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-   -   FYI Disappointed Moms (http://www.greekchat.com/gcforums/showthread.php?t=121568)

Lightning Bug! 08-26-2011 01:42 PM

FYI Disappointed Moms
 
Dear disappointed moms,

Your daughter is the whole package, and you do not understand why she didn't get a bid. Other posters remind you that pretty much all the girls going through recruitment are the whole package and then some. They also remind you that your daughter should have (if she didn't) maximized her options in terms of being open to joining any chapter at a competitive school.

I see a common thread in your posts, or perhaps what I see is lack of a common realization. Especially at state schools, there is a great deal of networking going on that you aren't seeing. If you look at the Facebook pages of active members, often they are friends with PNMs months, if not years, before they go through recruitment. They know them from camp, church, school, or family. Their moms may know each other. Or some super helpful alumna calls up her friends who are close to the actives in XYZ house at Big SEC School and puts in a good word. You must also keep in mind that, at some chapters, a good portion of the new member class spent several weekends their senior year going to College Town and hanging out with girls from their high schools in part so they could meet girls in sororities or going as dates to their older (college aged) boyfriend's fraternity formal, where they meet sorority members.

Now many girls go through recruitment successfully without networking, but for every girl at a big SEC school who does this, there are two more who happen to know, at least casually, 25% of the chapter before recruitment even begins. Sometimes this works against them, if they are prone to really trashy or bitchy shenanigans, but often it works for them. But the point is, if your daughter is coming from a small town or out of state to a state school, and she doesn't know a bunch of people in sororities already, then that may have been a factor in her recruitment results. And that isn't something to beat yourself up about. She probably was the total package, but networking worked against her.

Now this doesn't get her a bid, but hopefully it will give you perspective. Again, many girls do go through recruitment successfully without the benefit of networking. I did it as an out-of-stater at a state school. It was hard. I didn't know anybody at my school. Not a soul. My mother just didn't know anybody connected with my school, so all she could do was make sure I had recs to every house possible. I still got heavy cuts after the second round, including at one house where I was a double legacy AND the great grand-daughter of a member who had founded a chapter. I had the whole package to boot. I got cut, because even with recs, nobody knew me, and those actives already knew enough girls coming through to fill four pledge classes. Yes, that's right. A majority of the girls at that chapter went to one of three big high schools and were counselors at one of four major camps, and they knew enough girls from school and camp to fill FOUR pledge classes. At another house, I only got asked back to pref because it turned out that a girl from my high school, older than I, had transferred there and fought for me. At the house I pledged, I was a legacy through my mother, I had a rec from a member of the top leadership at the sorority's national level, and it was a house that took a lot of out of state girls. Now I could have gone to my state's big flagship school and had a much easier time with rush, since I had friends in about half the houses there, but I wanted to go to Out-of-State U, and I never regretted that decision.

It is hard going through recruitment. Nobody here can tell you why your daughter got cut from a certain house. And this is not a call for you to become creepy helimom and start friending random girls from XYZ house on Facebook or get your daughter to do so, unless she is in a position to do so (knows a bunch from camp or something) and just hasn't bothered to friend them; then it would be time to clue her in to the power of networking. Nor is this post meant to discourage moms of girls who don't have connections in sororities already - there are plenty of girls who successfully go through recruitment without the benefit of networking. But know that at some super-competitive state schools, networking is a big part of recruitment.

Best wishes.

DeltaBetaBaby 08-26-2011 03:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lightning Bug! (Post 2085061)
A majority of the girls at that chapter went to one of three big high schools and were counselors at one of four major camps,

Just out of curiosity, can you expand on this? I never had any non-Jewish friends who went to summer camp. Is it a big thing in some states?

Lightning Bug! 08-26-2011 03:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DeltaBetaBaby (Post 2085115)
Just out of curiosity, can you expand on this? I never had any non-Jewish friends who went to summer camp. Is it a big thing in some states?

Yes. If you look at girls camps in the Southeast (especially North Carolina) and Texas, the counselor bios often list their sorority. It isn't as if the counselors are running around camp with their letters on, but this becomes a great way to meet people outside your hometown/high school whom you will run into again (or even become a sister of) at college.

srmom 08-26-2011 03:56 PM

Mystic, Waldemar, Longhorn for girls, Stewart, La Junta, Longhorn for boys - Google those camp names, a predominance of Greeks at UT went to one of those camps.

carnation 08-26-2011 04:11 PM

Sticking this because it really explains a lot--

amIblue? 08-26-2011 04:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DeltaBetaBaby (Post 2085115)
Just out of curiosity, can you expand on this? I never had any non-Jewish friends who went to summer camp. Is it a big thing in some states?

My husband is one of seven, and they all went to summer camp, and so far, they have all sent their sons/daughters when they've gotten old enough to camp. They're not Jewish. They live in Atlanta, so I don't know if it's an Atlanta thing or what. Tons of their friends went, too. My husband has even randomly met people well into his adulthood that he went to camp with.

