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  #1  
Old 09-30-2019, 06:58 PM
BlueBayou BlueBayou is offline
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My daughter doing recruitment her way

This is a mom's take on her daughter's recruitment. My introverted daughter Flower decided to go through recruitment. I'm an alumnae of an NPC sorority. I've not been super active, I have not lived in a town with a collegiate chapter for more than two decades. But I go to the occasional alumnae event and my girls were raised knowing that sorority involvement was a very positive experience for me.

About Flower's school. It has 4 NPC sororities, high grade standards (Average ACT 29, SAT 1310), and of very ethnically diverse student population. And that diversity carries over to the NPC chapters. I believe there is a huge percentage of girls going through recruitment that do not have parents who were greek.

I'm going to call them:
North
South - Her legacy sorority
East
West - Her cousin's sorority

Chapter totals appear to hover in the low 90s and the chapters that COB more often are in the upper 70s to mid 80s. So there isn't a huge imbalance in size.

(Tent talk I heard from alums - but did NOT share with Flower. One is new with good sisterhood, COBs more often because it is still establishing. One is known as the pretty, party girls and has the lowest GPA. One is know to have strong academic - focus, going after NMFs. The last is also strong academically and good sisterhood. Personally at the booths at orientation - I met two groups and my legacy group struck me as very sweet, but also very polished.)

My daughter is not the stereotypical person that you would think would go through recruitment. But being a sorority member myself, I know there really is no such thing as a stereotypical sorority member.

I think it was in February, we got invited to a big city alumnae legacy party for my sorority. New pledges/initiates and legacy high school juniors and seniors were invited. I took my daughter to it. On the 30 minute drive to the party - I talked to my daughter about what rush is really like. I explained rotation groups and the small talk. A couple of the ladies at the party were my chapter sorority sisters. Two of them had daughters who were active members of our sorority, but at different schools. It was nice getting to catch up with them. It was a good opportunity for Flower to see that we had the same conversation over and over with different groups of people. It was a good experience.

I had my daughter contact one of the ladies we met there for a reference to my sorority and her other one was from a lady from my chapter that I see socially.

We also attended a "Go Greek" night with the Alumnae Panhellenic for our suburb. They separated the moms from the PNMs. While the PNMs were placed into small groups with active sorority members to go over what recruitment is like, the mom's were all placed together and two ladies facilitated discussion of references/recs/rifs and RFM. This is the south and there were other moms with binders - exchanging reference contact information.

Flower did get a lot out of the event. She went from wanting to go through recruitment because she wanted a sisterhood to being excited about finding her sisters. Flower has social anxiety, so I was super pleased to see her excited - but also a little worried. Small talk might not come easily to her.

College is a time that kids get to rebel a little and not listen to mom. And my daughter is not a shopper. She is more a jeans and t-shirt kind of gal. In the months leading up to recruitment, any suggestion from mom about prepping a recruitment wardrobe fell on deaf ears. At one point, when I was about to pull my hair out at Anthropologie, I threatened her younger sister Blossom, who is a fashionista/Imelda Marcos that I would not buy Blossom anything, ever again if she did not find something, anything that would work for her sister. Thankfully, even though they are not the same body types, Blossom (who thinks she wants to major in fashion merchandizing) found two very suitable and flattering pieces. Flower had already decided that her pref dress was going to be a Ralph Lauren dress we purchased for graduation. The only dress she owns.

Please do not think I am being shallow and only concerned about fashion. Nothing could be further from the truth. When I say this kid only wears jeans and t-shirts or short and t-shirts or sweaters and jeans - I'm serious. With the exception of some black dress pants, a black skirt and a plain white dress shirts for Model UN competitions - everything else in her closet was jeans, t-shirts, sweaters and shorts. Oh and one pair of leggings. Her "dress" clothes are her sweaters. But in 90+ degree temps - those would not have worked.

During the summer I also suggested that she remove her black nail polish and choose something more appropriate. Suggesting this is a decision I will live to regret later. She said "No." That she likes black etc.

