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

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Old 08-22-2008, 09:43 AM
ASTalumna06 ASTalumna06 is offline
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Multiple New Member Classes

I apologize if this has been discussed before (and I'm sure it has), but I couldn't find anything on it.

Anyway, does anyone else have multiple pledge classes in a semester?

I know that obviously it would be difficult to do, but I keep hearing that it might be a good idea, especially with our pledge classes never totaling more than maybe 5 people.

When would you fit in a new class? What's the process? And how much extra time and effort does it take?

Would it be wise to bid girls after Thanksgiving and before Christmas, and then to have them start after winter break? (having an induction ceremony for them the first week back at school?)

Or would it be smart to bid girls in advance, but have them start with the next new member class. Example: Bid them before winter break, but have their induction ceremony and new member activities start after recruitment the following semester with the new class. Or is that making them wait too long to really jump into things?

I understand there may be obstacles to deal with concerning the National Organization and possibly school rules, but putting those aside for now and assuming they don't exist, what would you suggest? Or what does your chapter do in order to have multiple pledge classes?
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Old 08-22-2008, 09:54 AM
33girl 33girl is offline
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The easiest way to do this is to bid them in advance and then start them w/ the next class. NPC isn't wild about this but it is permissible as far as they are concerned. Check w/ your school though - some places have rules that say pledging must begin x number of hours/days after accepting a bid.

You wouldn't really be having "multiple" classes if you did this, just the usual one in the fall and one in spring. Some groups do have more than one class a semester but this really depends if your school schedule is structured to fit it in and what your pledge program consists of.
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Old 08-22-2008, 10:18 AM
Zillini Zillini is offline
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ETA Qualifier - I assume we're talking about an NPC org here.

As with so many other things, it depends on the chapter and the campus. There are lots of chapters that have multiple pledge classes throughout the year. Some chapters are constantly in COR mode looking for new members. For them it's no big deal. For large chapters that are normally always above Chapter Total and are used to only doing Formal Recruitment, it can be a real shock if they fall below Total and need to COR another pledge class to get back up to Total. They simply aren't used to it.

As to the COR process and how long it takes, it ought to be the same for the 2nd, 3rd or 4th as it would be for first.

As to when to bid (school year timing), you need to check your I/natl policies. Many state that a new member must go through a new member ceremony X# of days after a bid is accepted and the new member period can only last for certain length of time. (The standard is 6 weeks). I don't know if Winter Break when school isn't in session counts toward that or not. Also, check any Panhellenic/University policies regarding pledge periods.

Don't forget to look at the sorority's calendar very closely when deciding to recruit another pledge class. You don't want initiation scheduled in the middle of finals or some other major event. It's also not a great idea to start a pledge period a few weeks before the end of spring semester then make them wait until fall to finish and initiate. You may end up losing some of them over the summer.

The most important thing a chapter needs to do with a 2nd, 3rd or 4th pledge class is to make sure their new member period is just as educational and just as rewarding as the 1st one.

Last edited by Zillini; 08-22-2008 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 08-22-2008, 11:09 AM
ASTalumna06 ASTalumna06 is offline
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The chapter wouldn't have multiple new member classes if they couldn't extend to at least the 6 week mark. That's not the intention at all. With all the information the new members have to know, and knowing full well that they also have classes they need to go to and study for, it'd be stupid to have it be less than that.

Also, it's required that initiation be at least 2 weeks before the start of finals so that the new member period doesn't conflict with them at all.

As for us being even remotely close to total... we're not. We have COR all year, but right now there's only... 13 girls? So clearly more new members are needed.
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Old 08-22-2008, 04:44 PM
SassyPantsAGD SassyPantsAGD is offline
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At Western Carolina University my organization has had more than one pledge class in a semester.

We had to get it approved by our Greek Life Office with the time frames. Of course the New Member period was extremely short and we didn't recruit as many people as we had previously hoped for during the 2nd pledge class. We were in trouble with our numbers so we opted to have the 2nd pledge class in hopes to get closer to our goals.

You run into the problem of a shortened time frame and one that is way too close to the end of the year. Most women are pretty much done with the idea of joining a GLO and initiation would run close to the end of the semester and with finals and papers and the sort its stressful to a New Member.

I agree with 33girl. Get them involved and let them start in the next pledge class. If you members hold themselves accountable to keep close contact with the PNM they won't lose their interest of waiting and let them know you want them to be a part of your organization!
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Old 08-22-2008, 06:02 PM
Titchou Titchou is offline
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Be sure to check you national regulations. Some may have rules about making grades if they are pledged one semester and actually don't start the program until the next semester. On the campus where I advise, we usually have 2 new member classes per semester. In the fall, one from formal recruitment and then a second one, if we aren't at total. We have a set COR program so it is scheduled to end at the proper time for initiation just before the end of the semester. We do the same thing if needed spring semester - one at the beginning of the semester and one a little later to allow for initiation before the end of school. You just have to determine how many weeks you must have for the program and count back from the end of the semester to determine when that COR period should end.
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Old 08-22-2008, 06:34 PM
AGDee AGDee is offline
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I've seen chapters do this when they continue to have COR events each month throughout the semester. If you have a campus where formal recruitment ends in early or mid-September and you had an 8 week new member period, then you'd be looking at an Initiation in early or mid-November. If you picked up several more members when that class was at the 4 week mark, you could start a second class then. They would be initiated a couple weeks before finals. You could even continue to recruit for one or two more weeks and compress their period into 6 weeks. It's certainly not easy, but it can help get the numbers up. You then have a lot more women to work on recruiting the next semester. You can also utilize your first class to help bring in more women for the second class because they may have friends who, when they see how much fun those new members are having, think they'd be interested also.
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