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


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  #1  
Old 07-24-2013, 06:56 PM
KSUViolet06 KSUViolet06 is offline
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The sorority cost/money/financial thread.

{The money talk happens everywhere on GC, so I wanted to make a central place to talk (to PNMs and anyone else) about money. The treasurer/housing corp/financial peeps, rejoice.}

So you want to join a sorority? Awesome. In case you have not guessed, it costs money.

It is actually required of Panhellenics to provide PNMs with some sort of cost/financial info. However, it's up to your school HOW they choose to provide it.

Your school might be awesome (like mine was) and provide you with a detailed cost breakdown outlining every single thing that is going to require money for the entire year.

Others will just give you a ballpark number such as "Costs per year range anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000."

If you get a ballpark, assume and plan for the higher side. Don't assume, "It won't be that high." Even if you get a bid to $2,000 chapter, it may end up being more like $4,000 if those costs don't include socials, parlor fees, etc.

Also, even if you're given good info, consider that there are some chapters who are "all-inclusive" meaning that you pay what appears to be a higher cost, but have things built into your dues like formal tickets, favors, etc.

For example: An all inclusive chapter might have first year costs of like $5,000, but include tickets to all your socials, favors, all tee shirts for every event etc.

Non-All Inclusive might be $4,000. It seems less expensive, but you pay separately for tickets, parking, socials, out of pocket.
There is merit here in that you can CHOOSE whether you'd like to attend x party or formal, rather than pay automatically for the tickets. There are pros and cons to each!

Also consider live-in costs. Sometimes it's cheaper than the dorms, sometimes it's equal. Many times (particularly with the level of awesomeness in a lot of newer chapter houses), it costs more. There are also some chapters who REQUIRE you to live in the chapter house for a certain length of time. You are not a special snowflake, you will be expected to do it. Keep that in mind.

There are OTHER costs associated with being Greek that don't always show up in the financial info such as having a Little Sister, craft supplies, etc. as well.

In addition, there are chapters who may fine members for missing events, meetings, etc. Keep that in mind as well.

Most importantly, consider your financial resources before deciding to pursue recruitment. This is a lifetime commitment and as such, it carries a financial commitment as well.

Do you need to be super mega rich to join? No! But as soon as you get that bid, there are going to be financial responsibilities coming due (really, like you get a bid and many times your first payment of NM fees is due prior to your NM ceremony.) You need to have a plan for how you are going to afford it.

Too often, members join, not thinking of the cost. Then once they realize that it is super costly, they depledge or even worse, terminate their memberships.

Please avoid wasting sorority time and ensure that you have a plan in place to address sorority costs should you receive a bid.

Note: A plan is not assuming "oh my parents will pay." Don't assume. You need to get confirmation that they'll do so (and be upfront with THEM about how much it may cost.)

Additional note: A plan is not, "I'll take the bid worry about it later." No because in 4 weeks you'll be all "omg I can't afford this and I'm dropping out." Ain't nobody got time for that.

Really bad idea: assuming "Oh they have payment plans." Some do, some do not allow it.

Part-time jobs are a good plan, especially one that's flexible with student schedules.

I guess the point of this thread is to talk money/allow you to ask questions and encourage you to do your homework on costs before you commit.

So you got a bid! For the active sorority member.

Congrats! Now pay your dues, on time. All the time. Your chapter and National HQ depend on it. There is no chapter if no one pays.

Don't pay your dues? Some sororities do not allow you to participate in certain things. Don't be all "Why can't I go to date party?" when you have a $1,200 balance. Nonpayment may even cause you to lose your membership. most importantly, it shafts your sisters whom you say you care about. (not being dramatic, every missing dollar impacts the budget and falls on others.)

Be financially smart: If paying dues is hard for you one month, maybe you don't need that new Lilly sorority bag. You'll survive without it. I promise. Necessities first, extras second.




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Last edited by KSUViolet06; 06-23-2015 at 12:49 AM.
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  #2  
Old 07-24-2013, 07:38 PM
Titchou Titchou is offline
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Excellent, my dear!
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  #3  
Old 07-24-2013, 08:23 PM
lilabelle lilabelle is offline
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I have a question for those more "in-the-know" with a variety of schools - would you advise PNMs who are concerned about money to inquire during parties what all the money covers? Like maybe she can afford a chapter that's $5000 a semester all inclusive, but not one that's $4000 plus money for socials, etc. I know advice here is generally to not go through recruitment if you aren't prepared to find a way to afford the most expensive chapter (in case you fall in love wit them and they bid you), just curious.
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  #4  
Old 07-24-2013, 08:24 PM
TiareNoire TiareNoire is offline
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^^Someone beat me to my question! Haha.

