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Buttonz 02-11-2005 11:35 PM

small vs big/dorm vs commuter/house vs no house
Has anyone noticed a diffrence in how your national org treats chapters of diffrent sizes, or on diffrent types?

It seems that both AEPhi and AXiD's national org are more understanding of the diffrent circumstances that affect us as a commuter campus. I know SDT's national isn't that understand to us, at least not from what I have seen.

Anyne else notice anything?

Tom Earp 02-11-2005 11:47 PM

In A Nut Shell Deffinte maybe!

Good Question tho!:)

STL Kappa 02-12-2005 12:26 AM

What do you mean?? That nationals would treat you more favorably as a smaller chapter?? Or a bigger chapter??

Maybe I'm just not understanding.:D

Buttonz 02-12-2005 12:58 AM


Originally posted by STL Kappa
What do you mean?? That nationals would treat you more favorably as a smaller chapter?? Or a bigger chapter??

Maybe I'm just not understanding.:D

Just overall....are they willing to provide the same amount of support, arethey understanding of the diffrent circumstances, etc

KSUViolet06 02-12-2005 01:16 AM

I honestly didn't think it mattered how small your chapter was, if the rest of the chapters on campus are around the same size. If Alpha Xi Delta and AEPhi are both relatively similar in size and are unhoused as well, I really don't see why your HQ would see it as an issue.

kddani 02-12-2005 10:03 AM

When we were smaller.... we were pushed harder, had more visits. We needed it, we got the resources to get better and we did.

SDT seems to be VERY understanding, especially with their chapter on my campus. That chapter has been the smallest since before I rushed. And we're not talking like 35 when the total is 60... usually they were maybe around 15. I heard various reasons for this, some being that they liked everyone to live in the suite (our suites hold ~16), etc. At one point in time they did get a few sisters who really tried to make a push to get bigger, but they didn't get too far and it just reverted back down. I'm not sure what their current numbers are. They had been recolonized in the latter half of the 90's. They have a gorgeous suite, I guess they have some wealthy alumnae that help keep them afloat. But i'm pretty sure had my KD chapter ever been at that level and stayed there...we would've been gone. I really don't know how they can financially do it- whoever did that chapter's budget had to have been good. Or again, if they had a lot of donations or something.

AGDee 02-12-2005 10:20 AM

I think that Alpha Gam is understanding of the differences between all chapters. They provide special exceptions to some chapters for things like a mandatory Housing Support Fee. We have a chapter in the inner city of Detroit at Wayne State University who gets exempt from this payment each year. I have another chapter who rents their house and has permission for a reduced mandatory fee.

They had scheduled a travelling consultant for Wayne State for 10 days and I talked with them about shortening the stay because, for them, a consultant is usually staying at someone's house with their parents, since they all live at home and commute. They were able to shorten the stay to make it more comfortable for everybody and still get things accomplished.

The awards that are presented at our Convention are divided into categories based on size. So three awards are actually given: one for chapters under 50, one for chapters with 50-95 and one for chapters over 95. That way chapters are competing for awards with other chapters of similar means/sizes. The current philosophy is to pour tons of support into struggling chapter to keep them alive and get them thriving again instead of closing them.

Bottom line is, we have some awesome chapters with 30 members and some awesome chapters with 150 members. How well they are living up to our purpose has nothing to do with their size. If a chapter has a house there are financial reasons for needing to be bigger, to be able to fill a house. It is easier to get things accomplished with at least 30 members. When you don't have enough women to fill all the offices and people are doubling up on offices, they get exhausted and burned out and retention suffers. It is easier for them if they are of similar size to the other chapters on their campus because of things like Greek Week competitions, socials, and sadly, reputations.


PM_Mama00 02-12-2005 10:56 AM

It could possibly be the amount of Nationals people that live near my chapter, but we seem to get a lot of attention. At least risk management wise but that could also be our advisor. There's absolutely nothing we can get away with. I like it tho cuz it helps us to uphold our ideals. As for getting in our Phi Mu newsletter (Aglaia) smaller chapters are rarely ever in there. We've gotten a few small pictures in there, but nothing that exciting. It's always larger chapters.

astroAPhi 02-12-2005 11:38 AM

I don't think I've actually seen an Alpha Phi chapter on a commuter campus, now that I think about it. If someone has, then please let me know!

