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  #16  
Old 07-02-2007, 09:39 AM
Faith4Keep Faith4Keep is offline
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Originally Posted by SWTXBelle View Post
I think one key would be for the individual who is rushing the PNM to make a special point of telling her that she is so happy to have another chance to spend with her - another opportunity to share the sisterhood that has meant so much to her.
HTH -

Honestly I think this can backfire. After looking through the retro recruitment threads, many posters have had an active tell them the deal-maker sentence at pref, "I'm so happy you're here"...including myself.

However, if a PNM was forced to go to a party of a chapter that they didn't want to be a part of (to maximize their options) and they knew that this chapter is struggling for members... having a sister say "I'm so happy you are here" could make the PNM think "Well DUH you're happy I'm here-- you need members!!!". This would be especially true if the PNM did not rank the chapter very high.

Although I have not yet done recruitment on the other side, I think that one of the best tools that chapters used to get me to feel important was when they told me how I could contribute to the chapter. So many times recruitment conversations focus on the people- high schools, sports and activities, interests. And I'm not just saying "Oh you played volleyball? Well we have a great intramural program...!!!" I would say compliment the heck out of them, and tell the PNM how you could see her taking on leadership roles, inspiring younger members in the future, and seriously contributing to an already-fabulous organization!

Now, this may freak some PNMs out. But when the chapters I rushed talked to me about opportunities for me to participate in the chapter, I felt like I was a part of their chapter, I was just interviewing for how I would contribute. This also returns the focus to the PNM, and downplays any chapter activities that might not be so great (poor campus reputation, trouble with scheduling socials, not so great attendance at greek events...?).

But again, if you were to take this approach you would have to be very careful. There is a fine line between "You could really contribute and be a part of something great" and "We need you to be an officer because we don't have enough sisters to fill officer positions".

Another idea- although drastic- is to change the way you go about your pref ceremony. If the PNMs have not been interested in you all along, they are probably not going to be interested in candles, ritual, and sisterhood. So, my idea would be that when you match up PNMs with actives to make sure the actives don't go straight into "This is why I love my chapter" story. Have them repeat things from previous days- philanthropy you support, any good socials or events you have that the PNM might not know about... because more than likely the prior days the PNM hasn't even been paying attention. Doing this may give them the chance to re-evaluate your chapter and the PNM will give your pref ceremony a shot.

I think the idea of having them connect with a familiar face is also a good one- just make sure the PNM likes the active!
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  #17  
Old 07-02-2007, 09:44 AM
33girl 33girl is offline
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Originally Posted by FSUZeta View Post
a friends daughter(who was a legacy to 2 groups) was rushing last year at a competitive school. the school has the pnms list their top "x amount" of choices and then rank the other sororities in the order that they would like to receive an inviation if the "x" number of #1's don't all invite them back. she did pretty well, but was dropped by some of her top choices and had to accept invitations to sororities she would have preferred to drop. it became quite frustrating to her and other pnms that they were not allowed to decline an invitation to a sorority they did not want to join. she is a polite, well mannered young woman and i am sure that she was as gracious to the sorority members as they were to her.

i understand the concept behind "maximizing your choices" and i understand that panhellenic is trying to level the playing field and hopes to help smaller chapters increase their membership. i just don't know if forcing pnms to return to chapters that they have no desire to join, is the way to do it. does it actually increase a smaller chapters chances of increasing their total chapter size, or does it perhaps emphasize to pnms who did want to be there, the campus stereotype they may have to deal with for the next 4 years?
How far are we forcing these women to attend? Do they have to go to pref? If you feel like the presence of these women is jeopardizing the integrity and beauty of your pref ceremony - which for some groups has ritual overtones - then I don't think you should have to have uninterested rushees there. The Panhellenic needs to change it. The last thing I as a rushee would want to remember my pref by is some other rushee standing beside me looking like someone shot her puppy.

A lot of times it seems the things Panhellenic does to "help" the smaller chapters hurts them instead - this thread shows that. There's only so much you can do to help a group - when it comes down to it, ABC still has 50 girls and all the other sororities have 175. Some girls don't care about that, and the fact that ABC can't get the chance to focus on those girls because others are being "forced" to come is unfair to everyone involved.
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  #18  
Old 07-02-2007, 09:47 AM
AlphaFrog AlphaFrog is offline
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Originally Posted by Faith4Keep View Post
Another idea- although drastic- is to change the way you go about your pref ceremony. If the PNMs have not been interested in you all along, they are probably not going to be interested in candles, ritual, and sisterhood. So, my idea would be that when you match up PNMs with actives to make sure the actives don't go straight into "This is why I love my chapter" story. Have them repeat things from previous days- philanthropy you support, any good socials or events you have that the PNM might not know about... because more than likely the prior days the PNM hasn't even been paying attention. Doing this may give them the chance to re-evaluate your chapter and the PNM will give your pref ceremony a shot.
If she's THAT far gone that you need to start from square one rushing her, you might as well not even count on seeing her at your house the next day, even if there is a bid card printed with her name on it.
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  #19  
Old 07-02-2007, 09:52 AM
Faith4Keep Faith4Keep is offline
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Originally Posted by 33girl View Post
The last thing I as a rushee would want to remember my pref by is some other rushee standing beside me looking like someone shot her puppy.
I totally agree. There are always some PNMs who are unaffected by tent talk, but almost all the ceremonies I went to for pref were full of girls who seemed genuinely happy and excited to be at that ceremony. I would feel really stupid if I was happy to be at a ceremony that others were upset to be at.

