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  #1  
Old 07-29-2006, 03:11 AM
BigRedBeta BigRedBeta is offline
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Question Should the system of Quota be changed? A look at the Nebraska system

So I did a search and didn't find what I was looking for except in the general threads explaining quota. But even that wasn't quite right.

So even though I understand the way that quota works for NPC recruitment, the reasoning behind it baffles me...

The main problem with quota from the stories I hear outside of Nebraska (sometimes here on GC) is that the big houses are at an advantage. Every girl wants to join the house with 160 members and not the one with 40. And there is so much pressure to reach quota that chapters are punished if they don't (from what I've heard)

This doesn't happen at Nebraska b/c of the way recruitment numbers are set up.
Every single chapter with a chapter house (13 out of 14 chapters) is at or near total. If total is 115, (hypothetically - I think it may be closer to 130) then those 13 chapters probably have an average size of 111 with houses ranging in size from 115 - 95 (not a big difference really). Again hypothetically.

This happens b/c no house is allowed to go over total, and "quota" is determined for each chapter individually. If there is a large number of girls going through recruitment, so that capping everyone at total would leave a large number of girls without bids, then total is increased. Most years, as far as I have been paying attention, the numbers have been fairly constant with a couple of huge classes of ladies a couple of years ago which raised total at the time. So in essence the system calculates total every year rather than quota, and that calculation determines how large each new member class is.

I think that this is a better system b/c it really rewards the chapters that do the best at keeping their girls involved for four years - they get the absolute cream of the crop of the girls they want (simply b/c they have fewer to take and have to "settle" for fewer of their lower ranked girls). For example the chapter that I believe to be hands down the best chapter on campus has closed their new member class first for years b/c they typically have a new member class 4-5 girls smaller than their next closest competitor (some years they have classes as small as 28 girls, while other chapters may have classes as large as 45 or 50). They have significantly fewer members drop in their third and fourth years, and their classes seemed to be much more unified rather than cliquish as I see in other houses. The girls tend to be friends with nearly everyone in their class as opposed to only several really close friends out of a large class.

The other advantage is that it keeps the chapters all at the same size so girls aren't focused on which house is biggest.

Of course if chapters are not at total after formal recruitment, then they may pursue candidates through COB, but this isn't a life or death mission for any housed chapter.

The only disadvantage I've heard raised by a sorority member was that her chapter lost out on a lot of inter/national awards b/c they seldom made quota which disqualified them outright for most of the big ones even though they are a great chapter.

Granted some chapters take girls they might otherwise not take if the other model was used, but (and maybe it isn't realized by the chapters) the way to avoid this is fairly clear (although not necessarily easy as it requires a culture change within the chapter).


Am I missing something as to why this sort of system isn't more widespread? Are there significant disadvantages to this set up compared to the standard, "everyone has the same quota, even if you go over total" model? Does that system have advantages I'm not seeing?
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Old 07-29-2006, 09:21 AM
FSUZeta FSUZeta is offline
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this is so interesting. do you know when the number each chapter can take is determined-on what day of recruitment is it set?

for instance, university of state's panhellenic might determine that for their campus, it works best to set quota on day three of their 5 day recruitment, while state u. sets their quota on the day before prefs.
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Old 07-29-2006, 10:35 AM
carnation carnation is offline
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This seems to be close to the way that Arkansas did quota until the mid seventies. Most of the sorority houses could house about the same number of people so quota was set at whatever that number was, let's pretend 100, and there were 9 sororities. The thing was that, again, most of the PNMs wanted to be in 4 (or if pressed, 6) of the chapters and the number of PNMs grew every year. They dropped out of recruitment if they didn't get one of the bigger houses.

This left hundreds of unbid women--somewhere on GC, I put down the number that I found in my yearbook--and created a lot of antiGreek hostility, especially aganist the Big 4.
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Old 07-29-2006, 10:59 AM
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irishpipes irishpipes is online now
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In some ways, the Nebraska system would make the top houses even more elite. If everybody is allowed to take quota of say 40, PNMs have the same number of slots in the top chapters as in the bottoms ones. If the top chapters are only taking 25 and the bottom ones are taking 45, it is even harder for the PNMs to get into those top houses, making them even more elite. I think the Nebraska system has its merits for sure, but it errs in favor of the chapter, where the NPC system errs in favor of the PNM. I think the preference is just on which side you want the balance to be shifted. Typically recruitment tries to give those kind of advantages to the PNM, because the chapter has so much power inherently in the recruitment process (in that the selection process may be "mutual" but if the chapter doesn't invite you, you can't decide to pledge.)
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Last edited by irishpipes; 07-29-2006 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 07-29-2006, 11:41 AM
dakareng dakareng is offline
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As I read the explanation here, it sounds like quota is set independant of the number of women going through recruitment because it is based upon equalizing Total. That could lead to an extremely competitive recruitment as the women know that there are (hypotheticallY) 500 new member slots with 700 women competing for them. How is that better? Sure, total can be increased but not in the middle of recruitment. In the meantime, some quality women would be totally shut out. I don't agree with the assertion that taking a woman at the "bottom of the list" is "settling". Someone who is the bottom of the list for ABC might be top of the list for XYZ, That is mutual selection.

