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  #31  
Old 03-06-2013, 06:41 PM
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The Georgia Tech AGD Chapter is initiating 2 AI's tonight. Unfortunately, I won't be able to be there, but hope to meet them soon!
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  #32  
Old 03-06-2013, 07:29 PM
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I became a Tri Delta initiated as an AI almost 8 years ago. Although I wasn’t a “typical” AI prospect (i.e. I wasn’t a legacy, didn’t have family ties, etc.), I had rushed as an undergraduate and made it through Preference Rounds at Tri Delta and another very nationally-known sorority on campus. I ended up dropping out of recruitment after Preference because I got cold feet about making such a big commitment at the time. I eventually transferred from that campus as well.

I always wondered “What if?” and regretted losing out on a potential Tri Delta membership. About 10 years later I had moved to a new city, and the strangest thing started happening. When I would meet new people and talk would turn to college Greek affiliations, I would always say I was “almost a Tri Delt.” And I kept hearing over and over, “Oh yeah! I can see that. You’re just like the Tri Delts on my campus.” I took it as a compliment.

As luck would have it, a new Tri Delta colony was organizing on a campus in my city. With the “like a Tri Delt” comments and warm memories of the Tri Deltas I had met as an undergrad, I contacted Tri Delta’s Executive Office and offered to volunteer in any capacity to help them launch the new chapter. I was told that since I was not a member, helping out in any way was not an option.

Long story short: I learned about AI (or Honor Initiation as it’s referred to in Tri Delta), and the rest is history. But it wasn’t easy and it took a long time (years). What kept me going is that I “knew” that was the organization for me. I never pursued any other group, even the other group I had attended Preference at.

My point is this, and comes from my perspective as a result of my AI journey: I think if you’re going to “pursue” (I had that word) AI, it should be because you have some special connection to the people you know or have met in that group. Not because of their work with a particular philanthropy, not because their creed really spoke to you, etc. In my case, I felt immediately at home with the Tri Deltas I met as an undergrad. I continued to click with those I met and talked with on a national level. And apparently, complete strangers “recognized” me as a Tri Delta even when I wasn’t. THAT is what AI should be about, even if you’re “pursuing” it. It’s so hard to describe because it’s very intangible...almost spiritual.

I read a quote somewhere- maybe on Greekchat - that describes my situation completely: “Being a [insert group here] is not something you become, it’s something you already are.” And that was so true for me. Prior to my initiation, EO sent me some materials that would give me a background on the history and background of Tri Delta to prepare for initiation, and I literally got chills. Some of the material written by one of our founders could’ve been written by me! So I knew I was home, and that I always had been.

Good luck!
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  #33  
Old 03-06-2013, 08:06 PM
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Quite frankly - and obviously I am speaking about my org as well as others - I just don't get the "initiating women to be advisors" deal. Advisors by definition are people with greater knowledge than their advisees, and I don't see how a woman who was just initiated 2.5 seconds ago can be that. I think in this day and age, with email, texting and Skype, the concept that the advisors need to be THERE is ridiculous. Perhaps it's time for the organizations to catch up with technology, or to think outside the box.
I agree to some extent and my last Chapter Advisor at one of our chapters up there was doing it from downstate, via Skype. She did go to that school, had family in the area and had to travel to the area for work a few times a year. That helped a lot. There are requirements though, especially with finance, that are tough to meet that way. To be bonded, we are supposed to have two signatures- one alumna, one collegian- on every check written. That is very difficult to do with only remote advisors. The person has to be willing to go that area at least once in a while.

There's also just a different vibe when they are advising by Skype. When I was a Chapter Advisor, I lived nearby and could drop in on events all the time. There was value in that. There was value in hanging out at the house office for "office hours" one night a week. Women would wander down just to chat about all kinds of things. I was able to pick up on themes and vibes that I wouldn't have been able to detect from a once a week phone call with the President or a once a month executive council meeting. There is value in being able to form a relationship, see people face to face, etc. I could see leadership qualities in certain young women and encourage them to reach for higher offices. I was better able to figure out what the chapter needs were.