Last edited by TiareNoire; 07-24-2013 at 08:27 PM.
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  #5  
Old 07-24-2013, 08:30 PM
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thetalady thetalady is offline
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I am a while out of school, but I am pretty sure that costs are covered by the sororities during one of the parties. You should NOT ask the actives during a rush party. Advisors, please correct me if this is not accurate.
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  #6  
Old 07-24-2013, 09:04 PM
MaryPoppins MaryPoppins is offline
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I've always thought that there needs to be a matrix like this:

Chapter | New . . . . | Active | Active . | Room & | Parties & | . . Standard
. . . . . . . | Member . | (Fall) . | (Spring)| Board/ . | T-Shirts, . | . . Badge
. . . . . . . | Fees . . . . | Fees . | Fees . . | Semester | Etc. . . . . . |

ABC . . | . . . $2,500 | $1,600 | $1,600 | $4,000 . . | . . . .$700 | . . $150

DEF . . | . . . $3,500 | $2,000 | $2,000 | $4,000 . . | . . . . . .$0* | . .$0*
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . *Included in Fees

GHI . . . | . . . $1,500 | $1,200 | $1,200 | $4,000 . . | . . . $1700 | .$100

And so on . . .

So rarely is this done effectively, on a level playing field, or made understandable to the PNM without a foreign language interpreter.
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Last edited by MaryPoppins; 07-24-2013 at 09:40 PM.
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  #7  
Old 07-24-2013, 09:50 PM
KSUViolet06 KSUViolet06 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryPoppins View Post
I've always thought that there needs to be a matrix like this:

Chapter | New . . . . | Active | Active . | Room & | Parties & | . . Standard
. . . . . . . | Member . | (Fall) . | (Spring)| Board/ . | T-Shirts, . | . . Badge
. . . . . . . | Fees . . . . | Fees . | Fees . . | Semester | Etc. . . . . . |

ABC . . | . . . $2,500 | $1,600 | $1,600 | $4,000 . . | . . . .$700 | . . $150

DEF . . | . . . $3,500 | $2,000 | $2,000 | $4,000 . . | . . . . . .$0* | . .$0*
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . *Included in Fees

GHI . . . | . . . $1,500 | $1,200 | $1,200 | $4,000 . . | . . . $1700 | .$100

And so on . . .

So rarely is this done effectively, on a level playing field, or made understandable to the PNM without a foreign language interpreter.
My alma mater does something very similar

Every chapter hands out sheet with a table on it with the following cost items :

NM Fee
Badge Cost (most basic)
Initiation fees
Dues (fall)
Dues (Spring)
Room & Board
Live-in requirement (1 or 2 years)
Live-out/parlor fees
Estimated social costs (date parties, etc.) and y or n if they are inclusive.
Fines (indicating if they fined for anything like missed chapter, etc.)
Payment plans offered (y or n)
Optional costs (eg extra tees for events, etc.)
Total costs for 2013-2014

You get one of these sheets at EVERY chapter. By the end of the first day, you know exactly what you're getting into cost-wise.

They were given out at COR as well.
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Last edited by KSUViolet06; 07-24-2013 at 09:53 PM.
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  #8  
Old 07-25-2013, 11:13 PM
dukedg dukedg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KSUViolet06 View Post
My alma mater does something very similar

Every chapter hands out sheet with a table on it with the following cost items :

NM Fee
Badge Cost (most basic)
Initiation fees
Dues (fall)
Dues (Spring)
Room & Board
Live-in requirement (1 or 2 years)
Live-out/parlor fees
Estimated social costs (date parties, etc.) and y or n if they are inclusive.
Fines (indicating if they fined for anything like missed chapter, etc.)
Payment plans offered (y or n)
Optional costs (eg extra tees for events, etc.)
Total costs for 2013-2014

You get one of these sheets at EVERY chapter. By the end of the first day, you know exactly what you're getting into cost-wise.

They were given out at COR as well.
Maybe this sounds ridiculous, but did you all allow them to keep the sheets of paper? This came up our recruitment chairs meeting and at UC Davis they do hand these out, but because you cannot give anything to a PNM, the chapters have to collect them back or be fined. I can't imagine a PNM is really memorizing this data at each party... I would think just putting it in the recruitment booklet would be much better!
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  #9  
Old 07-26-2013, 01:36 AM
gatordeltapgh gatordeltapgh is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dukedg View Post
Maybe this sounds ridiculous, but did you all allow them to keep the sheets of paper? This came up our recruitment chairs meeting and at UC Davis they do hand these out, but because you cannot give anything to a PNM, the chapters have to collect them back or be fined. I can't imagine a PNM is really memorizing this data at each party... I would think just putting it in the recruitment booklet would be much better!
This is where your NPC AA needs to step in say enough is enough and get that out of the recruitment rules. Setting fines for things that aren't measurable is a no-no anyway. Fines because your list was late, sure. Within reason. No $50 per minute craziness. Fines because PNMs need educated about the financial obligations, no way. As you mentioned, the booklet may be the best place anyway.