Like PM_Mama00, I've also noticed that the big chapters seem to get the most attention in the Quarterly. Even though I think we'd be considered a medium-sized chapter by most sororities (we're at about 35-45 girls usually, with total being 40), I have a feeling that we are one of the smaller Alpha Phi chapters. I think our headquarters would prefer larger chapters, but they understand that some campuses just aren't going to have big chapters.

33girl 02-12-2005 01:37 PM


Originally posted by lilsunshine214
Kent State is known as a commuter campus. We have 35,000 students and about 3,000 live on campus.
:confused: :confused:

Obviously you know more about your school than I do, but even if there's only actual dorm space for 3000, I've never heard of Kent being referred to as a commuter school or would think of it as such. Plus doesn't the 35,000 include some branches? If that was all at main campus it would be as big as Penn State Main which I don't think it is.

KSUViolet06 02-12-2005 02:03 PM


Originally posted by 33girl
:confused: :confused:

Obviously you know more about your school than I do, but even if there's only actual dorm space for 3000, I've never heard of Kent being referred to as a commuter school or would think of it as such. Plus doesn't the 35,000 include some branches? If that was all at main campus it would be as big as Penn State Main which I don't think it is.

Those figures have GOT to include the branches. Last figures I got which were from this fall @ the All Panhellenic Retreat said 24,000 students with about 5,000 on campus, which is still pretty commuter heavy but not as much as some schools. 35,000 would put us in Penn State or OSU's range, I definitely know we're not that big.

KSUViolet06 02-12-2005 02:18 PM


Originally posted by lilsunshine214
My mistake. I remember hearing it at the beginning of the school year from the Dean of Undergraduate Studies. Maybe he was mistaken?
KSU Factbook

Not entirely. Total enrollment for all 8 branches IS 35,000. But the main campus is only at about 25,000. :)

PM_Mama00 02-12-2005 03:23 PM

I always thought it was a campus with no housing at all. Like Eastern Michigan, I'd consider that part-commuter because, if I'm not mistaken, half the school lives there and half commutes.

TxAPhi 02-12-2005 03:46 PM


Originally posted by roqueemae
What is the definition of "Commuter School" anyway? People throw that term around and I am not really sure what makes a campus "commuter"

A commuter campus is a school that is the opposite of a residential school. Most of the students don't live on or around campus. They drive in every day sometimes from great distances or they schedule their classes for only certain days of the week to cut down on drive time. So the campus atmosphere can be a little more like a "ghost town" when class isn't in session or on the weekends. It can make it hard for them to participate in extra activities like greek life or student government. These schools also often have higher percentages of nontraditional students.

There are many schools that are a mix of commuter and residential.

Commuter campuses get a stigma because they are often ranked lower on reports like Princeton and US News because the nature of communting also affects retention and graduation rates. Many of these schools try to fix this by building gyms, better recreation, a nice union, promote apartments, lure stores to the area --- to keep students on campus for more than classes. And they will build up their prominence in certain majors to lure more students and gain a reputation for excellence in that area.

To me, the concept is similar to a "bedroom community" -- where a town becomes a ghost town during the day because everyone is commuting into the city to go to work. The town tries to lure more businesses and entertainment to its own area to keep its residents' money and volunteer interests in the area.

aephi alum 02-12-2005 04:16 PM

I've found that AEPhi's national office has been pretty understanding of my chapter's situation. We were a local sorority with 10 active sisters, and we wanted to remain relatively small. Total was (and I believe still is) 80, and we didn't feel it was really possible to form a sisterly bond with 79 chapter sisters... we wanted to grow to around 50. AEPhi was actually cool with the idea of our wanting to stay below total. My chapter has faced pressure to grow (10 is just a little too small), but we haven't had our arms twisted to get to total this semester or else, we don't get nastygrams when we don't make quota, etc. Plus, a few area alums always turn out to help with recruitment, so the chapter has support.

Every school is different. For most GLOs, there are campuses where they're the only chapter there and campuses where there are tons of GLOs represented. There are chapters at commuter schools and at residential schools. There are big chapters and little chapters; there are little chapters where all the other chapters are big (indicating a possible problem) and little chapters where all the other chapters are also little (which usually means there isn't a problem, greek life just isn't all that big there). Every chapter has its own situation, and it's great when a national office is flexible enough to recognize that one size doesn't fit all.

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