I think it may be key to seek out the members who would best fit your membership early on in the game. Of course, every chapter wants the HS Cheerleading captain, the valedictorian, or the rediculously pretty girls. But we all need to be realistic. Find the girls that you would be proud to get to know and, like FSUZeta said, get your best rushers on them. They may not be the prettiest or have the best resume, but they would be great for your chapter and you can't afford to lose them early on when the PNM needs to narrow down from 7 to 5 chapters (or whatever!). Most of us can figure out early on in the game who's going to go where, so don't waste your time with girls who are obviously not a fit for your chapter.
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  #20  
Old 07-02-2007, 10:07 AM
33girl 33girl is offline
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Originally Posted by Faith4Keep View Post
Honestly I think this can backfire. After looking through the retro recruitment threads, many posters have had an active tell them the deal-maker sentence at pref, "I'm so happy you're here"...including myself.

However, if a PNM was forced to go to a party of a chapter that they didn't want to be a part of (to maximize their options) and they knew that this chapter is struggling for members... having a sister say "I'm so happy you are here" could make the PNM think "Well DUH you're happy I'm here-- you need members!!!". This would be especially true if the PNM did not rank the chapter very high.
Maybe alter that with "I'm so glad you came back - I wanted to ask you about that Sex Pistols bootleg you mentioned the other night." In other words, you're happy to see her as a PERSON, not just a potential member, and even if she doesn't pledge, you'll continue to be happy when you see her.
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  #21  
Old 07-02-2007, 12:10 PM
UGAalum94 UGAalum94 is offline
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Originally Posted by FSUZeta View Post
a friends daughter(who was a legacy to 2 groups) was rushing last year at a competitive school. the school has the pnms list their top "x amount" of choices and then rank the other sororities in the order that they would like to receive an inviation if the "x" number of #1's don't all invite them back. she did pretty well, but was dropped by some of her top choices and had to accept invitations to sororities she would have preferred to drop. it became quite frustrating to her and other pnms that they were not allowed to decline an invitation to a sorority they did not want to join. she is a polite, well mannered young woman and i am sure that she was as gracious to the sorority members as they were to her.

i understand the concept behind "maximizing your choices" and i understand that panhellenic is trying to level the playing field and hopes to help smaller chapters increase their membership. i just don't know if forcing pnms to return to chapters that they have no desire to join, is the way to do it. does it actually increase a smaller chapters chances of increasing their total chapter size, or does it perhaps emphasize to pnms who did want to be there, the campus stereotype they may have to deal with for the next 4 years?
The only problem is in telling the difference between girls who know they would rather drop out of rush and be independent than join these groups and the girls who never even really looked at them because they were still getting asked back elsewhere.

How will the second group even know that they should give these groups a look until their favorites release them?
If we give girls the power to cut groups even when they don't have have full parties in the first couple of rounds, I think they'll be a lot of girls dropped from rush after third. Girls who may not have realized what the real situation was until it was too late.

We could allow girls to cut groups even without full parties only at the preference level. If they aren't going to list the group on the bid card, it doesn't really do much good for anyone to make them attend pref. I think pref can make a difference when a girl is even partially open to the group, but if she really has a "I'd rather join Al-Qaeda" (remember that quota?) attitude, it may be pointless and even detrimental for her to be there.

But since I don't think having to go to a party that you don't want to go to is really that big a hardship in life, I really don't have that much sympathy for the "why do I have to go back there?" PNMs, and I guess it shows. I understand the point about how it might not do any good to make them go from the chapter's point of view; but the only way to figure out that "yes it does some good" is to find out that there are even worse outcomes for the struggling chapters.

ETA: once it catches on that "cool girls don't even pref XYZ," isn't it likely that returns will go down even more?

