topless kegstand photo on Facebook?
* Were you an "eager beaver" who was trying too hard to be bubbly and "hug attacked" every other member you met?

There are SO many reasons why you may have had a bad rush even if you were average looking with a great GPA.

At the end of it though, blaming the sororities for your mistake will hinder you in life. Rush is a great way of seeing how you do in first impressions. These first impressions will affect your first dates, your job interviews, your impression on coworkers/in laws/professors, meeting with your prospective country club/arts guild/book club/PTA/intramural team/church/synagogue/children's friends parents...and maybe even the second/third/fourth time you rush. It would behoove you to not place the blame on others and sit down and analyze why you may have made some mistakes and how you can correct them for the next time first impressions matter.

Very Good! I can tell you that you are so right on a lot of your list especially this one:Top tier may not have wanted you, but would anybody else want a sister who acted bored either? I can not tell you how many times yesterday I saw disinterested, bored, boring, not paying attention and looking around the room (I would totally do that:)). I think sometimes these women don't even know they are doing this or acting this way. The other common mistake by the last 2 parties these PNM's are pooped- just like the actives are, but they continue to stay alert, upbeat and positive. Some of the PNM's are done and it shows in their conversations and body language and the actives picked up on it.

sassygal 09-06-2009 03:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jamalter (Post 1843958)
This is an interesting thread for a mom of a PNM at Alabama, who is trying very hard to understand the whole process. I've never been involved with greek life, and my daughter certainly was not "prepared" like I'm reading so many were. This leads me to my thoughts on why my daughter had such an easy time with the process as opposed to some very sad stories that I've read in GC, and may serve as advice to other PNMs trying to understand how to be successful.

My daughter really is "average" at least compared to some I've read about on here. She had a 3.3 GPA, was captain of her volleyball team, had a few minor clubs/organizations that she was involved in (no leadership roles however), and went to a small private school where her rank was right in the middle. She is cute, but not drop dead gorgeous. She didn't take recs seriously, and had recs for less than half the houses. In fact, up until about a week before rush, she was undecided if she was going to go through with it. But at Bama, if you rush, you move in a week early, and this sounded good to her, so she started the process. She had no idea about the different houses and therefore, had a completely open mind going in. I think this is what differentiated her. She pretty much enjoyed every house she visited, maximized all her options every step of the way, and in the end went to the max of 3 pref parties and loved them all.

Had I read GC prior to this process, I would have told her not to bother - she would never make the cut. Bama is too competitive and she wouldn't stand a chance. So why do I think she was sucessful? Because she was relaxed, open minded and never stressed about not making the cut at this house or the other. And that's what I would stress to all new PNMs.

Having said this, no offense, but I still think the process is bizarre.

I thought your response was refreshing to read. I always tell folks that going through recruitment is like a job interview. Your interviewing the Chapters just as much as they are interviewing you. It is a mutual selection process. Thanks for sharing your daughters story.

Titchou 09-06-2009 04:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AXOrushadvisor (Post 1843994)
Very Good! I can tell you that you are so right on a lot of your list especially this one:Top tier may not have wanted you, but would anybody else want a sister who acted bored either? I can not tell you how many times yesterday I saw disinterested, bored, boring, not paying attention and looking around the room (I would totally do that:)). I think sometimes these women don't even know they are doing this or acting this way. The other common mistake by the last 2 parties these PNM's are pooped- just like the actives are, but they continue to stay alert, upbeat and positive. Some of the PNM's are done and it shows in their conversations and body language and the actives picked up on it.

Oh gosh! This brings to mind one of the worst nights of my life as an adviser.
We had to release a certain number, not many but at least some. It was down to the last two women to decide between. Both had recs, both were about equal - nothing much on paper to distinguish between the two. However, one had acted soooooo bored that night. The girl who had her had an awful time trying to talk with her. She would give one word answers, if she replied at all, looked around at everyone else, never smiled during the skit, didn't applaud, just a big nothing. So we released her. She obviously "wasn't into us" and the other young lady was. Well, the next day I had an irate alum on my phone, yelling at me because we had totally crushed this girl by not inviting her back. She LOVED us soooooo much and realy wanted to pledge. She dropped out of recruitment because we released her. OMG! She did NOTHING to let us know she even tolerated us, much less liked us. Supposedly she was so nervous that she just blanked on everything, froze up. Well, goodness, how did we know that? I always have felt so badly about this but have no idea what we should have done otherwise. We just did not know and had no way to determine that she really was interested.

So, while you may have the proper "creds", you still have to be on. It really is like a job interview. You smile, talk directly, interact with those around you, be polite and act like you are enjoying yourself. You never know when you'll be "that" one.

APhiAnna 09-06-2009 04:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by myopicsunflower (Post 1843821)
O_O

Did this PNM pledge anywhere???

You know what is outrageous? She did get a bid to apparently the struggling chapter on their campus. But I know for a fact that she had brought this up at multiple chapters...I had two friends that went to this same university and they were in different chapters, and they discussed how this girl had become sort of a "rush legend" in both their sororities. I guess she had the school's logo on one cheek and told everybody, and then said she would tattoo the letters on the other one. There was even a facebook picture of her showing the school logo for some time. No word on if she got the letters in the end. But still...I mean, really?

dukemama 09-06-2009 05:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by APhiAnna (Post 1844026)
No word on if she got the letters in the end.

