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  #1  
Old 08-25-2017, 02:10 PM
ColdInCanada11 ColdInCanada11 is offline
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All unstructured recruitment? (Article)

I recently ran across this article online, and I'm curious to know what people think of it- while recruitment is contrived, I think that it's not possible at large campus to have unstructured recruitment for 150+ women (from the sorority side). Also, I'm not tee-total but alcohol isn't at every single get together and gathering I go to... (And that's from a Canadian who could legally drink at 18). What are your thoughts, GC?


https://fraternityman.com/formal-rec...ral-unhelpful/
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  #2  
Old 08-25-2017, 04:16 PM
33girl 33girl is offline
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Actually "recruiting" people would be fabulous if there were no huge houses to fill...but this guy has obviously never seen a (for example) water bill for a housing facility that holds 50 people. If we ever get to the point where students are outright refusing to live in communal Greek housing, maybe this will work.

But even without the housing factor, completely jettisoning formal rush is a terrible idea for many reasons:

-Not everyone is comfortable just showing up at a dinner or social event with a bunch of people they don't know. Rushing is a lot easier when you're not the only one doing it.
-A true "recruitment only" system would put pressure on chapters even more than there is now to get the "best on paper" rushees. The human connection element would decrease until GLOs were just another club for your resume.
-Formal rush forces rushees to look at all the groups instead of just the largest and most popular ones. I know it's different for boys and girls, but a nonstructured rush with 1st semester freshmen eligible for bids was a hot mess on my campus. The girls who didn't get the bid they wanted didn't say "well, I'll try somewhere else because the girls I met at XYZ were nice too." They were more likely to say "forget Greek life."

Finally the alcohol angle is stupid. I'm old enough to remember wet fraternity rush and I'm honestly surprised they got anything done. Half the brothers spent the time talking to girls, and many of the "rushees" were only there for the free beer and food.
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  #3  
Old 08-26-2017, 02:07 PM
ColdInCanada11 ColdInCanada11 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 33girl View Post
Actually "recruiting" people would be fabulous if there were no huge houses to fill...but this guy has obviously never seen a (for example) water bill for a housing facility that holds 50 people. If we ever get to the point where students are outright refusing to live in communal Greek housing, maybe this will work.

But even without the housing factor, completely jettisoning formal rush is a terrible idea for many reasons:

-Not everyone is comfortable just showing up at a dinner or social event with a bunch of people they don't know. Rushing is a lot easier when you're not the only one doing it.
-A true "recruitment only" system would put pressure on chapters even more than there is now to get the "best on paper" rushees. The human connection element would decrease until GLOs were just another club for your resume.
-Formal rush forces rushees to look at all the groups instead of just the largest and most popular ones. I know it's different for boys and girls, but a nonstructured rush with 1st semester freshmen eligible for bids was a hot mess on my campus. The girls who didn't get the bid they wanted didn't say "well, I'll try somewhere else because the girls I met at XYZ were nice too." They were more likely to say "forget Greek life."

Finally the alcohol angle is stupid. I'm old enough to remember wet fraternity rush and I'm honestly surprised they got anything done. Half the brothers spent the time talking to girls, and many of the "rushees" were only there for the free beer and food.
I'm decently outgoing, and even I can say that if I had to randomly show up to a "casual" event with no structure and the whole chapter to meet, I would have panicked. I think it would definitely increase the amount of "dirty rushing" (though that's only applicable to us women, I guess), too- the free for all approach was ended for a reason....

That was my other question- would college kids not just flock to it for the free beer and food and then leave once it is acquired?

We are moving from formally structured recruitment to partially structured on our campus, and I'm hoping that it gives PNMs more flexibility (making it easier for them to come out) without being super overwhelming. I am thinking that this article was taking the "freedom" of male recruitment and running with it?
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  #4  
Old 08-26-2017, 02:59 PM
ASTalumna06 ASTalumna06 is offline
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I understand what he's saying and his want for people to have more time to get to know each other, especially when offering a lifelong membership into an organization. However,

1) Alcohol. Yes, adults dress up and go to dinner parties, and workplace happy hours, and weddings, and other formal functions where they stand around and converse and get to know each other with a drink in their hands. Do you really picture that happening at a fraternity house? And I'm sure I don't have to mention that at a rush/recruitment event, most of the potential members would be underage, even in Canada.

2) Formal Recruitment. Yes, it's unnatural. Yes, it's unlike other ways that people make friends. But it's necessary (for reasons that I don't need to explain here).

3) Pledge period. I will agree that 6-8 weeks is not that long of a time to see if someone is truly committed to the organization. However, what exactly is being done to confirm in that time that members are committed? I think new members should be given way more responsibility than they are. Instead of showering them with gifts and treating them like they're royalty (and on the flip side, hazing them heavily), they should be required to do the same things that active members do. Because I've seen on way too many occasions people who are initiated and wonder one of two things (and sometimes both): a) hey, where is the love? or b) why am I suddenly required to show up to all of these meetings and events?

4) Plus everything that has already been mentioned above by 33girl and ColdInCanada.

When I went through recruitment back in 2004, my school only used COB at the time. We struggled to build a decent sized pledge class. All the sororities did. And the only reason I attended a recruitment event was because one of the sisters offered to pick me up at my dorm and walk with me to the party, which made me much less nervous than walking into the party by myself. Some people would prefer this option, but many don't. However, holding parties isn't the only way that chapters should be recruiting informally, but I could write a book about that.