The current quota/total system is set up to make sure there IS an opportunity for every woman who goes through the entire recruitment process. It might not be her top choice, and that is an issue that the new release figure programs are intended to address.

Maybe I'm misinterpreting it, but I see this system punishing the groups who have good retention. If you have a large number of broken pledges or resignations, you then get a bigger new member class the next year. I don't see that having a new member class of 28 when others have 50 is an advantage. The idea that they have "better sisterhood" is not a function of chapter size but rather how the chapter is organized. The group with good retention doesn't have good retention because they have a smaller new member class... they'd have good retention regardless.
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Old 07-29-2006, 11:53 AM
CarolinaCutie CarolinaCutie is offline
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Wouldn't that just result in lots and lots of PNMs dropping out of Recruitment because they couldn't get into their "elite" choices?

ETA: And I agree, Karen. I don't see how having a small new member class is rewarding.
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Old 07-29-2006, 03:22 PM
alum alum is offline
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The Nebraska way of setting quota numbers and the new way of NPC way of doing the numbers is going to set an artificial level of supply and demand. Shallow as they may be, some girls simply have their hearts set on certain houses for a variety of reasons. Having a smaller supply of openings at XYZ is just going to result in a higher demand for each spot and doesn't necessarily result in the girls that were denied by XYZ wanting to go to ABC.
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Old 07-29-2006, 04:00 PM
TSteven TSteven is offline
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What if...

(I'm a statistics/numbers geek so this whole quota and total thing fascinates me.)

If the idea behind quota and total is to "even" the chapters number wise, then why not use something similar to the Nebraska model presented by BigRedBeta? Maybe at least every five years or so would help even things out.

Some times it helps to visualize these things. So for the sake of simplicity, lets say there are five sororities with total for each at 100. Each chapter is considered excellent and any girl would consider her self lucky to be a member of any of the five. (Just go with it, ok.)

Following is the number of members at the start of recruitment.

ABC: 80 returning members
DEF: 70 returning members
GHI: 60 returning members
JKL: 50 returning members
MNO: 40 returning members

In the "usual" quota system, if 200 PNMs make it to preference night, then quota would be set at 40. (200/5=40) All chapters make quota. Thus after recruitment the membership would be as follows.

ABC: 80 returning members + 40 new members = 120 total members
DEF: 70 returning members + 40 new members = 110 total members
GHI: 60 returning members + 40 new members = 100 total members
JKL: 50 returning members + 40 new members = 90 total members
MNO: 40 returning members + 40 new members = 80 total members

In the "traditional" quota system, all chapters get the same number of new members as each other and MNO will be 40 members less than ABC. Even if MNO and JKL COB up to total, they will still be 20 less than ABC.

Now, using "total as part of quota" might work something like this. (Total = 100)

ABC: 80 returning members with 20 open spots/quota = 100 total members
DEF: 70 returning members with 30 open spots/quota = 100 total members
GHI: 60 returning members with 40 open spots/quota = 100 total members
JKL: 50 returning members with 50 open spots/quota = 100 total members
MNO: 40 returning members with 60 open spots/quota = 100 total members

As before, 200 women go through recruitment. So the breakout in this scenario would be 20+30+40+50+60=200. Each chapter would meet quota and be at total.

Let's say it is a big year at State U. and twice as many women (400) go through formal. 200 is the number needed to get each chapter at total. The remaining 200 PNMs would be divided by the number of chapters. 200/5=20 This number would be considered "quota additions" and would be the same for each chapter.

Thus each chapter's quota/result would be as follows.

ABC: 80 returning members. 20 open spots + 20 quota addition = 40 new members. New chapter total = 120
DEF: 70 returning members. 30 open spots + 20 quota addition = 50 new members. New chapter total = 120
GHI: 60 returning members. 40 open spots + 20 quota addition = 60 new members. New chapter total = 120
JKL: 50 returning members. 50 open spots + 20 quota addition = 70 new members. New chapter total = 120
MNO: 40 returning members. 60 open spots + 20 quota addition = 80 new members. New chapter total = 120

Of course, something could be worked out so that if a chapter doesn't make quota or total, they can COB and snap away up to the new total.

Frankly, if all chapters are *equal* - and that is what the NPC preaches - then why not set up a system that has a better chance of reflecting it number wise?

