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  #61  
Old 07-09-2009, 12:37 AM
UGAalum94 UGAalum94 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pam713 View Post
Almost everyone who wrote a rec for my daughter asked her what other recs she still needed. Frequently they could point her in the right direction. She also asked friends who they got certain recs from, usually it was someone's mom that she knew. There are still three groups that she does not have a rec for, but she just figures she won't get her heart set on those.
And you absolutely cannot count on it, but it's possible those chapters may have alumnae networks who are working on recs that your daughter doesn't know about.

I know I've written recs for girls who didn't ask me for one.

But again, don't get complacent. The best thing is to try to secure a rec that you've requested and provided information for to every group on your campus.
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  #62  
Old 07-09-2009, 08:08 AM
Zillini Zillini is offline
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I confess that personal experience has jaded me. One of my first years being involved as an alum a collegian begged me to write a Rec for her "rush crush" who didn't have one. I did and the girl ended up becoming a member. I spent the next 4 years with that girl in standards for behavior, grades (despite a fabulous HS GPA), finances, everything imaginable and I felt personally responsible. It wasn't until later the thought occurred to me that perhaps this was the reason she was unable to find an alum to write her a Rec who actually knew her. You never know.

I vowed to never again write a Rec for someone I had never met. In essence a Rec is telling a Chapter that not only do I believe this young woman would be a good member, but it says that I would be happy to have her as my sister. How can I say that about someone I've never met and have no idea what her character is like? Resumes don't say squat about a person's personality.

I know I've probably let one bad apple spoil the whole bushel. I'm sure that the vast majority of PNMs are nice, sweet, smart, funny, etc. But I'm just not willing to put my reputation on the line like that for someone I don't know ever again -- even for an info only Rec.

My 2 cents.
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  #63  
Old 07-09-2009, 09:08 AM
AnchorAlumna AnchorAlumna is offline
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I know that some of our chapters insist that a sponsor personally know the PNM. But frankly, we simply do not have enough alumnae in our state to require that.

Heck, I've lived in my town for 40+ years, and I don't know everybody. But I do my best to find somebody who knows the PNM, or at least her family, and can tell me about them.

I will echo Zillini in one aspect: if you have an alumna reluctant to write a sponsor form for a particular girl, don't try to change her mind. I've had to do that twice (persuade an alum to change her mind because a sister fell in love with a rush crush), and they both ended badly.

I've also seen chapters totally ignore "no" recs - to their regret.
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  #64  
Old 07-09-2009, 09:40 AM
carnation carnation is offline
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You know who I feel sorry for? The girls who are from non-Greek families or small towns who've been to Orientation at their universities and gotten their Go Greek materials and desperately want to be Greek and don't even know where to start. Some of these girls would make fabulous members. They've asked dozens of women if they're alums but so far, no luck. Oddly enough- in this large town I live in, asking teachers used to net few results because so many had attended 1 of the 2 colleges in town; 1 with no Greeks, the other without national Greeks until recently. Especially at the county schools, the PNMs were desperate.

Anyway, many of these girls may be cut heavily after 1st and 2nd parties at the big universities because cuts are so heavy then and these girls don't have the social network that others have. PNMs, if you're reading this, please try to use every avenue possible to get recs; maybe the women at www.npcwomen.org can help you locate alums. Whatever you do, don't sit back and give up!
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  #65  
Old 07-09-2009, 10:09 AM
chickenoodle chickenoodle is offline
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here's one!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zillini View Post
In essence a Rec is telling a Chapter that not only do I believe this young woman would be a good member, but it says that I would be happy to have her as my sister.
My 2 cents.
Since beginning my inquiry into recruitment and sorority, I've always viewed sorority recs the same as job application recs. You don't just walk up (or e-mail, etc) a complete stranger and ask for a recommendation letter when applying for your dream job. It seems like common sense.

In reference to what Zillini is saying, my boyfriend's mother talked to me at length about what it means to be in a sorority, the type of committment, etc. When she offered to write a rec for me, I felt so (I know it's cheesy, brace yourself) honored. This accomplished woman, who loved her sorority immensely, wanted me as her sister.

So... we'll see what happens.
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  #66  
Old 07-09-2009, 10:22 AM
libelle libelle is offline
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Location matters

Carnation made a very good point. I have been the rec chair for my alumnae chapter for several years. I have yet to be asked by a local PNM to write a letter. However, I have written several for relatives and family friends from the south. In fact one of the reasons I started to visit GreekChat was due to requests for recs for SEC schools.

Our local NPC alumnae chapter is not helpful. A phone number is listed on the NPC site but the group does not and has no interest in assisting PNMS with recs. It would be difficult for a PNM to identify the appropriate contacts for most NPC groups via the web unless she searched the individual NPC web sites. As per a separate thread, some groups make this information more easily available than others. That said, if a PNM contacted me, I know local alumnae of about 1/2 the NPC groups from other volunteer work that I do. Many of these do not have an alumnae chapter in our area so again it would be very challenging to find an alumna to write a rec.

