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  #1  
Old 03-09-2024, 02:10 PM
SquirrelyDays SquirrelyDays is offline
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Parade of Homes 2023

YAY! Finally, it’s time to report on my daughter’s recruitment. We’ll call her “Rosebud,” which is the nickname my org used to use for our legacies. She has been tagging along to sorority and Panhellenic events with me all her life and now it’s her turn! This recruitment experience was in the recent past; it’s all typed out and I’ll be posting over the next several days. Be forewarned: I’m an over-thinker, and I typed everything in a file as events occurred for ten months. Expect lots of detail. Approx 20 posts total. (I apologize in advance for past tense/present tense verb confusion, but trying to fix it gave me hives.)

Rosebud is a practical A-B student and a mix of introvert (like her dad) and extrovert (like me) – deathly afraid of solos and auditions, but very happy in a group, and effective in leadership and committee work. High energy for a chunk of time in social situations, followed by cocooning in her room with the lights low. She has been involved in church activities and youth ministry leadership but isn’t overly “churchy.” She chose her career path with a service mindset. With all that, I’m hoping she finds a home away from home: one that lets her be herself but provides a nurturing space and helps her grow.

Some background info: I am an alumna initiate to my legacy org Alpha Gamma Delta. I have served as an alumnae officer and as an advisor to some collegiate chapters since following in my mother’s footsteps and initiating after earning my undergraduate degree, but I fully acknowledge that there is some vicarious living on my part this year. I have loved reading recruitment stories here to see all the highs and lows of other women’s journeys, and I’m fascinated to see where this will go. Rosebud is my only child. We have a tight extended family, and we’re very accustomed to being all up in each other’s business. Hopefully that continues as she ages!

----------------
I knew Rosebud would need a white dress if she pledged our legacy org, so we kept our eyes open and found a perfect all-white vintage Lilly Pulitzer during her junior year of high school. I knew that finding a white dress that doesn’t look like a wedding dress and isn’t overly beachy/casual would be a challenge, so we always watched for it, and voila! there it was! We snapped it up.

However, the college she chose during senior year is not a “Lilly school,” and her legacy org isn’t even on the campus. (small obligatory sob) We don’t know if she will need this white dress in the organization where she ends up, but we’re excited to find out.
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  #2  
Old 03-09-2024, 02:58 PM
SquirrelyDays SquirrelyDays is offline
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Five months before recruitment began, when Rosebud was a senior in high school, we participated in an online Zoom info session offered by her college’s campus Panhellenic council. It was very low key – the CPC officers introduced themselves, defined 4 recruitment terms, and then played in alphabetical order last year's promotional videos from each chapter. They offered time in between each video for Q&A but no one asked any questions.

Rosebud liked that several chapters included bloopers at the end of their videos, and she liked footage of big/little reveal. She said she liked that one chapter emphasized their good GPA, and that another had several members explain which additional organizations they were involved in on campus. We noticed that most of the chapters included footage at the football stadium and in a sunflower field in their videos. Lots of Jeeps. Lots of cowboy boots.

Rosebud commented that "these are last year's girls" because they were last year's videos, and guessed that some of them might have graduated and wouldn’t even be there in the fall when she arrived at the campus. She was disappointed that she didn't get to have any actual conversations, but I pointed out this isn't recruitment yet, so it's not the same. There was an accompanying in-person info session the following week on campus, and I wondered if they only played the videos then, too, or if there were conversations. I will say her attention lagged after about the 8th chapter, so I can see how this set up is detrimental to orgs at the end of the list alphabetically. I wonder if they ever switch it up and start with Z? Most of the videos were similar. They definitely started to run together in Rosebud’s mind. She said she liked “one of the Alpha groups” but couldn’t remember which one, and kept asking me about the mascots and colors, trying to remember which was which.