This is also why NPC recommends publishing ranges so no group is judged as the most or lease expensive. I've found the ranges also prevent the intentional under estimators.
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  #10  
Old 07-26-2013, 01:30 PM
KSUViolet06 KSUViolet06 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dukedg View Post
Maybe this sounds ridiculous, but did you all allow them to keep the sheets of paper? This came up our recruitment chairs meeting and at UC Davis they do hand these out, but because you cannot give anything to a PNM, the chapters have to collect them back or be fined. I can't imagine a PNM is really memorizing this data at each party... I would think just putting it in the recruitment booklet would be much better!
They keep them, but it was something we had to have a discussion with our area peeps at NPC about. They decided that it was fine as long as it was the ONLY thing they got to keep, and that it truly is just a plain sheet (e.g. no personal letters, or anything else.) It has been done since before I joined, so I don't know the details of the exact discussion.
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  #11  
Old 07-26-2013, 02:37 PM
DeltaBetaBaby DeltaBetaBaby is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KSUViolet06 View Post
They keep them, but it was something we had to have a discussion with our area peeps at NPC about. They decided that it was fine as long as it was the ONLY thing they got to keep, and that it truly is just a plain sheet (e.g. no personal letters, or anything else.) It has been done since before I joined, so I don't know the details of the exact discussion.
Yeah, this is one of those things like glitter on the shoes. Just make a standard form, hand it out, and stop being petty assholes.
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  #12  
Old 07-24-2013, 09:09 PM
FSUZeta FSUZeta is offline
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Often times,with diligent searching on a college's greek life website, or in the greek recruitment guide distributed prior to recruitment (in the summer for fall rush), costs are listed. It may take some digging.

You could also contact the greek life office and ask for the high and low sorority costs- I imagine that you would not have to identify yourself.

For instance, the costs of each chapter at FSU are listed in the 2013 recruitment guide here (financial info. is on page 10):

http://greeklife.fsu.edu/Current-Mem...To-Recruitment
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Last edited by FSUZeta; 07-24-2013 at 09:23 PM.
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  #13  
Old 07-24-2013, 09:47 PM
MaryPoppins MaryPoppins is offline
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From the Ole Miss web site:

"What are the costs of joining a fraternity or sorority?

The Registration fee for Formal Recruitment is $100. It is due when you submit your application form online. The costs associated with the individual chapter dues are fairly subjective. We highly encourage potential new members to ask about the financial costs of each chapter during the first round of Recruitment. It is a very common topic of conversation, and should not be an awkward question. Typically, most chapters will address this issue up front. The average dues are about $350 per month, which includes membership fees, meal plan, social parties, t-shirts, and other items. For some groups, some of these costs are separate from the main dues. But please note, each house is different, this is simply an average estimate. It is also noteworthy that after the first year, dues are somewhat less because of the costs associated with initiation." Link
http://dos.orgsync.com/greek_parents

I think this is insufficient. And suggesting that a PNM ask the Chapter during recruitment is malpractice per se and unrealistic. That being said wonderful changes have been happening at the Greek Life level at Ole Miss, I just hope they know that there is more ground they need to cover before they slow down on the improvements.
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Old 07-24-2013, 10:01 PM
ASTalumna06 ASTalumna06 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryPoppins View Post
From the Ole Miss web site:

"What are the costs of joining a fraternity or sorority?

The Registration fee for Formal Recruitment is $100. It is due when you submit your application form online. The costs associated with the individual chapter dues are fairly subjective. We highly encourage potential new members to ask about the financial costs of each chapter during the first round of Recruitment. It is a very common topic of conversation, and should not be an awkward question. Typically, most chapters will address this issue up front. The average dues are about $350 per month, which includes membership fees, meal plan, social parties, t-shirts, and other items. For some groups, some of these costs are separate from the main dues. But please note, each house is different, this is simply an average estimate. It is also noteworthy that after the first year, dues are somewhat less because of the costs associated with initiation." Link
http://dos.orgsync.com/greek_parents

I think this is insufficient. And suggesting that a PNM ask the Chapter during recruitment is malpractice per se and unrealistic. That being said wonderful changes have been happening at the Greek Life level at Ole Miss, I just hope they know that there is more ground they need to cover before they slow down on the improvements.
Here's a random question, which I'm sure has been asked on Greekchat before, but I just missed it...

How is the recruitment registration fee spent? Is this money distributed to the chapters? ..Is it used by Panhellenic for the bid day hoopla? ..Something else? I imagine it could vary by school - and I don't want to completely derail this thread - so if someone could just throw out there a few possible ways it could be spent, that'd be great.

Just curious...
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Old 07-24-2013, 10:06 PM
Titchou Titchou is offline
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No, it does not go to the chapters. Typically it might cover any meals or entertainment/convocation expenses for the PNMs, tee shirts for the PNMs and PH Council and the Recruitment counselors, possibly meals and other incidentals for the PH recruitment team, name tags, etc.
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