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  #1  
Old 08-25-2014, 07:53 PM
Ophelia Ophelia is offline
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Mandatory vs optional

What events are mandatory and which are optional for you? If you have a point system, how is that working for you, and within your point system do you still have mandatory events?

Background:
My chapter is considering moving to using a point system instead of fining people for not attending things. Events that people should be going to are worth more points in the system. You must meet a minimum number of points to run for office and/or have a little sister. The number of points will also determine picking order for littles. We are debating if any events should be mandatory or not? Tbh, if people don't want to attend chapter meetings, I would rather they not show up to most of them. We can be more productive if the naysayers stay home. My concern is that with everything technically optional, that attendance will be poor at events. At the same time it would also mean that people will get their points at events they want to go to and the planners of events need to work hard to make them fun so people want to attend. I think the point system will also allow those who are busy to still be involved with the sorority, where typically these people go inactive to avoid the fines.

I would greatly appreciate your opinions on this. Thank you!
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  #2  
Old 08-25-2014, 10:09 PM
33girl 33girl is offline
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Positivity (she who collects the most points gets good things) is as a rule better than negativity (she who blows things off gets fined). You might also want to stipulate that if people vote in favor of a mixer, philanthropy event, etc, that barring unforeseen circumstances, they plan on going. Better to have fewer events (especially mixers) with higher attendance than a "full calendar" with only half the chapter there. It looks really poor to new sisters and especially to outsiders when that happens.

Meetings kind of need to be mandatory because if you don't go to them, you won't know what's going on. Some groups do a "paper meeting" where you can pick up notes - hopefully someone will chime in on this. All I can say is if you have people who complain about giving 2 hours out of their week for a meeting, perhaps they should not be members.
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  #3  
Old 08-25-2014, 11:08 PM
SoCalGirl SoCalGirl is offline
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We had points to "earn" entrance to formals but still had fines for missing the super important required events: rush, pinning, and initiation.

The finable events still applied to girls who were in school (on campus) but on LOA for either grades or financial reasons.
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  #4  
Old 08-26-2014, 12:01 AM
ASTalumna06 ASTalumna06 is offline
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I also think that a points system is better than penalizing sisters for not attending events. However, I think that chapter meetings and ritual ceremonies should be mandatory, unless a sister has a legitimate excuse as to why she can't attend. If your members don't feel that they need to attend these events, then it seems to me that they misunderstand what being in a sorority is about (i.e. It's not all fun and games all the time, and it comes with responsibilities).

Making EVERYTHING optional will only lead to problems, IMO.
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Last edited by ASTalumna06; 08-26-2014 at 02:18 AM.
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  #5  
Old 08-26-2014, 01:05 AM
SoCalGirl SoCalGirl is offline
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The "legitimate excuse" thing reminded me that there was two tiers of fines. Excused absences had lower fines. The Exec + Advisors determined what was excusable.

If I recall correctly, missing due to work resulted in a fine that was equivalent to minimum wage. So unless you made more than minimum wage you had no financial incentive to skip out of required events.
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  #6  
Old 08-26-2014, 08:12 AM
DeltaBetaBaby DeltaBetaBaby is offline
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If people are always skipping your meetings, it's a good idea to ask yourself if your meetings are useless.
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  #7  
Old 08-26-2014, 09:09 AM
DoctorD DoctorD is offline
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Article about this, although he recently said he didn't like point systems. http://intentionaltjs.com/a-few-tips...point-systems/
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  #8  
Old 08-26-2014, 05:02 PM
Griffins&Quills Griffins&Quills is offline
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I agree that making everything optional may cause problems, but the same goes for making everything mandatory.

Last edited by Griffins&Quills; 09-09-2014 at 12:13 PM.
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  #9  
Old 08-26-2014, 05:03 PM
Griffins&Quills Griffins&Quills is offline
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And I do not think that people should still be fined when they have a legitimate excuse.
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  #10  
Old 08-26-2014, 10:48 PM
Ophelia Ophelia is offline
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Thank you for all of the great feedback so far, I really appreciate it!
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  #11  
Old 08-27-2014, 02:34 AM
Wynter Wynter is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeltaBetaBaby View Post
If people are always skipping your meetings, it's a good idea to ask yourself if your meetings are useless.
While I do advocate for everyone attending chapter meetings, this is so true
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  #12  
Old 08-27-2014, 01:36 PM
TweedleDee199 TweedleDee199 is offline
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My chapter used points to determine live in\live out and picking rooms in the house, but otherwise it was purely fines. My issue with fines is that I felt it affected certain members disproportionately. It drove me crazy as an officer to see work going into an event and still hear voices in the hallway saying "Wait what time is that? Whatever, I'll take the fine. My parents pay bill highway anyway." For that group of women fines were an entirely unaffective penalty. On the flip side were women who paid their own dues and knew that a $25 fine would mean picking up an extra shift at work to keep their monthly budget balanced. Not surprisingly, the latter group tended to have better attendance. I agree that rituals, work week, and recruitment are no excuses situations, and fines there are totally appropriate. I understood it also for women who take a spot on a philanthropy or intramural team then don't show up, leaving their sisters high and dry. Overall though I would have loved to see my chapter transition to a points system.
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  #13  
Old 08-27-2014, 02:11 PM
ASTalumna06 ASTalumna06 is offline
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One thing to keep in mind (for both the OP and anyone else referring to this thread for ideas) is the size of your chapter. When I was active, my chapter was between 10-15 members, so almost everything was mandatory. However, it’s much different if you have a chapter of 250 members. Making everything optional for a small chapter would be detrimental to getting anything done, and making everything mandatory for a large chapter would likely cause logistical issues, as well as many sisters not understanding why they have to be at EVERY single event when there are so many people.