The smallest group on campus had a video that was noticeably different. Instead of footage of young women from her campus doing fun things together, that group showed a video that was prepared by their national leadership. It emphasized the life-long sisterhood, and in addition to collegiate-aged women, it included alumnae women (even much older women), all in a studio setting talking about their relationships to one another and the strength of their love for each other. There was no indication that anyone in the video was from this specific campus, no current, trendy music in the background, no scenes from fun campus events. It was certainly values-based and sisterhood-focused, but because it was so different from the other videos it was off-putting. Maybe because they are the smallest group on campus they have fewer resources, and their recruitment budget didn’t include funds for a custom video? If so, I think using a stock video from their headquarters is a good alternative, but this one was just TOO different.
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  #3  
Old 03-10-2024, 04:40 AM
SquirrelyDays SquirrelyDays is offline
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Two months before recruitment began, the Rho Gamma "Kelsey" started sending messages to Rosebud. Her texts sounded so enthusiastic and positive with happy excessive exclamation points and questionable capitalization. Rosebud told her right up front about her plans to join the marching band. The marching band training camp would overlap a lot of the recruitment schedule, meaning she would miss some of the rounds/parties. Rho Gam Kelsey said not to worry - Rosebud could attend the extra alternate recruitment preview session the day before everything starts, which is scheduled specifically for RAs and athletes and cheerleaders and band members to attend, and then she would attend rounds whenever band rehearsal allows. Kelsey will be emailing Rosebud a form so she can notify campus Panhellenic of the time conflicts so everything is documented. Whew, very reassuring that this is not a strange situation to the Rho Gams. We’ve heard from young alums in our local Panhellenic who attended this college about the extra preview day, too. They think it’s a perfect solution, no worries.

Rosebud is fully aware that she may not be placed during primary recruitment simply because of the schedule overlap and not getting to meet many members. (I’m also thinking it’s possible some sororities might not want a new member who is already involved in an activity that has a big time commitment in the fall semester, but I haven’t said that out loud.) She is prepared to wait and meet the orgs that participate in COB or spring recruitment, and not get her heart set on any one before then. Spring pledging might actually be better since she won’t have the marching band rehearsals and performances to attend throughout the semester, and she can commit more time to being a new member.

Rosebud’s three suitemates are also rushing: Tammy the theater girl, who organizes everything; gymrat Gina, who loves working out with her mom and big sister; and shy Shelly, who doesn’t talk/text as much as the others. The 4 girls did not know each other before this summer, so they are unlikely to feel compelled to join the same organization. They found each other through social media. Actually – TAMMY found all of them and pulled them together due to their similar interests in music and books and Disney – things that showed up on each of their social media accounts. They are all Swifties. I’m not sure how much information I’ll get about the suitemates’ recruitment. Gina’s big sister is in an NPC organization that is not represented on the campus, but Gina said she hasn’t given her many tips – just “be yourself,” which is probably the best advice anyway. In the back of my mind, I thought if all 3 of the suitemates do pledge somewhere, that might lead to invitations to COB events for Rosebud, if necessary.

And now she hates that white Lilly Pulitzer. Imagine that.

Last edited by SquirrelyDays; 03-10-2024 at 06:08 AM.
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  #4  
Old 03-10-2024, 04:53 AM
SquirrelyDays SquirrelyDays is offline
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We have talked about how many sororities originally were formed to be a safe space for women away from home, when not very many women were enrolled at colleges – a place for women to lift each other up and encourage scholarship and perseverance. For me that’s still the best and highest purpose of a collegiate GLO.

Here are some other things we have talked about repeatedly to remember during recruitment, advice culled from my time as an advisor and alumnae officer, and from you good people of GC:

*Above all else: You’re a guest in someone’s home. Act like it.

*Expect to meet a LOT of women and have the same conversations MANY times. Find a way to make it interesting for you AND for them. They’re having repetitive conversations, too.

*Whatever happens, roll with it and they will see that you are flexible and easy going. Focus on Pollyanna positives. We have practiced this specifically, so that she can honestly share her feelings about topics that come up often and might be more negative (dorm life, yucky meal plan, hustling to get to the darn band practice field which is on the absolute opposite side of campus) but also pivot on those feelings to continue the conversation on an upbeat note rather than dwelling on downers.

*Don’t contribute to the gossip, and try not to listen. Your least favorite org might be someone else’s top org – so don’t ruin her fun. Try not to be influenced by your suitemates’ choices, or vice versa.

*Every chapter has smart girls and party girls and sporty girls and blasé girls and fashionable girls and religious girls and artistic girls and preppy girls and musical girls and quiet girls, etc etc etc.

*Your sorority experience is what you make it. If you put in the time and the energy, you will make great memories no matter where you end up.

*And if you DON’T pledge, it’s not the end of the world. All the groups you were involved in during high school have college equivalents, just ramped up to the next fun level. (But she really wants to pledge.)
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  #5  
Old 03-10-2024, 12:14 PM
navane navane is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SquirrelyDays View Post
We have talked about how many sororities originally were formed to be a safe space for women away from home, when not very many women were enrolled at colleges – a place for women to lift each other up and encourage scholarship and perseverance. For me that’s still the best and highest purpose of a collegiate GLO.

