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  #1  
Old 03-24-2019, 10:35 PM
Theta1234 Theta1234 is offline
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Helicopters, Snowplows and Recruitment

So, there has been a lot of discussion (and funny stories) regarding snowplow parents. However, the REAL question for here is ďwhat is too much?Ē regarding parental involvement before/during recruitment.

I struggled with this during my daughterís recruitment. I mean, in our hearts we all want our Lilí Poundcake to find their ďhome.Ē However, some of us Southern Mommas know that just filling out the online Panhellenic form and submitting the required single picture (no recs, no social resume, etc.) wonít get that Lilí Poundcake too far...

So, what say you? When do parents cross the line into helicopter or snowplow territory?
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  #2  
Old 03-25-2019, 07:41 AM
carnation carnation is offline
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That mom in the tree at Ole Miss comes to mind.
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  #3  
Old 03-25-2019, 09:43 AM
Xidelt Xidelt is offline
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When they get a hotel room in town to help Dumplin' through recruitment.
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  #4  
Old 03-25-2019, 01:44 PM
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DGTess DGTess is offline
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IMHO, they go too far when they push snowflake into *any* action the student would not take for herself.

When they obtain recs, vice pointing daughter to the resource; when they complete paperwork prior to rush; when they keep track of every detail of daughter's rush week ... When they *do* instead of *advise*

This is *daughter's* life, not mom's.

ETA: I'm not a southerner. I knew my life would not end if I didn't go greek. I knew daughter's would not end if she chose not to involve herself in a Greek system (UTexas) that does not fit her personality at all.
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Old 03-25-2019, 04:06 PM
APhi2KD APhi2KD is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DGTess View Post
IMHO, they go too far when they push snowflake into *any* action the student would not take for herself.

When they obtain recs, vice pointing daughter to the resource; when they complete paperwork prior to rush; when they keep track of every detail of daughter's rush week ... When they *do* instead of *advise*

This is *daughter's* life, not mom's.

ETA: I'm not a southerner. I knew my life would not end if I didn't go greek. I knew daughter's would not end if she chose not to involve herself in a Greek system (UTexas) that does not fit her personality at all.
I disagree. Moms in trees aside, sorority recruitment is one instance where normal rules donít apply. There are an insane number of subtle dos and doníts that the uninformed are unaware of. And if (in many cases) your daughter has ONE good shot at this stressful process, the more guidance you can provide, the better.

Itís not like it was in my day where I walked in completely naive and had my happy ending. Will your baby survive regardless of the outcome? Yes. But we all know itís an emotionally-charged and painful process for both parents and daughters, so why not help your kiddo even the field as much as possible?
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Old 03-25-2019, 07:58 PM
SigmaCat SigmaCat is offline
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I think lots of guidance is fine - I know I wish I'd had more before I rushed. I think it's GOOD if knowledgeable parents and friends are providing good advice about proceeding through the experience - what to avoid, how to showcase strengths, &c. I'm okay with them putting out feelers about recs, too. If you want to make the most of the opportunity, it's an all-hands-on-deck situation and everybody should pool resources to help. That said, the endeavor should be primarily driven by the student. It's not okay for parents to hijack the process by doing the student's applications for her, collecting references alone and without the student's participation, dictating every last detail regarding clothing/makeup/hair/conversation, and stalking her through recruitment to make sure she makes the "right" choices. There's a difference between making sure the student knows what she's up against and has all the tools she needs to maximize her options on one hand, and rushing by proxy through one's child on the other.
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  #7  
Old 03-25-2019, 09:25 PM
carnation carnation is offline
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In the South, rec-writing is a social thing just like giving wedding showers. If you write recs for your friends' daughters, your friends will be there when you need them. Just like if you participate in giving showers for your friends' daughters, they'll be throwing one for your daughter someday.
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Old 03-25-2019, 10:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by APhi2KD View Post
I disagree. Moms in trees aside, sorority recruitment is one instance where normal rules donít apply. There are an insane number of subtle dos and doníts that the uninformed are unaware of. And if (in many cases) your daughter has ONE good shot at this stressful process, the more guidance you can provide, the better.

Itís not like it was in my day where I walked in completely naive and had my happy ending. Will your baby survive regardless of the outcome? Yes. But we all know itís an emotionally-charged and painful process for both parents and daughters, so why not help your kiddo even the field as much as possible?
I guess we will have to disagree. Your line of thinking seems to be predicated on "it's better to be Greek than not". Please correct me if I'm wrong. From that line, I understand. But I don't believe Greek life is for everyone, not even our daughters. From my perspective, only she gets to play.