I went to camp growing up in Tennessee, but not that kind of extended, long summer camp like they did. I always got homesick. :o

ComradesTrue 08-26-2011 04:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lightning Bug! (Post 2085119)
Yes. If you look at girls camps in the Southeast (especially North Carolina) and Texas, the counselor bios often list their sorority. It isn't as if the counselors are running around camp with their letters on, but this becomes a great way to meet people outside your hometown/high school whom you will run into again (or even become a sister of) at college.

In addition to this, if you attend camp for most of your childhood up through high school, then you will have had sufficient time to know the girls 1-2 years older than you that also attend that same camp every year. By the time you get to college, those girls may be actives on your campus.

Lightning Bug! 08-26-2011 04:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by carnation (Post 2085128)
Sticking this because it really explains a lot--

Glad others find it helpful. There's so much good advice that has been given on Greek Chat, but I just felt bad, seeing so many moms and PNMs come here thinking that their beautiful daughters/they were walking on to a level playing field. That just is not the case at many Southern schools, especially flagship state schools. Of course I hope this doesn't discourage girls without these connections from going through recruitment. I also know that this isn't going to help moms who then ask, "Okay, then what is it that helps "outsiders" navigate recruitment successfully?" Besides telling them that their daughters need to be absolutely outstanding to edge out all the known quantities going through recruitment, there's not much we can say. If your daughter can network gracefully (note the emphasis), then she should do so - it's a great life skill to have.

KSUViolet06 08-26-2011 05:13 PM

I'm not from a big SEC school, but I have posted about this very thing before.

There are exceptions, but I feel like the majority of girls who come to GC for advice are not really prepared in the netowrking sense for the type of school they're heading to.

Many times, they aren't children of Greeks, or they don't come from an area where many people go Greek in college. They don't go to HS where everyone graduates and goes Greek. They don't go to camp. People in their church aren't Greek.

So their parents fish out info on GC. Great. There is a lot of info here about the tangibles (grades, recs, activities) but not as much about conversation, networking, etc. So parents pass on info about tangibles or PNMs read up on it. They have all of the tangible stuff down pat (grades, recs, et.) So they figure they're golden, right? Not so much.

By nature of not knowing anyone who is greek, being a first gen. college student, being from out of state, or a small town, they are already at a disavantage at some of the bigger Greek schools no matter what tangible things they may have.

For example, let's say that ABC at Big Southern University has 100 members (not using big numbers because I'm tired.) Each of them personally knows 2 PNMs from church/camp/high school/etc. that they think would make great ABCs.

100 x 2 = 200 women that they vouch for and really want back for next round.

For the next round, they can only invite back say, 300. Out of that 300, there are 200 girls with personal connections whom members already know of and want.

Assuming that all 200 of those are issued an invite, that leaves just 100 spots for "newer" PNMs whom no one has heard of prior to recruitment.

My point is that personal connections are very important.

This is not to say that if you send Suzie to an all Greek staffed summer camp in the summer before senior year, she's a shoo-in.

But those PNMs who have attended camp, lived in the same neighborhood, gone to HS, and played softball since 6th grade with sorority members (and have developed relationships with them) do have an advantage.


This is just rambling, but feel free to flame, correct me, whatever.


SWTXBelle 08-26-2011 05:16 PM

One of the MOST IMPORTANT THINGS - REGISTER WITH YOUR ALUMNAE PANHELLENIC! Many of them have informative sessions that will help you or your daughter KNOW what to expect, plus you cannot beat them for getting recs. The vast majority of our Katy TX girls are NOT legacies yet they have successful recruitments. Some of it is just that they are 'complete packages' - attractive, intelligent, involved young women -(just like all the other pnms!) but the other part is knowing what to expect and being PREPARED.

KSUViolet06 08-26-2011 05:16 PM

Double posting, but I think the "preparing for recruitment since birth" thread touches on the networking topic a little bit:

http://www.greekchat.com/gcforums/sh...ht=ding+winner

Disclaimer: no I don't think you should start prepping for recruitment since birth, but the thread does touch a little on the advantage of networking.

carnation 08-26-2011 05:23 PM

When I first moved to Mississippi for grad school, I noticed that all these PNMs from different towns seemed to know each other. I finally asked about it and the Greek Director told me all the ways that they would indeed have gotten to know each other...camp, visiting out-of-town relatives, cheer and dance workshops--the list went on and on.

Now I watch my husband's cousin's 10-year-old in Alabama and she's already doing that. By the pictures they send, I can tell that at that age, she's already creating networks various ways and I bet I can already predict the 3 sororities she's most likely to pledge if she goes to Auburn.

What can you do to meet Greeks ahead of time if you're not from in-state? Orientation is helpful to a point but also summer jobs (maybe at camps?) where you're likely to meet other university students can work; summer school is a huge help.

shirley1929 08-26-2011 05:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lightning Bug! (Post 2085119)
It isn't as if the counselors are running around camp with their letters on, but this becomes a great way to meet people outside your hometown/high school whom you will run into again (or even become a sister of) at college.