Once the chapters are "equal" (say within a certain preordained number or within a certain percentage of each other) then the campus can go back to the "standard" system of quota.
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Old 07-29-2006, 05:06 PM
carnation carnation is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alum
The Nebraska way of setting quota numbers and the new way of NPC way of doing the numbers is going to set an artificial level of supply and demand. Shallow as they may be, some girls simply have their hearts set on certain houses for a variety of reasons. Having a smaller supply of openings at XYZ is just going to result in a higher demand for each spot and doesn't necessarily result in the girls that were denied by XYZ wanting to go to ABC.
Well see, that's one thing I was talking about. The year I rushed, one of the "Top 4" had far fewer vacancies than the rest because they'd hardly lost any over the summer. That sorority made sure that the PNMs knew they only had 25 openings and suddenly, girls would've killed to get in. Worse yet, they had several "must take" in-house legacies. Then after recruitment in addition to the agony of the girls who didn't get any bid, there were dozens of girls torn up because they didn't make that one group.
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Old 07-29-2006, 05:17 PM
shinerbock shinerbock is offline
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It is somewhat annoying when colleges attempt to make the systems "fair." Large fraternities and large sororities are generally that way because they are better than the others. Despite what people say on here, all groups and all people aren't equally as worthwhile.
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Old 07-29-2006, 05:19 PM
alum alum is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carnation
Well see, that's one thing I was talking about. The year I rushed, one of the "Top 4" had far fewer vacancies than the rest because they'd hardly lost any over the summer. That sorority made sure that the PNMs knew they only had 25 openings and suddenly, girls would've killed to get in. Worse yet, they had several "must take" in-house legacies. Then after recruitment in addition to the agony of the girls who didn't get any bid, there were dozens of girls torn up because they didn't make that one group.
Obviously we're on the same page. Supply and demand is one of the first principles taught in Econ 101.
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Old 07-29-2006, 05:27 PM
preciousjeni preciousjeni is offline
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I have a question that is not intended, in the least, to be offensive. I've been wondering for a long time. Why would sororities want to "err" in favor of the PNMs and not themselves? These are businesses regardless of any consideration of status. You'll want to take the best you can get to ensure the vitality of the organization in its future.

And in this business world, your concern is yourself, not the other businesses in your same market. Why should stronger businesses be restrained in favor of struggling businesses? Well, I guess that's two questions.

And a third, what is the purpose of leveling the field? I'm asking because competition has always been a significant part of the social Greek system, as well it should be. Otherwise, why have sororities at all? Why not have open membership social clubs?

I suppose all my questions are basically the same!

ETA: At the risk of sounding insensitive, why is there so much concern over unhappy PNMs?
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Old 07-29-2006, 05:31 PM
shinerbock shinerbock is offline
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Holy crap, I actually agree with you on something^
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Old 07-29-2006, 05:34 PM
carnation carnation is offline
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[ETA: At the risk of sounding insensitive, why is there so much concern over unhappy PNMs?[/QUOTE]

Nobody likes to see people be torn up, especially good people who deserve better. I've spoken before of how horrible it was when I had to sit in the room at Mississippi State where the girls got their returns and so many were cut by groups they wanted or groups that their older friends were in or their fellow PNMs were still being invited back to.

Rejection of any kind is devastating.
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Old 07-29-2006, 05:45 PM
Drolefille Drolefille is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by preciousjeni
I have a question that is not intended, in the least, to be offensive. I've been wondering for a long time. Why would sororities want to "err" in favor of the PNMs and not themselves? These are businesses regardless of any consideration of status. You'll want to take the best you can get to ensure the vitality of the organization in its future.

And in this business world, your concern is yourself, not the other businesses in your same market. Why should stronger businesses be restrained in favor of struggling businesses? Well, I guess that's two questions.

And a third, what is the purpose of leveling the field? I'm asking because competition has always been a significant part of the social Greek system, as well it should be. Otherwise, why have sororities at all? Why not have open membership social clubs?

I suppose all my questions are basically the same!

ETA: At the risk of sounding insensitive, why is there so much concern over unhappy PNMs?
Erring in favor of the PNMs doesn't lower the quality of women you accept. If you don't want to accept women, you can cut them. Your bid list is made up of ONLY women that you want. Sororities are businesses but we made an agreement w/in the NPC to work together. Some people may see these as restrictions, but I think they're benefits.

In a large Greek system, there will always be the stronger and weaker chapters. Heck even in a small Greek system this is the case. My chapter was seen as "weaker" because we COB'd every year. We made quota through COBs though and some of our strongest leaders came from the "didn't want to rush" crowd. If there isn't a limit of some sort (quota) then 2 chapters could but the weakest 2 out of business. But it's in the NPCs best interest to have an overall strong Greek system. Too few chapters means more women without bids, means more anti-Greek feeling, etc.

It's a great big balancing act that I think generally the NPC succeeds at. Expansion is controlled so that chapters have a chance to settle in, and then if there are a large number of PNMs another chapter can be added.

If the chapters were all local, there wouldn't be the same amount of cooperation (likely). But because one campus' has a struggling XYZ doesn't mean that on another campus XYZ isn't the "top" chapter. So we chose cooperation.

Finally, no NPC sorority thinks that it is right for every woman out there. We're not like Microsoft thinking that EVERYONE should use a PC. Some women feel more at home in Tri Delta, some feel more at home in ASA, some feel more at home in Theta Nu Xi and some feel at home in DST.

We feel that encouraging Greek Life in general helps each of our sororities in particular.
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