Also when she was packing up to go to college - I asked if she was going to pack any of her makeup (she has full pallets - Blossom is into makeup and skincare - and I think may have suggested them as Christmas gifts). Flower said no that she never wears anything but tinted lip gloss. I said "What about Rush?" She responded that if she doesn't wear it normally, why would she wear it for recruitment. Lordy Bee. I said "don't you want to make a good impression." She said - "I want a place I can be me." While I can't argue with that, again it made me nervous. And for the record - for her senior portrait - she was super excited to have her hair and makeup done. So go figure.

In the weeks leading up to recruitment there were a series of informational meeting, some Panhellenic only and some were "Meet the Greeks" type events. These were not required events, but Flower attended them all.

I made the mistake of asking what she was going to wear to one of the events. She said a t-shirt of a divisive, failed senate candidate. Seriously? In my world politics was NEVER discussed in rush. Oh and by this time her black nail polish is completely chipped and half picked off. I totally spaced on getting her nails done before we moved her up there. And she doesn't care. When she got home from that event - I asked if anyone said anything about her shirt. Thankfully, she slopped food on her shirt in the cafeteria and had to go with something else. She has a retro type shirt her cousin gave her that says "I did my best." She wore that - and got tons of complements. It was a conversation starter. Oh and I think one of the North sorority members asked her if she had any concerns about recruitment and my sweet Flower said "My mom is really concerned about me going through with chipped nail polish." Seriously Flower - you didn't do that. The girl said "oh no. It's fine. I went through with chipped nail polish."

So my daughter is ready to for recruitment. No makeup and chipped nail polish. She is chill, and I'm on pins and needles.

Last edited by BlueBayou; 10-01-2019 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 09-30-2019, 07:21 PM
Sphinxie Sphinxie is offline
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Good luck to her!
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Old 09-30-2019, 09:43 PM
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IndianaSigKap IndianaSigKap is offline
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@BB I loved your intro post. I could almost hear her eyes roll during the conversations about the black nail polish!
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Old 09-30-2019, 10:50 PM
UVASquirrel UVASquirrel is offline
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Can't wait to read the whole story!!
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  #5  
Old 09-30-2019, 10:50 PM
Cookiez17 Cookiez17 is offline
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Flower has a good head on her shoulder. I hope she finds her home!
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  #6  
Old 10-01-2019, 02:24 AM
BlueBayou BlueBayou is offline
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The parties

Okay so recruitment is only 3 days. But the parties are a little longer for the first round than at a lot of schools. 30 minutes. All of recruitment was held in conference rooms on campus.

Saturday
Sisterhood - go to all chapters

Sunday
Philanthropy - Max 3

Monday
Preference - Max 2
Bid night is Monday night

Flower's schedule for sisterhood was:

Break
South
Break
West
Break
East
North

Flower came back liking them all. She said she thought she would be happy with any one of them. She did say that East and South were the most polished and skilled at recruitment. She had the most relaxed conversations with West. I could tell she liked East and West a little better than South and North. But it was really a toss up at this point. Her top three were East, South and West. She listed North last. I could tell she preferred another one or two sororities over mine. I was preparing myself that my daughter was not also going to be my sister.

Day two, philanthropy, was max 3 parties and her schedule looked like:
Break
Break
West
Break
North

Not a full schedule. She was released by East and South (my sorority). She was okay with it. I felt the sting of my sorority releasing her. But I honestly did not feel like it was the right fit for her. It seems to be an awesome chapter that I am very honored to call my sisters. But they seemed a little bit too polished for Flower's personality. And having been someone who worked references/membership selection for two years in college - I like the idea of releasing legacies early if you know you are not going to offer them a bid.

Flower said that most people she talked with had only two parties, not a full schedule of three. One of the people in her Rho Gam group was very upset that she was released from South. Flower tried to talk to her about grades possibly being the reason for the cuts. She encouraged her to go to the two parties remaining on her schedule.

Flower went to both parties. I was a little apprehensive because my "tent talk" research made me think one of her two remaining choices would not be the best fit for her. But I did not say anything to Flower.

She came away from philanthropy round with a clear favorite, West. On one hand I was pleased, because I thought it was a great fit for her. It is the place where she was most comfortable, and had conversations like she was talking with friends. She said she would be okay going back to North - but the conversations were "just not good." I still don't know if they talked about something she wasn't comfortable with or were just strained and awkward.