Last edited by UGAalum94; 07-02-2007 at 12:15 PM.
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  #22  
Old 07-02-2007, 01:23 PM
adpiucf adpiucf is offline
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A large percentage of PNM's are going to have their minds made up about you before they walk through your door at recruitment b/c of the rumor mill. There is no overnight solution, but I think a big part of the solution involves building chapter morale and strengthening your campus image during the school year. It's also about knowing how to rush someone, to make a personal connection with a PNM and getting her to click with you and what your chapter is all about.

Once the PNMs come into your event, they already have a perception in their heads, and you have less than 30 minutes to turn that perception around. There's a lot to be said for the notion that recruitment is "365 days a year." You have to have an internal and external PR plan for your chapter, keep members motivated and excited and spread that spirit to the rest of the Greek community.
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  #23  
Old 07-02-2007, 01:57 PM
UGAalum94 UGAalum94 is offline
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Originally Posted by adpiucf View Post
A large percentage of PNM's are going to have their minds made up about you before they walk through your door at recruitment b/c of the rumor mill. There is no overnight solution, but I think a big part of the solution involves building chapter morale and strengthening your campus image during the school year. It's also about knowing how to rush someone, to make a personal connection with a PNM and getting her to click with you and what your chapter is all about.

Once the PNMs come into your event, they already have a perception in their heads, and you have less than 30 minutes to turn that perception around. There's a lot to be said for the notion that recruitment is "365 days a year." You have to have an internal and external PR plan for your chapter, keep members motivated and excited and spread that spirit to the rest of the Greek community.
Absolutely. I agree completely. (And this is part of why I think GLOs miss the boat on what gets communicated to smaller chapters. Instead of lifting up and focusing on the positive and trying to help make the positive shine. . .)

But for chapters going into recruitment this fall, what are some of the techniques a chapter could use to help members develop personal connections and try to click with PNMs?

If you were helping with a pre-recruitment workshop on rushing, what would you tell people?

I'd remind them not to be on the hard sell for the group. I think it's more important for a girl to feel like you really wanted to get to know her and that you liked her than it is to tell her anything in particular about your group. So if the PNM is telling you about something or interested in one topic, follow her conversational lead and her interest. Don't feel like you have to hit every possible point of interest in your house tour conversation or tell her every aspect about the philanthropy. If she wants to talk about her volunteer work, be interested in her volunteer work. Ask her about that and follow that lead. Make her feel clicked with, basically, as much as you can. And then after the party write down notes about what she was like and interested in and think about who in the group shares her interests.

Which brings me to a another point, at big chapters make some effort to make sure everyone actually knows each other well in terms of hometown, majors, interests etc. Ideally, you'd do it authentically with sisterhood activities throughout the year. But it seems like there are some stealthy out of house members who will retain some enigmatic qualities to all but their closest friends. So at the very least, play funny games in work week or give out witty bios, maybe based on fake facebook pages.

So that if PNM College-Radio-Station-Girl comes back the next round, XYZ member College Radio Station Girl can look out for her and talk to her [ETA: as a person with a shared interest] , rather than having XYZ intramural softball and BSU member tell her what XYZ means to her [ETA: in some kind of generic connectionless way].

Last edited by UGAalum94; 07-02-2007 at 05:56 PM.
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  #24  
Old 07-02-2007, 02:35 PM
UGAalum94 UGAalum94 is offline
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I know what I'm saying probably seems ridiculously obvious.

But I know that when I was nervous, I reverted to travel-guide-and-sorority-historian-giving-a-lecture mode. Luckily, it didn't happen with real PNMs that I remember, but I can remember mock rushing one of our alums, and she was either playing the part of silent PNM or as a matter of personality she was just kind of a nodder rather than a conversationalist (she was regal with white hair and seemed very aloof; it was sort of like mock rushing the queen of England ), but I got nervous and was much more worried about the stuff I was telling her being right than I was about "rushing" her.
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  #25  
Old 07-02-2007, 04:36 PM
adrie435 adrie435 is offline
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Don't 'over-rush' PNM's... If you sit for 20 minutes and talk all about how much your sorority means to you, and she's sitting there staring at you with a blank expression on her face it means you lost her somewhere. If you go up to her with 15 of your sisters everytime you see her and tell her how much you love her, it'll make you look creepy and desperate.

We're all trained to tell PNM's all about what a wonderful sisterhood we have and all the facts, etc, but I was most impressed with a sorority during recruitment when they answered whatever questions I had concisely and we spent the whole party talking about something completely random. I remember talking about shoes with one active during a recruitment party and that was the day I decided I absolutely loved them!!

It's normal to feel like you have to "sell, sell, sell" when you are the underdog, but if you over-sell yourself girls will actually become less interested in you than they may have started out (if that makes sense).
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  #26  
Old 07-02-2007, 04:46 PM
33girl 33girl is offline
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We're all trained to tell PNM's all about what a wonderful sisterhood we have and all the facts, etc, but I was most impressed with a sorority during recruitment when they answered whatever questions I had concisely and we spent the whole party talking about something completely random. I remember talking about shoes with one active during a recruitment party and that was the day I decided I absolutely loved them!!