Actually, they do. All those party shirts and rush tank-tops? Perfect items to throw in the bag to wear all summer while being a camp counselor. Hats, visors, socks...

Quote:

Originally Posted by Blondie93 (Post 2085132)
In addition to this, if you attend camp for most of your childhood up through high school, then you will have had sufficient time to know the girls 1-2 years older than you that also attend that same camp every year. By the time you get to college, those girls may be actives on your campus.

Not to mention that by the time you've gone through all of this many of the older girls have become dear friends. You've lived with them for a month out of each year for the last 8 summers!

Quote:

Originally Posted by KSUViolet06 (Post 2085150)
I'm not from a big SEC school, but I have posted about this very thing before.

There are exceptions, but I feel like the majority of girls who come to GC for advice are not really prepared in the netowrking sense for the type of school they're heading to.

Many times, they aren't children of Greeks, or they don't come from an area where many people go Greek in college. They don't go to HS where everyone graduates and goes Greek. They don't go to camp. People in their church aren't Greek.

So their parents fish out info on GC. Great. There is a lot of info here about the tangibles (grades, recs, activities) but not as much about conversation, networking, etc. So parents pass on info about tangibles or PNMs read up on it. They have all of the tangible stuff down pat (grades, recs, et.) So they figure they're golden, right? Not so much.

By nature of not knowing anyone who is greek, being a first gen. college student, being from out of state, or a small town, they are already at a disavantage at some of the bigger Greek schools no matter what tangible things they may have.

For example, let's say that ABC at Big Southern University has 100 members (not using big numbers because I'm tired.) Each of them personally knows 2 PNMs from church/camp/high school/etc. that they think would make great ABCs.

100 x 2 = 200 women that they vouch for and really want back for next round.

For the next round, they can only invite back say, 300. Out of that 300, there are 200 girls with personal connections whom members already know of and want.

Assuming that all 200 of those are issued and invite, that leaves just 100 spots for "newer" PNMs whom no one has heard of prior to recruitment.

My point is that personal connections are very important.

This is not to say that if you send Suzie to an all Greek staffed summer camp, she's a shoo-in. But those PNMs who have attended camp, lived in the same neighborhood, gone to HS, and played softball since 6th grade with sorority members (and have developed relationships with them) do have an advantage.

This is just rambling, but feel free to flame, correct me, whatever.


Pretty much spot-on here. Many of these people know these girls on a really deep personal level before summer (before college) begins because of all these connections. I'd contend that in some chapters, you take that 200 number and raise it almost to 300. Throw in some "unknown" legacies that you'd like to keep your eye on, and you're up to your 300 very quickly.

That's also why someone who is believed to be a "grade risk" might go further in a certain chapter than someone who isn't. Doesn't happen a whole ton, but girls who are well known can "be vouched for" just generally do better. Is it fair? No, sadly, it's not.

Can it work against you if you're Annoying Annie at camp/school/softball? Yes, but more often than not it works in the PNM's favor.

KSUViolet06 08-26-2011 05:38 PM

^^^Right.

We also see a lot of "My Suzie graduated with a 4.0 and was cut by ABC but Roommate Ronda got a bid and she has a 3.6. What gives?"

It's very possible that Ronda knows a ton of ABCs from dance and has been seeing them/hanging out with them at dance camp since they were 14.

As a sidenote, a lot of PNMs will say "how did I get cut? I knew a ton of ABCs." The issue here is maybe they didn't like you or consider you to be a friend they'd like to see in their letters.

You also have to remember the sheer number of other PNMs who know just as many ABCs as you do.

That's why it's important not to focus on just ONE group when meeting people. Try to meet people and build relationships with people from different groups. And keep an open mind.

shirley1929 08-26-2011 05:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by KSUViolet06 (Post 2085161)
^^^Right.

We also see a lot of "My Suzie graduated with a 4.0 and was cut by ABC but Roommate Ronda got a bid and she has a 3.6. What gives?"

It's very possible that Ronda knows a ton of ABCs from dance and has been seeing them/hanging out with them at dance camp since they were 14.

As a sidenote, a lot of PNMs will say "how did I get cut? I knew a ton of ABCs." The issue here is maybe they didn't like you or consider you to be a friend they'd like to see in their letters.

You also have to remember the sheer number of other PNMs who know just as many ABCs as you do.

That's why it's important not to focus on just ONE group when meeting people. Try to meet people and build relationships with people from different groups. And keep an open mind.

Exactly. I think many people want to believe that sorority recruitment is utopian and merit-based. In that world, the absolute top girls in grades/looks/convo/extras/recs would be offered their pick of all houses each round because of their perfect-ness. Unfortunately, it's quite a bit more complicated than that.


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