I encourage PNMs to work through their personal contacts, check the local NPC group via the NPC web site, search for the local alumnae chapter contact info via the group's (inter)national website , etc. Once you find a few alumnae they can probably link you with friends who are alumnae of other groups.

Good luck, PNMs!
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  #67  
Old 07-09-2009, 10:31 AM
Tippiechick Tippiechick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carnation View Post
You know who I feel sorry for? The girls who are from non-Greek families or small towns who've been to Orientation at their universities and gotten their Go Greek materials and desperately want to be Greek and don't even know where to start. Some of these girls would make fabulous members. They've asked dozens of women if they're alums but so far, no luck. Oddly enough- in this large town I live in, asking teachers used to net few results because so many had attended 1 of the 2 colleges in town; 1 with no Greeks, the other without national Greeks until recently. Especially at the county schools, the PNMs were desperate.

Anyway, many of these girls may be cut heavily after 1st and 2nd parties at the big universities because cuts are so heavy then and these girls don't have the social network that others have. PNMs, if you're reading this, please try to use every avenue possible to get recs; maybe the women at www.npcwomen.org can help you locate alums. Whatever you do, don't sit back and give up!
I completely agree. I get tired of people on here saying, "Go ask your alumnae panhellenic," or "ask your teachers." In my small little town, ONE, yes, ONE teacher/person went to a sorority. We currently have a total of 3 people either in a sorority or who have just left college. But, since the other girl and I live in in other towns, it's back to the same ONE person in the entire county... So,

Sometimes, there just ISN'T anyone to write a rec. And, people don't seem to understand what it is like to go down every single avenue only to find NO ONE who is in a sorority. Rural areas don't have a ton of alumnae.

So, I am not as hard on girls who come here looking for info on recs. I have even written a rec for a girl in the same situation I faced when rushing.

Back then, I called the headquarters of the groups to get more info on trying to find alumnae in my area. Some were nice. Some actually told me, "If Ole Miss wants you, they will find a rec FOR you. But, we will not help you find an alumna. Bye." (I still remember that bit of unkindness today.)

Point is, there are girls who just have very few options when it comes to recs. I think it almost amounts to a bit of an unfair advantage for girls in more urban areas with PA to help them out.

I just see no need to be totally against people seeking help to secure a rec. They just need to be nice, discreet, and not stupid about it. I can always point them in the direction of someone in their area. And, honestly, I don't see why more people can't do the same! It takes two or three minutes to look up a key woman for the area...

ETA: The girl I wrote a rec for??? Not only joined, but has become a distinguished member and officer. See? Not every PNM is stupid and evil... Now, if the PNM is from, say, Dallas or Nashville proper, then I have issues with her finding a rec. But, chick from Podunk, TN? That is a situation I would consider helping...
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Last edited by Tippiechick; 07-09-2009 at 10:36 AM.
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  #68  
Old 07-09-2009, 10:53 AM
UGAalum94 UGAalum94 is offline
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I make sure when I do recs that I'm completely honest about how well I actually know the PNM and where my info is coming from. The chapter can do with that information what they will.

I think assessing character in 18 year olds is pretty complicated, and while I do my best to spare chapters any difficulties by providing as much information as I can, to take too much responsibility for a girl's future behavior would make writing RIFs really hard for me. It may be a peril of teaching high school, but I hear about enough good girls with no signs of problems who go kind of wild freshman year frequently enough to know that what I see of them and the general consensus of adults in a girl's hometown is going to miss the mark in a small percentage of cases.

I'm not saying this to make the argument that it doesn't matter anyway, so recommend strangers or even that you should write them in cases when your instincts tell you that you shouldn't, like Zillini mentions. I just mean that even when you do know people well at this age, knowing what they are likely to do in the future is complicated.

And, I understood that the reason that it was kind of okay to ask strangers for recs was because that person had resources to find other alumnae who would actually know the girl. But maybe I'm wrong.

I think that many of our active alumnae networks are too small to really do recs only for people we knew perfectly. We'd miss too many great girls. Sometimes we're better off offering the imperfect information that we do have to offer what assistance we can.
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  #69  
Old 07-09-2009, 11:36 AM
baci baci is offline
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I live in a very large, major city in the south and I can tell you finding greeks can be extremely difficicult. The alum groups are hard to contact and receive responses from. Many do not respond at all. It seems like alums are not very active in my area. You would think there would be numerous Greeks out there and that it would be very easy to find alums to help, but it is not. Just because you live in a very large city it can be just as tough as a very remote town. It is tough for a PNM to get help - very tough. I have seen some ask numerous people and still come up empty-handed.

I am not one to get behind recommending someone if you do not know them. What is the point? You write a solid rec because you know the young woman and believe in them as a strong candidate for membership.

