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  #1  
Old 01-25-2014, 03:17 PM
KDCat KDCat is offline
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Washington University chapter recruitment story

I said I would do a recruitment story after WUSTL recruitment was over, so here it is.

This year, recruitment is divided across two weekends at Washington University. The first two rounds are the weekend of January 10-12, 2014 and the second two rounds are the weekend of January 18-19, 2014. The PNMs attend 8 parties in the first round, 6 parties in the second round, 4 parties in the third round, and 2 parties for preference.

The Theta Beta chapter of Kappa Delta was installed at WUSTL in March 2013. This is Theta Beta’s first formal recruitment, and very unlike anything I experience as a member of a small chapter at a school with a small Panhel, so I’m very interested to see what it’s like. It’s also a new experience for for the chapter members. More than 90% of this chapter has zero experience with formal recruitment prior to this week. We have two chapter consultants working with the chapter to get ready for recruitment, though, and a number of experienced alumnae.

The first weekend schedule is brutal for chapter members. They do 8 parties on Day 1, 8 parties on Day 2, and 10 parties on Day 3. As part of Spirit Week, prior to recruitment, the chapter hosts a mock recruitment party for area alumnae on Thursday night. Our chapter has membership selection meetings after the parties on Day 2 and the parties on Day 3.

We also had problems getting our members back for spirit week before recruitment. The weather in St. Louis was freezing and we had a lot of snow. Many flights were delayed at this end or at the other end. The chapter works around it, though. The PNMs also do their best to get back on time and Panhel modifies schedules for people who are struggle with flights.

Round 1: Round 1 is called “Arete Round” and focuses on getting to know the PNMs. The sororities at WUSTL don’t have houses, so they recruit in on campus buildings. KD reserved the Holmes Lounge, which is a gorgeous space and perfect for recruitment.

The chapter has been working really hard and it shows. I’m a little bit late and when I arrive, the collegians are practicing their presentation and cheers one more time. They are excited and know EXACTLY what they are doing. They’ve got bump groups down, sister. They have matching tshirts, jeans, and white/tan keds for today’s outfit and look beautiful. They line up to wait for the PNMs and when they start their chant, they are loud. Really, really loud. It’s probably not SEC loud, but it’s definitely more noise than my little chapter could make. (When I go down the hall later, I hear a professor grumbling about “sororities making the walls shake.”) The first group of PNMs arrives and the fun begins! The chapter doesn’t do a door stack, but they do line up on either side of the door and make a huge amount of noise - jumping, chanting, cheering. The party is 35 minutes. They did about 30 minutes of conversation and a short, 5 minute presentation, which was a rap about all the stuff that KD does.

First round is spread out over two days (Friday and Saturday). PNMS are split into “morning PNMS” and “afternoon PNMs.” Morning PNMS do 4 parties on Friday morning and 4 parties on Saturday morning for Round 1. Afternoon PNMS do 4 parties on Saturday afternoon and 4 parties on Saturday afternoon for Round 1. The chapters do the same party 8 times on Friday and 8 times on Saturday. I can’t imagine. “Kappa K-A-PP-A, Kappa, K-A-PP-A, D-E-L-T-A, Kappa D-E-L-T-A” is ringing in my brain and I was only there for part of one day.

Meanwhile, I’m learning about the hazards of winter recruitment. Apparently, a stomach bug is going around the sorority chapters. One group has 15 members out with it. Miserable. It involves a lot of gastrointestinal upset that you CAN’T fake your way through. A couple of KDs are down with it. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that no one else gets sick.

Last edited by KDCat; 01-25-2014 at 03:37 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-25-2014, 03:18 PM
KDCat KDCat is offline
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Round 2: Philanthropy Round! The PNMs rank after their Round 1 parties and we get to see who is returning. Overall, KD is happy with our results. The chapter lost some of its rush crushes, but kept a bunch of PNMs that they really, really like. 1 round down, 3 to go.

