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Sorority Recruitment Recruitment event and bid day ideas, membership retention, publicity, recruitment policies, etc.


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  #1  
Old 11-04-2009, 07:19 PM
AEcutiePhi
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Commuter Schools - How is your formal recruitment structured??

I come from a very large "urban" commuter school. Back story - We had 200 girls sign up for information about recruitment last fall, 82 sign-up, 72 show-up, and 32 actually stick it through the process and get matched. We have 4 panhellenic sororities and our chapter total is at 45. This year we had 1 fully structured day, 2 open house days, and the last day was pref and bid day. We are discussing different recruitment styles right now because obviously what we are doing right now is not working. Please let me know what how your formal recruitment is set up and any suggestions you may have for next years recruitment.
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  #2  
Old 11-04-2009, 07:21 PM
33girl 33girl is offline
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Your best resource: the students THERE.

Contact the women who dropped out and ask them why they dropped out - make it confidential if they prefer. It could be a reason no one on GC (even a student or an alum of a commuter school) will think of.
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  #3  
Old 11-05-2009, 10:11 AM
ree-Xi ree-Xi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AEcutiePhi View Post
I come from a very large "urban" commuter school. Back story - We had 200 girls sign up for information about recruitment last fall, 82 sign-up, 72 show-up, and 32 actually stick it through the process and get matched. We have 4 panhellenic sororities and our chapter total is at 45. This year we had 1 fully structured day, 2 open house days, and the last day was pref and bid day. We are discussing different recruitment styles right now because obviously what we are doing right now is not working. Please let me know what how your formal recruitment is set up and any suggestions you may have for next years recruitment.
I agree with 33girl, go to the source.

I did want to add that a lot of students at commuter schools, because they usually live at home or off-campus, may not be looking for a "place" on campus, as much as students at a school where most people live on campus. Some may come to campus just for class, and may not have time to do a lot of socializing or organized activities. A lot may work part/full time outside of school.

Pledging takes up a lot of time, during the day and at night, and in my experience, at odd times. People living off campus may not be as readily available as on-campus students for impromptu meetings, same-day scheduling of activities, etc., or because many live at home, have other obligations to meet before something "extra" like a sorority.

That's not to say that off-campus members are lacking or any less worthy or committed. But in an atmosphere where school is a destination and not a home, you might have to look at your recruitment structure/new member schedule/etc. If commuters don't have a class on a particular day, are they really going to come to campus for, say 3 or 4 consecutive nights for recruitment? Or a few nights a week for meetings/mixers/events?

I would look to other "commuter schools" with thriving Greek populations and perhaps see what you can learn from them You might need to highlight the benefits to that particular population to change the mindsets (if I am correct in my musings).

ETA: Do some research first versus telling people to solve the problem for you: "Please let me know what how your formal recruitment is set up and any suggestions you may have for next years recruitment".
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  #4  
Old 11-08-2009, 01:28 AM
AGDee AGDee is offline
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I know your campus well because I work for a "major health care system" just down the street AND I used to work with the chapter there. In fact, a PNM who was thinking about going through recruitment there posted questions about it here. If you search on your University name, you'll find it. She is likely one of the women who dropped and she dropped because she had night classes on Tuesday and Thursday and therefore, couldn't make it to any of the rounds.

In all honesty, I think this is a campus that should probably just scrap formal recruitment altogether and stick to completely informal. Perhaps have a couple "Go Greek" events to give info to women who are interested and then have them sign up if they are interested and give those names to chapters to COR them. You may lose a lot of women because of things like night classes, not wanting to be on campus until after dark, conflicting work schedules, etc.

Since I don't think the chapters on campus would go for that idea (including ours!), I would probably do something like Mon & Tues round 1 open houses, Wed & Thurs round 2 open houses and THEN pref. That way, someone with M/W classes or T/TH classes that interfere would still have two opportunities to come to recruitment before Pref. It would have to be made clear that they were not to attend the same round at the same chapter two days in a row. Meaning, they'd go either M OR T to any one chapter, not both.

I'd be as upfront as possible from the first info sessions just what is expected financially and time-wise (like all your chapters have Tuesday night chapter meetings, right?) so that they have all that info before recruitment starts. I think the economy is affecting recruitment at your school more than many other schools because more are attending your school because they can't afford room & board elsewhere. That may also mean that they can't really afford sorority dues. They may also have more rigorous work schedules. Once upon a time, it was pretty much scholarship students who joined sororities at your school. I don't know whether that's still true.
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  #5  
Old 11-08-2009, 10:47 AM
AnchorAlumna AnchorAlumna is offline
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I've worked with a couple of chapters at campuses like yours (one of them possibly yours!). Over and over I'd hear that PNMs would often say they didn't even know the school had a Greek system.

I'd like to add to AGDee's wise suggestions that commuter schools need to publicize, publicize, publicize. Publicize recruitment, publicize activities, wear your letters on campus, ads in the school newspaper, ads in the city newspaper.

Heck, even billboards! Banners in high traffic spots. Anything to get out the message that 1) there are fraternities and sororities at your school, 2) they're fun, 3)they add to a student's college experience with friendships, group activities, philanthropic activities, 4)they encourage higher grades and 5)they're affordable.

And you need to do this CONSTANTLY, not just before recruitment sign-ups, and not just a designated week or month or two. Does your school have a freshman orientation? Add info to their packets, have a table with info, ask for a time to speak. Do it as a group: Panhellenic, IFC, NPHC etc., even Greek-wide. You may get turned down at first, but keep asking. Find ways to be there during sessions. And make sure your info shows how sororities can be worked into a student's life - be upfront with time requirements, but also the benefits of membership.

Probably the most important is your Panhellenic Web site. Make sure it doesn't just give recruitment dates and where to sign up. It needs to sell sorority life, and how to work it into a student's daily life. Costs, time and grade requirements, benefits - all that needs to be on the Web site, 24/7, year-round.

You have to do this because commuter schools have non-traditional students. 1)A greater percentage of students are the first in their families to attend college - they may not even be aware that there are sororities...or even that there is such a thing as sororities.
2)They're already working part-time or full-time and think they don't have time.
3)They may be married or a little older than the usual student.
4)They are watching their pennies closely because they're more likely to be footing all the bills themselves, or have limited family funds.

I found that the sorority experience at commuter schools is just as valuable as at traditional residental schools - maybe even more because commuter students tend to be a little more isolated. They need sororities!
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  #6  
Old 11-09-2009, 09:55 AM
gpb1874 gpb1874 is offline
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Our recruitment is held Thursday-Sunday. Orientation is Thursday and the last 2 years, there has been a short open house round, but that wasn't always the case. It starts around 6pm so most classes are over with. Friday is traditional Open House, Saturday is Philanthropy and Sunday is Pref and Bid Night.
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