Here are some other things we have talked about repeatedly to remember during recruitment, advice culled from my time as an advisor and alumnae officer, and from you good people of GC:

*Above all else: You’re a guest in someone’s home. Act like it.

*Expect to meet a LOT of women and have the same conversations MANY times. Find a way to make it interesting for you AND for them. They’re having repetitive conversations, too.

*Whatever happens, roll with it and they will see that you are flexible and easy going. Focus on Pollyanna positives. We have practiced this specifically, so that she can honestly share her feelings about topics that come up often and might be more negative (dorm life, yucky meal plan, hustling to get to the darn band practice field which is on the absolute opposite side of campus) but also pivot on those feelings to continue the conversation on an upbeat note rather than dwelling on downers.

*Don’t contribute to the gossip, and try not to listen. Your least favorite org might be someone else’s top org – so don’t ruin her fun. Try not to be influenced by your suitemates’ choices, or vice versa.

*Every chapter has smart girls and party girls and sporty girls and blasé girls and fashionable girls and religious girls and artistic girls and preppy girls and musical girls and quiet girls, etc etc etc.

*Your sorority experience is what you make it. If you put in the time and the energy, you will make great memories no matter where you end up.

*And if you DON’T pledge, it’s not the end of the world. All the groups you were involved in during high school have college equivalents, just ramped up to the next fun level. (But she really wants to pledge.)

This is one of the best recruitment advice lists I have ever seen on GC. Kudos.
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  #6  
Old 03-10-2024, 03:23 PM
SquirrelyDays SquirrelyDays is offline
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Thank you, Navane! That means a lot especially coming from a Syracuse Triad Sister
---
Rosebud has been following the instagrams for all the individual chapters and for the campus Panhellenic office for a year, but she doesn’t have any older friends who attend this school, so luckily she really doesn’t know any of the campus opinions of the groups, and that can help her keep an open mind. (The flip side of that is: Unluckily, she has no “in” with any of the groups who might have initiated sisters who already know her.) So, these are just Mom Notes.

There’s something so captivating about sorority houses (even for those of us from campuses where the orgs are lodged in dorms) so I decided to name the 12 NPC orgs on campus after just that: HOUSES. These are all historical homes in the state of Florida, most of which you can tour. Come see us! 😊

The Capen-Showalter House – – Her dorm window looks at the back door of Capen-Showalter – how convenient! This was the hardest org for us to locate an alumnae member who could provide a rec or introduction.

The Barnacle – – One of the women who was our guide during one of our campus tours when Rosebud was a junior in high school is a Barnacle. She shared with us that many of the organizations host spring recruitment events, and she herself joined as a sophomore. This was very reassuring to me, that there didn’t seem to be a campus stigma about joining late. (Don’t worry that the lime green is difficult to read – unf Barnacle won’t show up much in subsequent posts.)

El Retiro – – Two of Rosebud’s older friends from band and chorus and church are already Retiros at another college. She would love to be sisters with them if it works out.

Villa Vizcaya – – I really don’t have any notes about the Vizcayas at this school. I can see on the annual campus grade report from last year that the average GPA of this org had been lower than most of the other sororities in the fall, but they improved in the spring.

Ca’ d’Zan – – This is the smallest chapter on campus. Nationally, this is a strong org with many active chapters and over 250,000 initiated members. However, it’s just small here. It’s half the size of the next larger group at this university. We have talked about how joining a smaller org might give you more leadership opportunities. I will say that in all our visits to the campus during high school, I saw a woman wearing NPC Greek letters only once, and she was a Ca’ d’Zan.

Whitehall – – Her dad keeps telling her to look at the Whitehalls, because they were the org that his fraternity always wanted to have socials with when he was a student there. Curiously, the national website for this org has information about how to provide a rec or introduction before recruitment, but the campus Panhellenic website says recs are “not accepted” by this specific collegiate chapter.

Casa Feliz – – The Casa Feliz members I know have all said one thing they loved about their org is that they don’t expect the sorority to become the sole focus of a woman’s college social life. Since marching band is time consuming, this might be a good fit. I know to take this with a grain of salt, though, because chapters change over time, and from campus to campus. My high school friend was founding member of Casa Feliz at this campus and is very excited to introduce Rosebud to her sisters.

The Casements – – Rosebud’s much-admired high school drum major is a Casement at another college. This is the largest chapter on campus with the most active members.