Today is the hardest round for the chapter members. They are hosting ten parties. They are in party prep or parties from 8:00 am until 8:00 pm. KD has a membership selection meeting after the last party. The first day of classes are tomorrow, too. It’s exhausting and people are losing their voices. The stomach flu is still going around. One of our members has to be excused after she leaves a party to barf in the bathroom. Good times. The rush captain and MSS chair fortunately kept a small group of women in reserve as floaters. As people start to fade in the later parties, they substitute floaters in for people in the regular bump groups. Women are slumped over cushy chairs between parties because so many of them are sick. You wouldn't know it in the parties, though. They're up and happy and adorable.

Our chapter members do a pre-party warm-up so that they are up for the parties. They blast dance music and dance all that tiredness off. They clearly love each other and have found friends and sisters in starting this new chapter of KD. It’s awesome to see. The poor things have to do membership selection after the last round parties, though. I’m glad I’m an alumna, because all I want to do is go home and go to bed.

The party plan for today is much like yesterday. The collegians line-up to greet the PNMs. They talk to them in bump groups and then watch a brief video on philanthropy supplied by National Kappa Delta.

We had some feedback from some Rho Chis that yesterday's conversations were a little too "interview-ish" so the chapter is concentrating on being more relaxed and natural today.

Last edited by KDCat; 01-25-2014 at 03:33 PM.
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  #3  
Old 01-25-2014, 03:20 PM
KDCat KDCat is offline
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Weekend 2: This weekend is easier than last weekend, but still pretty intense. The chapter hosts 8 parties on Saturday for Sisterhood Round and 5 parties on Sunday for Preference Round. Because this chapter is new to recruitment, we also have a mock recruitment party on Friday night. 30 KD sisters from St. Louis University troop down to Washington University to let our chapter practice recruitment on them.

Round 3: Sisterhood Round. The PNMs attend 4 parties today in groups of 25-30. The chapter hosts 8 parties today.

The horrible stomach bug has run its course through the chapters and PNMs, so this weekend we don’t have any puking recruiters or PNMs to contend with. On the other hand, it decides snow like crazy for about an hour. It’s warm, so it’s not sticking, and it changes over to rain, but the PNMs are getting a little wet traveling from party to party.

We are in a smaller room in the Danforth University Center today; the chapter has chosen an “Emerald City” theme for this round. I’m sort of cringing about it, because so many chapters do Wizard of Oz parties and so many of them end up being cheesy. This party is gorgeous and way more sophisticated than anything we did when I was a collegian, though. The chapter has black tablecloths with shiny, emerald green “city” centerpieces. The decorations also include gold table decorations and small signs that say “Welcome to the Emerald City.” One of the chapter members painted super fabulous “Wizard of Oz” themed letters for table decorations.
The chapter members are wearing emerald green dresses or black skirts/pants with emerald green shirts. They all look fabulous and their look is very unified with the room decorations, without being too matchy-matchy or cheesy. The general impression is something more serious and grown-up than last week, even though the theme didn’t initially strike me as “serious” or “grown up.”

After greeting the PNMS and talking with them for awhile, the chapter sings a song and shows a video. The video includes footage of our chapter doing things and video of our chapter members talking about sisterhood. When the PNMs walk in, a picture of the chapter in front of Brookings Hall is projected on the video screen with the caption “There’s No Place Like Home.”

We can’t begin to fit all of our members in the Formal Lounge, so the rest of the chapter is in a nearby room making name tags and arranging flower centerpieces for Preference Round. Our CAB president bought a huge box of flowers from a wholesale florist and now it is being turned into gorgeous centerpieces. The best white roses are also being cleaned up and decorated with ribbons for the preference ceremony.

The alums are also making dozens of sandwiches for lunch in between rounds. While I’m making sandwiches, I talk with two collegians about law school, one collegian about internships, and one collegian about skipping internships. Yay for alumnae advising!