But I also recognize I would not go Greek today, with the structure and (what I consider) BS of the system. Even at my chapter, which has changed from the 20-25 women of my time into a structured, rules-bound, 100-member group.
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  #9  
Old 03-25-2019, 11:42 PM
APhi2KD APhi2KD is offline
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Originally Posted by DGTess View Post
Your line of thinking seems to be predicated on "it's better to be Greek than not". Please correct me if I'm wrong.
I never stated Greek was better. But weíre discussing how deeply parents get involved in the recruitment process, so I naturally assumed the default was a daughter who wished to enter Greek life. Did I miss something?
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Old 03-26-2019, 12:39 AM
Theta1234 Theta1234 is offline
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Ok, here’s some more food for fodder. At incredibly competitive Southern schools—and some in the Midwest and on the coasts as well, it’s well, competitive.

The reality is all of those 1,500 plus girls going through are probably very similar—highly accomplished, smart, etc. Some moms text their friends to make sure their daughters know about lil’ Poundcake (man, I’m loving this name) coming through and asks them to make sure the PNM gets a nice welcome—aka, pass her name and pictures around to your friends to help increase recognition. Some moms will bypass their friends and directly text the daughters. Heli, snowplow or acceptable?

When it comes to recs, do you have your whole crew write recs and letters of support or do you just go with one—or perhaps two for good measure? Is it the person who know lil’ Poundcake the most or the person who has the greatest title/most influence in the group?

Where are the lines? Is the line that this is initiated by the parents and not the girls? What if the PNM asks mom for help?

On the flip side, I’ve also seen it where a chapter really likes a girl and they assume she likes them, but she hasn’t really said the words, so an advisor will call the rec writer who will call the mom and have her call her daughter to “coach” her on what to say during the next round to let the girls know that she really wants to be an XYZ. This may just be a Southern thing, but recruitment is so much more than filling out a form and showing up to recruitment week with a big smile and a stunning personality. Honestly, I’m not sure I could have survived the current recruitment culture. My “poor” momma went to a small liberal arts school in the Midwest that did not have Greek life. Much of it just boggles her mind, but she does love hearing a good story so she loves us to talk
about it...

Last edited by Theta1234; 03-26-2019 at 12:49 AM. Reason: Clarity
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  #11  
Old 03-26-2019, 10:45 AM
VioletsAreBlue VioletsAreBlue is offline
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How do people define guidance? I think that's the real question.

Honestly, there are plenty of scenarios where the normal rules don't apply. That's life and life is not fair. Sorority recruitment isn't an exception to anything. We're watching what happens - in real time - when people think they are exceptions and when they think their kids are exceptions. And look at what's happened.

I'd suggest that moms need to take a collective step back and then a collective deep breath. Support your child. Give advice. Give guidance. But that's a big step away from getting involved in what the student is supposed to be doing themselves.

And - I say this out of curiosity - what has made the process as intense as it is now? I'd argue that the alumnae and parents have played a role in that. I get that won't be a popular opinion. But there are colleges and universities across the country that don't have moms hanging in trees, and their greek systems are thriving, their chapters are growing, and their nationals are quite happy with their performance.

I've always wondered what would happen if one year at Ole Miss or Bama - for example - the moms and alumnae would take a back seat and let recruitment and membership selection be run 100% by the collegiate membership. I truly believe that some people think it would be an absolute disaster. But honestly, if we are trusting that these women are representatives of the ideals of our sorority, if we trust them to hold leadership positions within our organizations, if we trust them to wear our letters - why don't we trust them to select their own sisterhood? Why don't we trust our own daughters who we've raised into capable adult young women, to manage their recruitment experience?

So yes, I'd say offer guidance, and support for your daughter. But after that - step out of it. I often hear people say that they don't think they'd survive rush if they went through it now. Of course you would survive. Your outcome might have been different, which is kind of bizarre to consider that you might have found yourself in different letters, but you would survive. I actually think the girl that goes in blind and naive might actually have a better experience than the girl who goes in with mom pulling strings and working connections every step of the way because, intentional or not, that level of involvement also sets a stage full of pressure and expectations.

Poundcake, Snowflake and Dumpling are much more capable than people give them credit for. College is the environment where they can try new things, make mistakes, fall on their butts, explore who they are, change who they are and spread those wings. And that includes sorority recruitment.
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Old 03-26-2019, 11:10 AM
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DGTess DGTess is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VioletsAreBlue View Post
How do people define guidance? I think that's the real question.