It's normal to feel like you have to "sell, sell, sell" when you are the underdog, but if you over-sell yourself girls will actually become less interested in you than they may have started out (if that makes sense).
excellent point.

One of the groups I rushed I really liked...but they were SO "gung ho" they scared me. Nonstop talk about GHI activities, living in the GHI suite, GHI mixers, GHI's motto....it was a relief to go to ASA the next day and converse with normal girls who just happened to be in a sorority and who had lives outside of it, too. I was right about GHI, because one of my dormmates pledged them and they gave her crap about getting an apartment with someone from another sorority and not staying at the mixers long enough.

Honestly, the thing most pnms want is to make a connection, not hear a laundry list of your accomplishments or philanthropy events.
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  #27  
Old 07-02-2007, 05:55 PM
UGAalum94 UGAalum94 is offline
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Originally Posted by adrie435 View Post
Don't 'over-rush' PNM's... If you sit for 20 minutes and talk all about how much your sorority means to you, and she's sitting there staring at you with a blank expression on her face it means you lost her somewhere. If you go up to her with 15 of your sisters everytime you see her and tell her how much you love her, it'll make you look creepy and desperate.

We're all trained to tell PNM's all about what a wonderful sisterhood we have and all the facts, etc, but I was most impressed with a sorority during recruitment when they answered whatever questions I had concisely and we spent the whole party talking about something completely random. I remember talking about shoes with one active during a recruitment party and that was the day I decided I absolutely loved them!!

It's normal to feel like you have to "sell, sell, sell" when you are the underdog, but if you over-sell yourself girls will actually become less interested in you than they may have started out (if that makes sense).
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excellent point.

One of the groups I rushed I really liked...but they were SO "gung ho" they scared me. Nonstop talk about GHI activities, living in the GHI suite, GHI mixers, GHI's motto....it was a relief to go to ASA the next day and converse with normal girls who just happened to be in a sorority and who had lives outside of it, too. I was right about GHI, because one of my dormmates pledged them and they gave her crap about getting an apartment with someone from another sorority and not staying at the mixers long enough.

Honestly, the thing most pnms want is to make a connection, not hear a laundry list of your accomplishments or philanthropy events.
I think it applies even when you aren't the underdog. The less you have to consciously sell your group because instead you make people feel comfortable and at home and feel a connection to you as people the better.

At some point, usually prefs, there has to be something completely specific and wonderful about your GLO, but even then should be the authentic sisterhood which shows rather than a narrative you tell.

ETA: Carnation, what did you tell her? What did your group do for your VIPs?

Last edited by UGAalum94; 07-02-2007 at 05:58 PM.
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  #28  
Old 07-02-2007, 06:23 PM
carnation carnation is offline
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It would be hard for me to give her advice because I haven't been in her shoes. As a Greek advisor, I've seen the pain of PNMs who had to go to parties where they didn't want to be while their friends had full schedules. I've watched the "less desirable" groups gamely try to carry on their parties with sparsely filled rooms. I've seen the hurt of those groups when they got their very short new member lists and again when half of those girls didn't bother to show up.

I really feel like the best advice will come from people who have personally and successfully dealt with this.
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  #29  
Old 07-02-2007, 07:01 PM
UGAalum94 UGAalum94 is offline
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I was afraid that was too narrow and perhaps self-conscious a group to expect hear much from, but I'm certainly interested to hear what the chapters formerly so struggling the PNMs cried but who have turned it all around have to say.
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  #30  
Old 07-02-2007, 07:24 PM
DeltaBetaBaby DeltaBetaBaby is offline
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Every year, we had a few women show up to bid day in tears. Generally, it was best to pair them with women who had similar experiences in previous years, and had since come to love the chapter. Also, these are usually the women most concerned with social status and such, so we really spent a lot of time emphasizing our social calendar to them and making sure older girls invited them out a lot.

For the unhappy girls at rush parties, remember that the ones who still have top chapters on their lists are not likely to cry, they will be more bored/annoyed, or, if they are well-mannered, pleasant. The ones who are crying have been cut from all the chapters they wanted, and either have a less-than-full schedule, or a schedule of chapters they think they are too good for. Therefore, they now have to get over themselves and choose the one that is the best fit, or withdraw from recruitment.

33girl gives great advice about just talking to them like you would a friend, not like you are trying to sell your sorority. To add to what she said, pair her with a rusher who has something in common, and say something like "I'm so excited to meet you. Rachel told me that you are just crazy about foreign films and wanted us to talk."
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