At this point I was hoping she would only get a pref invite back to West, because if RFM works like it should, she would be a QA if she wasn't matched when the chapter reached quota.

The girl in her Rho Gam group that was released from South - did not rank the two philanthropy chapters she attended and withdrew from recruitment.

I was also kicking myself for not trying to talk Flower into doing something about her nails and maybe put on a little eye liner. I wanted Flower to be the one making all cuts. But in reality she was doing that - by being 100 percent her true self and not putting on airs. But as a mom you do not want your kid to feel rejected. Though she was showing no signs of feeling that way, yet.

Next morning when Flower got her invites to pref:
West

I congratulated Flower - because West was her top choice. But Flower doesn't understand RFM and MRABA, so she thought I was "being weird." And I don't want to give her false hope at this point, in case something crazy happens. But I realize that she is almost guaranteed a bid to West - the sisterhood she wants.

She sounded nervous for the first time.

Pref was "nice" she said. But there was a fire alarm and they had to be evacuated at some point - so I don't think it was the full emotional presentation. I did not pref West - so I don't have the details of the ceremony. Afterwards she signed her MRABA and went to her dorm to nap. They would call people who didn't get bids. Everyone else met back at the student center at 6pm for bid night festivities.

Last edited by BlueBayou; 10-01-2019 at 03:31 PM. Reason: add title
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Old 10-01-2019, 03:45 AM
Cookiez17 Cookiez17 is offline
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Awesome that the rounds went well for her!
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  #8  
Old 10-01-2019, 09:52 AM
Theta1234 Theta1234 is offline
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What a fun story! Here’s to flower loving her new home!
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  #9  
Old 10-01-2019, 09:59 AM
OldFLDDD OldFLDDD is offline
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I know "Flower's" story but am enjoying reading it here! Nicely done! :-)
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Old 10-01-2019, 02:02 PM
DGTess DGTess is offline
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I am absolutely loving Flower, for the record. Genuine and unswayable is what I see so far.
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Old 10-01-2019, 03:24 PM
BlueBayou BlueBayou is offline
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Bid Night

I LOVE my first born Flower with all my heart. But she is not the kind of gal to take selfies (Her sister Blossom will hijack your phone and change your lock screen to her in some ridiculous pose. Blossom will also send me pictures from her day at school, if she is bored).

I talked with Flower on the way back from pref. She was not sharing much information. Like virtually none. She said it was "good" and she just wanted to go back to the dorm and sleep. There was no excitement whatsoever. And I could tell she was nervous. Plus with her introverted nature - she probably spent the last 3 days communicating and having to be "on" in a way has hasn't had to do in years. She was mentally exhausted.

I explained what I knew about RFM and MRABA at that point, trying to calm her nerves. She seemed to want to lash out at me for knowing so much. "Being a know it all." I said she did not have to accept a bid from West if she did not want it. This angered her. She said she really liked them, that I was expecting her to have a reaction and show emotions in a way that was not her. I said I did not want her to be disappointed. She said she was not and that I was really annoying her. Oh and we got into a fight about taking her phone to bid night. She said that they said to bring your student ID. She was taking that to mean only your student ID, no phone. I said I had never heard of a phone free bid day. There was back and forth on this. I got off the phone with her with the understanding that she would NOT have her phone.

Basically, I wanted to see some excitement from her and that is just not my kid in a situation like this.

I really thought Flower would call me while she was getting ready for Bid Night and tell me she did not get a phone call releasing her from recruitment. But she did not. But that is probably because she decided to take her phone to bid day.

I confess that I stalked her on Find my iPhone. Once I saw that she was at the student center I sent her a text.

This is a verbatim of my communication with her.
Me: Hey baby
Her: I have to go. I brought my phone
(1:49 minutes later)
Her: I'll call you tomorrow after class to tell you about it. I'm to (sic) busy tonight.
Me: Did you pledge West?????
Her: Yes
Me: Are you happy?
Her: Yes
Me: Please take pictures. Have a great night.