Honestly, there are plenty of scenarios where the normal rules don't apply. That's life and life is not fair. Sorority recruitment isn't an exception to anything. We're watching what happens - in real time - when people think they are exceptions and when they think their kids are exceptions. And look at what's happened.

I'd suggest that moms need to take a collective step back and then a collective deep breath. Support your child. Give advice. Give guidance. But that's a big step away from getting involved in what the student is supposed to be doing themselves.

And - I say this out of curiosity - what has made the process as intense as it is now? I'd argue that the alumnae and parents have played a role in that. I get that won't be a popular opinion. But there are colleges and universities across the country that don't have moms hanging in trees, and their greek systems are thriving, their chapters are growing, and their nationals are quite happy with their performance.

I've always wondered what would happen if one year at Ole Miss or Bama - for example - the moms and alumnae would take a back seat and let recruitment and membership selection be run 100% by the collegiate membership. I truly believe that some people think it would be an absolute disaster. But honestly, if we are trusting that these women are representatives of the ideals of our sorority, if we trust them to hold leadership positions within our organizations, if we trust them to wear our letters - why don't we trust them to select their own sisterhood? Why don't we trust our own daughters who we've raised into capable adult young women, to manage their recruitment experience?

So yes, I'd say offer guidance, and support for your daughter. But after that - step out of it. I often hear people say that they don't think they'd survive rush if they went through it now. Of course you would survive. Your outcome might have been different, which is kind of bizarre to consider that you might have found yourself in different letters, but you would survive. I actually think the girl that goes in blind and naive might actually have a better experience than the girl who goes in with mom pulling strings and working connections every step of the way because, intentional or not, that level of involvement also sets a stage full of pressure and expectations.

Poundcake, Snowflake and Dumpling are much more capable than people give them credit for. College is the environment where they can try new things, make mistakes, fall on their butts, explore who they are, change who they are and spread those wings. And that includes sorority recruitment.
Hear, hear!!!!!!!!!
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  #13  
Old 03-26-2019, 12:02 PM
Xidelt Xidelt is offline
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I just wanted you all to know that your honest talk has Lil' Poundcake, Dumplin' and Snowflake over in the corner crying.
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Old 03-26-2019, 01:53 PM
33girl 33girl is offline
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In the South, rec-writing is a social thing just like giving wedding showers. If you write recs for your friends' daughters, your friends will be there when you need them. Just like if you participate in giving showers for your friends' daughters, they'll be throwing one for your daughter someday.
That’s it in a nutshell. These women aren’t being asked to do an arduous task. Now if those recs get written and sent and daughter doesn’t write a thank you note - or worse, mom writes the thank you notes for her - that’s not acceptable, and maybe a sign that daughter really isn’t into this whole rush thing (or mom skipped some important etiquette lessons along the way).

Helping daughter pick a wardrobe, practice conversation, keep track of what’s going on...I don’t think of any of that as fwap fwappy, any more than my mom and I picking out my college linens together in the Sears catalog was fwap fwappy.

The blades start spinning when: 1) mom tries to influence daughter’s choices during rush; 2) mom calls the sororities/school screaming when Li’l Poundcake gets cut; 3) mom has created a relationship where daughter who has less than zero interest in being Greek can’t tell mom or talk honestly with her, and gets stuck in what is inarguably a tiring and draining process.

What has made the process as intense as it is now? More students, for starters. Social media- everyone is going to know where you pledged, the group’s reputation, etc. Rules are far more strictly enforced - quotas, totals, RFM, risk management.

I also think part of it is because a lot of kids are in college that just plain shouldn’t be there - they either don’t have the smarts or don’t have the desire - but parents have been brainwashed into thinking that if their kid doesn’t get a top notch college education they’ve failed.

https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2018...CQG7DMZfO0X_GY
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Last edited by 33girl; 03-26-2019 at 02:02 PM.
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Old 03-26-2019, 02:09 PM
33girl 33girl is offline
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I've always wondered what would happen if one year at Ole Miss or Bama - for example - the moms and alumnae would take a back seat and let recruitment and membership selection be run 100% by the collegiate membership. I truly believe that some people think it would be an absolute disaster. But honestly, if we are trusting that these women are representatives of the ideals of our sorority, if we trust them to hold leadership positions within our organizations, if we trust them to wear our letters - why don't we trust them to select their own sisterhood? Why don't we trust our own daughters who we've raised into capable adult young women, to manage their recruitment experience?
Iím sure that part of the reluctance to do this is the fact that many of these chapters (not the sorority as a national entity, the CHAPTER) have assets equivalent to that of multimillion dollar corporations.
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