Recruitment is going well for the chapter. Return rates improved from the last round to this round; recruitment is definitely getting easier for this chapter with practice and experience. Many of their rush crushes returned and they’ve developed a few new rush crushes in Round 2 and Round 3. Some PNMs have grown on them a lot during this round.

The chapter has another long day, because they will have a membership selection session after the last party and dinner.
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  #4  
Old 01-25-2014, 03:24 PM
KDCat KDCat is offline
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Round 4: It’s all Very Serious Talking today. We are hosting 5 parties in the Orchid Room, another fancy lounge in the DUC. Pi Phi is upstairs in the Formal Lounge. We’re wearing black and Pi Phi is wearing black, so the DUC is full of gorgeous young women in black dresses and black heels.

KD is doing a “wish” preference ceremony with white roses. We have a chapter member who is a very talented guitar player, and several who are exceptional vocalists, so there will be music during the ceremony. We have gorgeous wedding-worthy white rose centerpieces and we're serving ginger ale in fancy wine glasses.

This is the first time that the chapter has done a Pref party and most of our members never went through formal recruitment. They weren’t aware of how emotionally intense pref could be, so CAB made sure they practiced their speeches last night. Several of them were bawling during practice. Alumnae were bawling during practice. I teared up just hearing about it. (Memories of pref parties past.) I think they cry less during the first party because there isn’t much call for tissues in between parties.

The alums don’t make sandwiches today. We bought sandwiche trays from Dierbergs, instead. People snack on them as they rotate between parties. The chicken salad is very tasty.

A few of our sisters are dying, BTW, because they can’t watch the NFL play-offs while they are in prefs. People are watching football in between parties on the TV in the “Fun Room” in the DUC. Other sisters are hanging out in a classroom and watching dance videos on Youtube and looking at cat pictures on Reddit. We can't fit every sister in every party.

I also learned that several of our sophomores didn’t take Calc 1 or Calc 2 at WUSTL. They took the AP tests for those classes and went straight into Calc 3 as first semester freshmen. They finished Calc IV in the spring of their freshman year, and are now taking stuff past that. I’m impressed. Math was definitely not my thing. WUSTL students are scary smart.

Tonight is not such a late night, though. The VP-Membership and some alums will tweak the bid list after the last party, but the bid list is pretty much set. They all get to home soon after the last party.

Last edited by KDCat; 01-25-2014 at 03:30 PM.
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Old 01-25-2014, 03:26 PM
KDCat KDCat is offline
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Bid Day: KD welcomes 56 new members! We took quota plus 16. We’re getting closer to total, which is very good news for this chapter after its first formal recruitment. The chapter went ice skating at Steinberg Rink in Forest Park for one of its Bid Day activities, and the pictures are full of smiling, happy KDs.

At the end of recruitment, 97% of the women who attended the first round receive bids. Every group made quota and many (most?) took quota additions. It was a very positive experience for our chapter. It also speaks to how well run WUSTL Panhel is.

Last edited by KDCat; 01-25-2014 at 03:30 PM.
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  #6  
Old 01-25-2014, 03:39 PM
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IndianaSigKap IndianaSigKap is offline
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Originally Posted by KDCat View Post
Bid Day: KD welcomes 56 new members! We took quota plus 16. We’re getting closer to total, which is very good news for this chapter after its first formal recruitment. The chapter went ice skating at Steinberg Rink in Forest Park for one of its Bid Day activities, and the pictures are full of smiling, happy KDs.

At the end of recruitment, 97% of the women who attended the first round receive bids. Every group made quota and many (most?) took quota additions. It was a very positive experience for our chapter. It also speaks to how well run WUSTL Panhel is.
Thank you for posting such a positive story! Congratulations to the chapter and the new members!
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Old 01-25-2014, 04:10 PM
clemsongirl clemsongirl is offline
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That was a wonderful story! So happy for your chapter.
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Old 01-25-2014, 07:58 PM
Maman Maman is offline
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Thank you

Thank so much for sharing your story. A colony's first formal rush is so very important to their identity. Often these sisters have had no or poor results from formal recruitment in the past. Thank you for giving your time to trial mock sessions and interviews for this colony.