Another option to consider: Calculate membership percentages in order to allow each sister to skip a certain number of events each semester

Let’s assume chapter meetings, rituals, and national staff visits are mandatory. This leaves you with fundraisers, philanthropies, socials, and sister development events (and perhaps a few other categories). Look at your calendar and figure out how many sisters need to attend each event in order to have “full participation”.

My chapter, for example, always participated in 4-5 philanthropy events each semester. In the spring, we held our annual pageant, which was when we needed all hands on deck. That was mandatory. So let’s say there are 4 other philanthropy events for the semester, and let’s pretend there were 50 members in the chapter. That’s 50 members x 4 events = 200 “people”. If your goal was to have at least 75% of your chapter at every philanthropy event, you could allow each sister to skip one philanthropy event that semester:

50 members x 1 event skipped = 50 missing sisters
200 “people” - 50 missing sisters = 150 “people” attending events
150 “people” / 4 events = 37 or 38 members at each event (75% of your chapter)

Also, I believe it’s already been mentioned, but when it comes to social events with other chapters (mixers, specifically), it is rude to only have a small number of sisters show up when the chapter voted on the event, and the other chapter took time/money/effort to plan for it. Again, it’s better to have fewer mixers where more sisters show up, than to have a lot of mixers where only 25% of your members bother to attend. Instead of making mixers a majority vote, you could require, for example, that 75% of your chapter must vote to have the event, and the sisters who vote ‘Yes’ must attend. You could pass a sheet of paper around at your meeting and have a ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ column. If at least 75% of your members have voted ‘Yes’, then you have the event, and you’ll already have a list of all the sisters that need to be there!

Of course, you’ll probably need 98% of your chapter members to be at the meeting to vote; yet another reason why chapter meetings should be mandatory!

Ok, I’ll stop here Hopefully this helped!
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Last edited by ASTalumna06; 08-27-2014 at 02:18 PM.
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  #14  
Old 08-27-2014, 08:50 PM
AGDee AGDee is offline
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I'm not a big fan of mandatory events outside of: recruitment, rituals (Initiation, New member ceremony), chapter meeting, chapter's main philanthropy event, and, for us, IRD (our Founder's Day event with alumna).

I agree that if a member is excused, there is no fine.

I encouraged the passing of the sheet of paper to vote and if you voted yes, you are expected to be there method for mixers and sisterhoods.

Since there are a lot of chapter meetings, I also like when chapters give a certain number of "free" misses- 1 personal, 3 study or something like that. It has to be tracked though! And yes, the members who skip chapter regularly will also be the ones who don't come to events because they don't want to do it or they didn't know about it. If they aren't showing up to vote on events, then nobody knows they don't want to do it and they aren't there to vote NO. Then they complain.
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  #15  
Old 08-27-2014, 09:24 PM
ASTalumna06 ASTalumna06 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AGDee View Post
Since there are a lot of chapter meetings, I also like when chapters give a certain number of "free" misses- 1 personal, 3 study or something like that. It has to be tracked though!
This!

Also, for AST, we're actually only required to have 3 business meetings each month. So essentially, there are 3 meetings and then a "break", and then another 3 meetings, and so on. Of course, it doesn't always run like clockwork, and you could have a week off, 6 meetings in a row, then another week off; it all depended on the time of year and what needed to get done. However, sisters still needed to be excused from time to time. Check to see what your sorority's policy is regarding meeting requirements - my chapter didn't know about ours until well after I joined!

When I was active, we had a meeting every week anyway. Again, being in a small chapter basically required it. But every so often, we would have a "paper meeting" (although I'm still not sure why they're called that): we would start the meeting as usual, but then someone would vote to suspend Robert's Rules, and it would basically just be a quick, casual meeting where anyone who had something to discuss would raise their hand and throw out what they needed to say. It was a way to get a few minor things done, and then we'd sometimes have a casual sisterhood event afterward.
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