We can give anybody the knowledge of how things should work. Having someone nearby to coach and mentor them on a more continuous basis has value. A woman who works at the University or owns a local business can serve as a mentor whether she had a sorority collegiate experience or not. Anybody can open a handbook and read the way things should be done. Advisors provide more than knowledge.. they provide continuity over many years and maturity to crisis situations. And, if you can find a combination of women who have experience with your organization to serve remotely and a few newer women who can be there locally, you can groom those local women to take over with time.

If we want to get past the "four years and out" mentality, I think we need to focus more alumnae membership. This is an area where the NPHC orgs are way ahead of us.
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  #34  
Old 03-06-2013, 09:29 PM
Jill1228 Jill1228 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AGDee View Post

If we want to get past the "four years and out" mentality, I think we need to focus more alumnae membership. This is an area where the NPHC orgs are way ahead of us.
^^^
Yeah, this!
*nods emphatically*
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  #35  
Old 03-07-2013, 04:55 PM
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I seriously don't get how we can go on and on about how sorority membership is not just a four year commitment, and how the most rewarding years are the alumnae years, and then scoff at women who want to join as alumnae.
This is like saying why is an apple not a potato.

We are talking out our butts if we say it's a 4 year commitment and then instead of impressing on our large alumnae bases that they need to fill that commitment, we initiate new women because we can't engage the ones we initiated to begin with. If women don't pay alum dues, don't volunteer, etc etc....let them know their membership is revoked and they're not an alumna any more. NPHC members value their membership more as adults because more is expected of them. Simple as that.

Also, regarding the NPHC (and please, any NPHC member rap my knuckles if I'm wrong about any of this), ALL 9 ORGS - the fraternities and the sororities - admit members at a graduate level. The AI policies of the 26 NPC groups are all over the board. If the NPC really wants to promote AI as an alternate form of joining its member groups, they need to get together and make some rules on it - the same as with sorority rush for collegians.
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  #36  
Old 03-07-2013, 04:59 PM
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Well, I don't know. I'm a general adviser, and I'm an AI. I always joke that those poor girls had no one else, so they got stuck with me. :-) I think my connections at the university (I was a part-time, later full-time employee) and in my fields (communications and coaching) gave me some perspectives that helped the chapter. But it really was a case of there not being alumnae in the area to serve.

I also had connections to the chapter - my sister was a former treasurer and president, and at the time I was asked, I was coaching one of the sisters. It was at my alma mater, so I was familiar with the chapter as well.
That's a WHOLE different matter than AIing Susie the manager at Hot Topic in Hilo because OMG WE HAZ NO ALUMZ.

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Originally Posted by SWTXBelle View Post
You forgot 3) has the time/inclination to fulfill the role. Yes, we help women in their careers, but that doesn't always lead to the right alumna in the right place at the right time. I've been active when I could, but when I had small children and was going to graduate school I had to step back. It didn't matter that I was qualified - I couldn't fulfill the role anymore.
With all due respect, I'm sure there were other sisters nearby who could have done a good job too.
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  #37  
Old 03-07-2013, 05:16 PM
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If the NPC really wants to promote AI as an alternate form of joining its member groups, they need to get together and make some rules on it - the same as with sorority rush for collegians.
That won't happen until everyone wants to AI Susie the Hot Tropic manager and alumnae groups are mad because there's no fair process to decide who gets her.

In other words, when Hilo freezes over.
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  #38  
Old 03-07-2013, 05:22 PM
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Originally Posted by 33girl View Post
This is like saying why is an apple not a potato.

We are talking out our butts if we say it's a 4 year commitment and then instead of impressing on our large alumnae bases that they need to fill that commitment, we initiate new women because we can't engage the ones we initiated to begin with. If women don't pay alum dues, don't volunteer, etc etc....let them know their membership is revoked and they're not an alumna any more. NPHC members value their membership more as adults because more is expected of them. Simple as that.
I'm not saying it should be an either/or scenario. Yes, we should be more proactive in keeping alumnae engaged. (As an aside, I don't think threatening to revoke their memberships would do that; they're of the mindset that their membership is over when they graduate, so what do they care?) But also we should be welcoming qualified women into our sisterhoods who wish to pledge a commitment to our organizations but are older than teenagers. I imagine they'd be more committed alumnae, although I have nothing to back that hunch up, and alumnae associations or sponsoring chapters could take all the time they need to get to know the PNAM and vet her. It's not like there's a rush period.