Chinsegut Hill – –The philanthropy for Chinsegut Hill is one that Rosebud has been involved with for many years. I thought she might be inclined to consider this org over the others simply because she has liked that experience in the past, but she later told me that did not influence her interests. My Chinsegut friend who wrote a rec for Rosebud offered to help her find any other recs that she needed through her Panhellenic contacts. We’re so grateful!

Princess Place – – I really don’t have notes about the Princesses on this campus. I can see on the annual campus grade report that the average GPA of this org is often lower than most of the other sororities. This is another org that her dad keeps telling her to look at because of their popularity on campus 25+ years ago when he was a student. (eyeroll)

The Mangoes Estate – – The Mangoes are the only group for which Rosebud consistently remembers the colors and mascot. They have stuck in her head, for sure! The woman who wrote a Mangoes rec for Rosebud is a founding member of this chapter.

The Deering Estate – – One of the women who was our guide on one of our other campus tours when Rosebud was a HS junior was a Deering. This org has historically had many members who are Jewish, both nationally and on this specific campus. Although Rosebud herself is not Jewish, we have a multi-faceted extended family that does include many Jewish relatives. (Her cousin has even taken the Birthright trip.) We have great appreciation and respect for one another’s beliefs and traditions, and so I think she could be fine as a Deering sister and comfortable if she and the collegiates like each other. Our neighbor who is a Deering just LOVES Rosebud and will probably write a glowing introduction.


I enjoy data mining (“…a very particular set of skills…”) and I found a ton of information from this school’s Greek life report which is posted publicly each semester and is also available in online archives. It lists a variety of information for all campus GLOs like the number of members and the average GPA. Based on campus trends over the past 8 years, my prediction is that if she ends up relying on COB or spring recruitment, Rosebud will have the best chance for membership at 6 groups: Capen-Showalter, Barnacle, El Retiro, Ca’ d’Zan, Chinsegut Hill, and Mangoes, because they are the likeliest to be under total and therefore recruit additional women. However, there’s no way to tell from the grade reports any behind-the-scenes changes in numbers that might occur due to December graduation or other attrition so we may be surprised by additional options. Plus, any of these 6 smaller groups might have rockstar recruitment chairs this year and reach total and end up with no COB spots after all. I have not shared these predictions with Rosebud, because her experience should be focused on how she feels with the women she meets, not stats and guesses.

The only comment Rosebud has made is that she would prefer an org that has a house. Some of the sororities on this campus do not have a house. We hear that their members tend to rent apartments together in the complexes near campus, so they might still feel tight-knit, but she wants the chance to live in a sorority house. We’ll see. She might fall in love with one of those unhoused orgs after all.

And now she has 3 all-white dresses in her closet.

Last edited by SquirrelyDays; 03-10-2024 at 03:49 PM.
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  #7  
Old 03-13-2024, 05:09 PM
DoctorD DoctorD is offline
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what a story! Congrats mom on stewarding Rosebud through this well, and thank you for the shout out
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Old 03-13-2024, 05:45 PM
AGDee AGDee is offline
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Congratulations to Rosebud! Glad I was able to help in some way
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Old 03-13-2024, 05:45 PM
AGDee AGDee is offline
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Congratulations to Rosebud! Glad I was able to help in some way
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Old 03-13-2024, 06:38 PM
PGD-GRAD PGD-GRAD is offline
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CONGRATS to Rosebud on Gamma Phi Beta! May she make lifelong friends and a lifetime of memories. And YOU—SquirrelyDays—are an accomplished storyteller!
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  #11  
Old 03-13-2024, 07:17 PM
Sciencewoman Sciencewoman is offline
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Congratulations to Rosebud! I hope to see her at Convention in June!!!
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Old 03-13-2024, 10:39 PM
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honeychile honeychile is offline
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Congratulations to Rosebud and Gamma Phi Beta!
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Old 03-15-2024, 10:31 AM
FSUZeta FSUZeta is offline
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Congratulations to Rosebud. May she make wonderful friendships and wonderful memories in Gamma Phi Beta.
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Old 03-15-2024, 04:22 PM
SquirrelyDays SquirrelyDays is offline
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Thank you so much, everyone! She has been lurking and sees your good wishes. It has been riveting trying to keep up with her this year... and the year isn't even over More fun to come.
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Old 03-19-2024, 04:26 PM
SWTXBelle SWTXBelle is offline
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I love a Gamma Phi Beta ending! Congratulations! Message me her name and address if you feel comfortable - I'd like to send her a little gift!

*ETA - Dogs Have Curly Bangs - Our founders Dodge, Havens, Curtis, Bingham!
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