I often wonder if there is a better system. If we state that you need recs for every house it really puts out a false message. I know I don't want to read a rec that means very little just so a PNM says she has a rec to house X for the sake of having it. Maybe a personal rec may mean more from a teacher than from a stranger trying to speak on the PNM's behalf.
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  #70  
Old 07-09-2009, 11:48 AM
pam713 pam713 is offline
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Our town has a great panhellenic group and many active alumnae. The problem is they all seem to be from the same handful of sororities. My daughter could get lots of recs for those groups, but the three that we don't have just don't seem to be on anyone's radar. She really wants to keep an open mind and doesn't want her pledge class to be full of the same girls she went to high school with but everyone just assumes she wouldn't want to join those groups anyway. On the flip side, I sure wouldn't want a stranger having all that personal information about my daughter that she would need to write a rec.
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  #71  
Old 07-09-2009, 11:59 AM
UGAalum94 UGAalum94 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pam713 View Post
Our town has a great panhellenic group and many active alumnae. The problem is they all seem to be from the same handful of sororities. My daughter could get lots of recs for those groups, but the three that we don't have just don't seem to be on anyone's radar. She really wants to keep an open mind and doesn't want her pledge class to be full of the same girls she went to high school with but everyone just assumes she wouldn't want to join those groups anyway. On the flip side, I sure wouldn't want a stranger having all that personal information about my daughter that she would need to write a rec.
With the exception of GPA and test scores if that's something you're giving out, I'd be really surprised if the information needed to do a rec isn't already publicly available someplace. I'm not saying this to freak you out, but if your daughters activities are in the high school yearbook and your name and address are in the phone book, and your daughter has lived a normal social life in your town, there's not a lot of super private information that this stranger is going to need.

And if you think about, they're sending all this information to strangers anyway.
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  #72  
Old 07-09-2009, 01:04 PM
Tropical_Dancer Tropical_Dancer is offline
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To the helpful posters talking about my sister, I wasnt solicitating recs on GC, I guess I was just venting my frustration. She seems to have an idealized notion of recruitment and with regards to recs, I have treid to help her out, but by helping she thinks I will do it for her which I will not do.

My school is alot different than UF and although I can help with my org and possibly 1-2 others, I cant ( and wont) do it for her. I helped her find the alumnae panhellenic blog site but it still seems that she is just waiting for me to do it for her. Which is really starting to get on my nerves.
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  #73  
Old 07-09-2009, 02:33 PM
KSUViolet06 KSUViolet06 is offline
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Originally Posted by carnation View Post
You know who I feel sorry for? The girls who are from non-Greek families or small towns who've been to Orientation at their universities and gotten their Go Greek materials and desperately want to be Greek and don't even know where to start. Some of these girls would make fabulous members. They've asked dozens of women if they're alums but so far, no luck.

This is so true.


Also, I find that the SEC PNMs who come here looking for rec help are the ones who are the LEAST well-conected (maybe from a small town, 1st generation college student, etc). They're the girls who most likely HAVE exhausted all of the avenues we talk about in terms of finding them.

In terms of helping girls with recs, I am a little nicer than others in that I have directed PNMs to an APH or alumna chapter in her area if she PMed me about needing to find one. I feel like it helps a tad, but it puts the "ball" in their court and requires them to make contact and such. I won't, however, write one for a girl I do not know.

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Last edited by KSUViolet06; 07-09-2009 at 03:24 PM.
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  #74  
Old 07-09-2009, 08:42 PM
Zillini Zillini is offline
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Here is something I heard recently at our Convention from a collegian, an upcoming senior if I'm not mistaken. She came from a small rural area and had few if any GLO alums available. On top of that she was going to school in another state. She said she went to the various GLO's I/natl websites looking for alum associations.

Since there were none in her area, she looked for large active associations, like if they had webpages that were recently updated, had calendars of upcoming events, etc. It didn't matter if it was several states away, she contacted them asking if they could help. She said several were very helpful, digging through their contacts and friends to connect her with women.

Though it's worth pointing out this young woman realized her situation and started her search very early, something like a year ahead of time. She had plenty of time to contact the alums she ultimately found, develop email relationships, make phone calls, and even drove a couple of hours for face-to-face meetings.
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  #75  
Old 07-10-2009, 12:57 AM
AnchorAlumna AnchorAlumna is offline
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I've had an interest in doing recs since I was in college - don't know why, it's some obsessive desire to fill out forms!

Recruitment is a crazy time, especially if it's a very competitive school. You have chapters pledge girls they had no original intention of pledging...cut girls that nobody can remember...drop girls that nobody voted against...no matter how many times it's written here or discussed girl-to-girl, it's STILL the CHAPTER'S RESPONSIBILITY to get a rec.

Yes, I still believe that. A chapter has years to build up a network of alumnae contacts. If the sponsorship officer is doing her job, and her committee is helping her, there's no reason they can't find an alum sponsor 70 to 85% of the time. The PNM should not have to feel like it's all on her!

The other 30 to 15% of the time? That would be the gals from small towns with no nearby alum...from faraway states...military families who move a lot...100% is idea, but it's never going to happen.

So....you do the best you can, and leave the rest to the chapter to judge.
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