Colonies are often formed with young ladies that did not find a 'fit' with existing chapters. However, their values and academics are the same as every historical chapter.

In the PanHellenic spirit I would think any alums can donate time in a general capacity to benefit a colony.

I donate my time with several organizations. An individual should never think that they cannot help. The best volunteer organizers will maximize your contribution whether you have one or a thousand hours to give.

Please help give every young woman the opportunity to experience Greek Life.
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Old 01-25-2014, 09:20 PM
Katmandu Katmandu is offline
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Thank you for being an advisor!! Sounds like a great recruitment. I love hearing how our new chapters are doing.

Last edited by Katmandu; 01-25-2014 at 09:33 PM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 01-25-2014, 11:34 PM
WCsweet<3 WCsweet<3 is offline
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Congratulations and thank you for writing this! Love hearing about another campus's recruitment especially when it involves KD! One day I hope to help with recruitment as an alum.


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Originally Posted by KDCat View Post
A few of our sisters are dying, BTW, because they can’t watch the NFL play-offs while they are in prefs. People are watching football in between parties on the TV in the “Fun Room” in the DUC.
This would have killed about half my chapter. We had so many who were huge into football and it would have been really rough!
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Old 01-26-2014, 12:46 AM
aephi alum aephi alum is offline
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This would have killed about half my chapter. We had so many who were huge into football and it would have been really rough!
And this is why God gave us DVR.
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Old 01-26-2014, 08:21 AM
KDCat KDCat is offline
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You are welcome!

I'd like to claim credit, but it was the CAB president and National KD. I mostly made sandwiches. I'm good with that, though. Sandwiches are necessary!

National Kappa Delta really went above and beyond to make sure this chapter was ready. The chapter has had a consultant present almost constantly since colonization. She has been helping with everything, including recruitment. Another consultant came in just to help with recruitment. Many of the chapter members have said how grateful they are for all of the support National KD has given them.
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Old 01-26-2014, 09:27 AM
FSUZeta FSUZeta is offline
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Thank you so much for sharing both the process and the results of this new chapter, KDCat, and congratulations to my Farmville Four sisters on such great results! Your descriptions brought back a flood of memories of my own experiences as an advisor to a colony/chapter. I wore many advisor hats along the years, but I believe that recruitment advisor was my favorite one.
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Old 01-26-2014, 09:53 AM
KDCat KDCat is offline
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Originally Posted by Maman View Post
Thank so much for sharing your story. A colony's first formal rush is so very important to their identity. Often these sisters have had no or poor results from formal recruitment in the past. Thank you for giving your time to trial mock sessions and interviews for this colony.

Colonies are often formed with young ladies that did not find a 'fit' with existing chapters. However, their values and academics are the same as every historical chapter.

In the PanHellenic spirit I would think any alums can donate time in a general capacity to benefit a colony.

I donate my time with several organizations. An individual should never think that they cannot help. The best volunteer organizers will maximize your contribution whether you have one or a thousand hours to give.

Please help give every young woman the opportunity to experience Greek Life.
Most of the KDs at WUSTL did not go through formal recruitment. It wasn't that they were dropped or that they dropped, it's that they never did it. If they had rushed earlier, they would have found homes. They're pretty awesome and WUSTL places most PNMs. KD is very lucky to have these women and to be on such a great campus.

It is true that they have had to form an identity as a new group, though. CAB has been watching them cohere as a group over the last year. It's been pretty amazing to watch.

I think the IU colonization will be similar, even though the campus is very different. Because IU has such a crazy system with bed quota, there will be a large number of available, interested women who are very qualified to be founding members of a new colony. There should be a lot of awesome women for the new colony to choose from. They'll have to work to form a group identity, but that's a huge opportunity for colony members.
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Old 01-26-2014, 10:29 AM
MaryPoppins MaryPoppins is offline
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Congratulations to WUSTL Kappa Delta!
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