The common bond between sisters should be the shared ritual they've all experienced and the values they strive to uphold, not a collegiate experience which is going to vary wildly from sister to sister anyway.
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  #39  
Old 03-07-2013, 05:26 PM
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With all due respect, I'm sure there were other sisters nearby who could have done a good job too.
I'm not sure you understood my point - which was that even if you do have qualified alumnae in the area they may not be at a point in their lives when they can serve - thus an AI adviser may be able to fulfill an important role.

In my case, yes, there was a qualified alumna - namely my mother, who was an AI and had been a co-chapter adviser with me to a collegiate chapter.
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  #40  
Old 03-07-2013, 05:41 PM
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No, I got your point. But this all goes along with looking at different ways advisors can advise, and more importantly, what we really are using advisors for.
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  #41  
Old 03-07-2013, 08:09 PM
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I'm not saying it should be an either/or scenario. Yes, we should be more proactive in keeping alumnae engaged. (As an aside, I don't think threatening to revoke their memberships would do that; they're of the mindset that their membership is over when they graduate, so what do they care?) But also we should be welcoming qualified women into our sisterhoods who wish to pledge a commitment to our organizations but are older than teenagers. I imagine they'd be more committed alumnae, although I have nothing to back that hunch up, and alumnae associations or sponsoring chapters could take all the time they need to get to know the PNAM and vet her. It's not like there's a rush period.

The common bond between sisters should be the shared ritual they've all experienced and the values they strive to uphold, not a collegiate experience which is going to vary wildly from sister to sister anyway.
I think there's room for both kinds of alumnae. And I think there are places where an alumnae chapter might like to take on NPHC-style recruitment, in places where alumnae involvement is really high and there would be interest from the community at large, or in a smaller community where a collegiate chapter has just colonized (a new chapter in Montana, for instance). But there would have to already be a solid alumnae chapter in place for this to work. God knows I wouldn't want headquarters cramming alumnae recruitment down our throats, but I could see some scenarios where it could be very successful. I don't like the idea that a woman missed out on an opportunity at 18 and she's just outta luck for the rest of her life. But I also don't think we should be out there desperately trying to double our alumnae population either. I'm all about compromise these days, and I think there's plenty of room for it here.
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  #42  
Old 03-07-2013, 08:57 PM
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As an adviser to a chapter with only one local alum, I have to say that it does a chapter a DISSERVICE to have no local alum support. Yes, chapters are lucky to get any support that they can, but there is a huge difference between advisers that are in person and advisers that only work with the chapter by email/phone/skype.
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  #43  
Old 03-09-2013, 02:06 AM
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As an adviser to a chapter with only one local alum, I have to say that it does a chapter a DISSERVICE to have no local alum support. Yes, chapters are lucky to get any support that they can, but there is a huge difference between advisers that are in person and advisers that only work with the chapter by email/phone/skype.
Then the national headquarters has to think about that before chartering a chapter there. Yes, I know this can be a chicken/egg scenario but that's life. If the chapter is so remote that no alumnae are there and they need to come about through AI, what happens when the (newly initiated) alumnae have questions? Bank statements are one thing, rush is another.

Our chapter in Alaska got started when one of our recent traveling consultants was living up there. I don't think we would have bitten on it had she not been part of the mix.
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  #44  
Old 03-09-2013, 08:19 AM
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Then the national headquarters has to think about that before chartering a chapter there. Yes, I know this can be a chicken/egg scenario but that's life. If the chapter is so remote that no alumnae are there and they need to come about through AI, what happens when the (newly initiated) alumnae have questions? Bank statements are one thing, rush is another.

Our chapter in Alaska got started when one of our recent traveling consultants was living up there. I don't think we would have bitten on it had she not been part of the mix.
I completely agree, but like you said, many times it is the chicken/egg. For NAU, there are 9 NPC groups and FWIW, each group has one alum in town if they are lucky. These groups have been chartered 50+ years. The problem is there are no jobs to be had and everyone moves to Phoenix and many of the college students are from California in the first place. I'm 2 hours from them which is a pretty good distance. The one alum in town does all of the necessary things in person, but she gets run ragged. You can't exactly shut down a 50 year old chapter after the fact.
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  #45  
Old 03-30-2014, 04:25 PM
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Have you looked into non-collegiate sororities? Beta Sigma Phi has a lot of chapters! There are numetous threads about such orgs.
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