I don't hear from her again until 1:04pm the next day. She sends me a photo of her bid card with a little tag that says truly and a rose petal on it. When I asked her about it - she said that her bid day buddy gave her a rose with the tag on the stem. All the new members got a rose with a tag of a West virtue. And she got Truly, because they could tell she was someone who stays true to themselves.

True to herself

Wow. That is how she did recruitment and her sisters saw that and respected it.


The only other photo was a sign welcoming the new members. Seriously she did not take a photo of herself or her new sisters.

I asked her what quota was. She didn't know. I asked how many new members were in her pledge class. She told me 15 or 20. That concerned me because I was expected quota to be around 30. Yes, as you would expect, my interrogation was annoying to Flower. (REMINDER - I worked behind the scenes handling references and the bid list when I was in college. When people say "very few chapter members know who was where on a bid list" and know exactly how things work -I was one of those chapter members. I helped form rotation groups and match with rushees. So my curiosity comes from what I did my junior and senior years. And frankly we kinda did what RFM does without the aide of computers)

So back to Flower. I want her to be in a healthy chapter and significantly off quota would be concerning. This is not a struggling chapter (I watched a chapter die when I was in college, so sad) it is new and they just graduated the first class of the founders. They had a larger number of graduates that any other chapter. Quota was probably in the 30s the year they colonized and I think they started with 57 members, most freshmen. So this recruitment is an important one.

During my phone call with Flower - she laughed and said her instagram followers just went over 100. The journalist in me clicked on. She is connecting with her sisters! An opportunity to cyber stalk.

By looking at the West chapter social media - and the new sisters she is connected with - I find the new member picture. I think Flower needs to work on her crowd estimation skills. I counted 32 very happy looking new members. (With the additional COB members folded into the pledge class they are now well over 40). I also find candid photo of her "running home." There is a look of pure joy on her face. I also find a photo of another new member, Flower, and their bid day buddies.

The next day I get a frantic call about finding an all white dress. She needed it immediately for her pin ceremony. Now I knew she would probably need an all white dress. She would have for her legacy chapter. But with the way the black nails and makeup went - I did not push the issue. I think I mentioned it once during the summer, but she made no effort. And I really didn't want a dress she would never wear anywhere else hanging in her dorm closet if recruitment hadn't worked out.

She finds what looks like a dress made out of a white gauze sack. Maybe leftover from when a mummy upgraded his wardrobe. Have I mentioned she does not take selfies? The photo she sent from dressing room was ridiculously bad. She didn't bother to take off her shirt or jeans when trying it on, adding to the sack silhouette. Why did she bother to go to the dressing room - she could have tried in on over her clothes in the Target aisle. She sent the photo and a text "Is this good?" Oh how do I answer that. And it looked ecru instead of white. I told her to buy it and we could find something later if they balked at the color. We were "snow white" back in the day - that dress looked too off white to me. But it really may have been the shadows, poor angle and the florescent lighting in the target dressing room. (after I "approved" the selection - I gave it a more critical look. I suspect when not worn over a pair of jeans it might actually look okay).

Oh and most importantly - she was having to buy nail polish remover because she had to have clear or natural nails for the ceremony. "So you get your way mom, I'm removing the black."

I later asked her how the ceremony went. She happily told me she couldn't tell me, it was a secret, and I'm a South not a West.

Last edited by BlueBayou; 10-01-2019 at 03:37 PM.
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Old 10-01-2019, 05:23 PM
Cookiez17 Cookiez17 is offline
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The dress thing I'm dying of laughter! But seriously, Flower is gonna go far in life being unapologetically herself.
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Old 10-02-2019, 08:49 AM
honeychile honeychile is offline
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Love the tone! You are truly an understanding woman, and your daughter just may come out of her shell yet!
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Old 10-02-2019, 07:48 PM
Theta1234 Theta1234 is offline
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I'm dying over here. I thought I knew the story, but I didn't know the pledge dress part. Flower is simply hysterical. Here's to her having a great year!

On a side note, did you find out if they have a mom's club? Will Flower die if you start one?
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Old 10-02-2019, 08:49 PM
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IndianaSigKap IndianaSigKap is offline
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Originally Posted by Theta1234 View Post
On a side note, did you find out if they have a mom's club? Will Flower die if you start one?
^ That would be the another great story!
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