And as 33girl mentioned, the bigger problem is that it didn't force potential members to look at all of their options. When I became the chapter's Recruitment Advisor many years later, there was a PNM that attended our recruitment events for three semesters. Fortunately, that last semester she also got the hint, went to some events for Theta Phi Alpha, and they gave her a bid. Unfortunately for her, she lost out on a full year of sorority membership because she put all of her eggs in one basket. And there was another chapter out there that clearly wanted her to be a sister.

There are pros and cons to both systems, but I think organizations could use a little of both in order to fill their chapters. In the article, he mentions Phired Up, and they do teach you how to make real connections with people. But what they teach can be applied to chapters that use either formal or informal recruitment structures. People join people. That's true regardless of how you bring in new members.
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Last edited by ASTalumna06; 08-26-2017 at 03:05 PM.
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  #5  
Old 08-28-2017, 02:04 PM
Cheerio Cheerio is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 33girl View Post
Actually "recruiting" people would be fabulous if there were no huge houses to fill...but this guy has obviously never seen a (for example) water bill for a housing facility that holds 50 people. If we ever get to the point where students are outright refusing to live in communal Greek housing, maybe this will work.

But even without the housing factor, completely jettisoning formal rush is a terrible idea for many reasons:

-Not everyone is comfortable just showing up at a dinner or social event with a bunch of people they don't know. Rushing is a lot easier when you're not the only one doing it.

-A true "recruitment only" system would put pressure on chapters even more than there is now to get the "best on paper" rushees. The human connection element would decrease until GLOs were just another club for your resume.

-Formal rush forces rushees to look at all the groups instead of just the largest and most popular ones. I know it's different for boys and girls, but a nonstructured rush with 1st semester freshmen eligible for bids was a hot mess on my campus. The girls who didn't get the bid they wanted didn't say "well, I'll try somewhere else because the girls I met at XYZ were nice too." They were more likely to say "forget Greek life."

Finally the alcohol angle is stupid. I'm old enough to remember wet fraternity rush and I'm honestly surprised they got anything done. Half the brothers spent the time talking to girls, and many of the "rushees" were only there for the free beer and food.
Without getting too far off topic, there are sometimes one or two sororities that intentionally do not formal rush at schools with huge recruitment classes. This is their choice and panhel allows it. This gives them smaller pledge classes, but again it is their allowed decision.

On (another website) people complain these smaller non-formal recruiting chapters are making house sizes difficult/too large because they refuse to 'get with the program and formal rush, take larger pledge classes and maybe even get a larger house'.

What is NPC thinking about this type of situation? Will NPC eventually require all groups on a campus with huge recruitment numbers to formally recruit thus cutting-down large new member class sizes?
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  #6  
Old 08-28-2017, 02:42 PM
33girl 33girl is offline
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I've also seen the other side of the coin on "another website" - people complaining about the small chapter participating in formal because it messes up quota and girls get stuck there.

Damned if they do, damned if they don't.

As long as the non-formal rushing chapter isn't being figured into q/t and isn't throwing a wrench into any expansion plans, I don't understand why everyone has their tits in a twist, any more than they should over, say, Tau Beta Sigma or Omega Phi Alpha.

The thing is - these chapters usually come to this conclusion BECAUSE they didn't do well in formal. So the only way it would decrease NM class sizes is by girls dropping out when it's their only group left.

ETA: I also think the chapters that do this hold their rush AFTER formal rush and encourage women to look at all the chapters. It's not an issue of grabbing them before they get their footing. My campus (deferred rush school) had that problem with little sister orgs. There were lots of first semester freshmen who pledged them without fully knowing what they were getting into. I don't think that is a situation here.
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Last edited by 33girl; 08-28-2017 at 05:18 PM.
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  #7  
Old 08-31-2017, 01:00 PM
fraternitynik fraternitynik is offline
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Hey y'all - I'm the author.

Just saying thanks for sharing the post (whether you agree or disagree), and I'm happy it sparked a little conversation. A couple quick thoughts:

- I don't think alcohol is necessary, I just meant to point out that it's strange how many formal recruitment events are modeled after parties, but are sort of sterile environments. (I was a fraternity recruiter for 3 years; I've recruited hundreds w/o alcohol. I think good organizations still will & still do)

- I don't think allowing structure is bad - but the best fraternities and sororities continue recruiting throughout the year. It requires that they develop a strong brand and learn to be social and reach out to people. I think that some managed recruitment settings (particularly NPC's, which IFCs sometimes poorly copy) can prop up failing organizations. Making a small group of apathetic men who haze much larger makes their problems equally large. As someone who worked in the field, we need to be more willing to let fraternities/sororities fail.

- The single point I try to reinforce (throughout the whole blog actually) is that fraternities & sororities need to break away from focusing so intently on risk. That's why we have these unnatural settings and pledge periods and standards of excellence programs. It's not that they are bad, my concern is that many people consider them "fixes" when they are often bandaids. Having worked in the Greek Life world, I think a lot of what we do borrows old PR tactics from the 70's & 80's and it's outdated and a turn off to the incoming generation of students (Gen Z).

That's all. Thanks again for sharing and I'm happy to see people thinking and responding.

-Nik (Fraternity Man)
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