Good one! :D

RhoGamma09 09-06-2009 05:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by APhiAnna (Post 1843750)
To be honest too, sometimes the advice given on here is more focused on what an alumni/advisor would like to hear in recruitment rather than what a 19 year old sophomore is actually going to want to hear. For example, I agree it's good to ask questions about the philanthropy, GPA, etc. But if it's been two parties and all she's done is ask questions about the chapter, she's gained a lot of information about the sorority but the sorority has gained none about her. They may be stuck...sitting around thinking, "well, she's obviously interested, but can I see hanging out with this girl in my sweatpants around the TV? Can I see myself wanting to be her big? Will she be fun to be with at socials?". So I think it is REALLY important to make sure the actives are learning as much about you as you are learning about them...GPA and community service are great, but at the end of the day we want a sister and at some schools EVERY PNM coming through has incredible GPA, activities and community service.

This is really important. I am a living example of that, I went through, and I knew a lot about my first choice sorority, so I didnt have to ask really many questions, and I was relaxed and talking and we just had fun. At the other houses, I didnt really know what they were about, and I (always have a lot of questions anyways!) got so into finding out about them, I forgot to actually make an impression.

I did fine and I got my first choice, but yes, there was a huge difference in the way I acted between the first choice and all the others! So this is something to consider! I know that I made a couple key "mistakes" in maximizing how many chapters I got invited back to, but I was one of the lucky ones and even though I kind of suicided, I was a perfect fit my for my first choice and got a bid.....for many girls though, it doesnt work out so well, and they honestly mightve just not made an impression, or blew off all the wrong houses.

exlurker 09-06-2009 06:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AXOrushadvisor (Post 1843994)
. . . The other common mistake by the last 2 parties these PNM's are pooped- just like the actives are, but they continue to stay alert, upbeat and positive. Some of the PNM's are done and it shows in their conversations and body language and the actives picked up on it.

Quick question, then: have any chapters or Panhellenic systems as a whole had some success with planning and carrying out a very short activity at the start of the last couple of open house parties to acknowledge and share in the feling of poopedness -- and then to move on?

Sometimes just a quick mention of the exhausted elephant in the room might be a spark to bring some half-dead PNMs back into the moment.

Not cheezy, like "If you're tired and you know it, clap your hands," but some little thing to re-energize a bit?

tld221 09-06-2009 07:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AXOrushadvisor (Post 1843991)
I worked with a "bottom" Chapter and like someone mentioned on here they do release women who are mean and rude to the girls. I have seen PNM's make active women cry because they were so awful. It would be hard to have those women come back.

oh come ON - what could a 17-18 year old freshman really say to a (possibly older) active that would make them cry? its a serious question-i really dont see a PNM being so crude and crass that it could bring a member to tears.

whatever it is, those girls need not be rushing PNMs. put them on the refreshment or door chant committee. i would hope that an active could handle the worst of anything a PNM could say, from "this house sucks" to "yo mama."

RhoGamma09 09-06-2009 09:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tld221 (Post 1844059)
oh come ON - what could a 17-18 year old freshman really say to a (possibly older) active that would make them cry? its a serious question-i really dont see a PNM being so crude and crass that it could bring a member to tears.

whatever it is, those girls need not be rushing PNMs. put them on the refreshment or door chant committee. i would hope that an active could handle the worst of anything a PNM could say, from "this house sucks" to "yo mama."

I dont know about crying, but man, I do understand what they're saying about mean and crude girls. Or just scary. There are plenty of stories on here.

If you just plain dont feel comfortable around a person, I dont care who you are, its the chapter's right to not extend a bid to that pnm!

KSUViolet06 09-06-2009 11:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tld221 (Post 1844059)
oh come ON - what could a 17-18 year old freshman really say to a (possibly older) active that would make them cry? its a serious question-i really dont see a PNM being so crude and crass that it could bring a member to tears.

whatever it is, those girls need not be rushing PNMs. put them on the refreshment or door chant committee. i would hope that an active could handle the worst of anything a PNM could say, from "this house sucks" to "yo mama."


Check out the "Weird Rush Stores" thread. It's quite full of stories of rude, snotty, PNMs who have the balls to say some very mean things about chapters, particularly those that are not their favorites. I doubt they'd cry about it DURING the party, but I have heard of active members of chapters being insulted enough by a comment to possibly cry between parties. I am not a crier, nor am I easily offended, but some people are.

UGAalum94 09-06-2009 11:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tld221 (Post 1844059)
oh come ON - what could a 17-18 year old freshman really say to a (possibly older) active that would make them cry? its a serious question-i really dont see a PNM being so crude and crass that it could bring a member to tears.

whatever it is, those girls need not be rushing PNMs. put them on the refreshment or door chant committee. i would hope that an active could handle the worst of anything a PNM could say, from "this house sucks" to "yo mama."

Often the chapters on the receiving end of this kind of treatment are the smallest ones who can't afford not to have every girl rushing.

And yeah, it can be kind of awkward and shocking to have someone be rude right to your face. I doubt she meant that they burst into tears on the spot, but just that it's hard to take.


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