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  #16  
Old 02-08-2017, 10:35 AM
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AZTheta AZTheta is offline
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  #17  
Old 02-08-2017, 11:17 AM
elicampbell elicampbell is offline
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From my lane, also yes. I don't think our financial burden has changed that much and tuition is still only about $5,000 per year at our school.
Wow! WKU is $4,741 per semester in state, $12, 066 for out of state.
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  #18  
Old 02-08-2017, 02:02 PM
shadokat shadokat is offline
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I'm going to take a stab in the dark here, and it's not meant to judge anyone's programming, but maybe our programming that we all have is a bit outdated too. I mean, if you were a part of something providing meaningful experiences, you'd be less likely to drop out of it because the things you would have to sacrifice for it were worth the experience. Again, it goes back to the "loyalty" bond. The other thing is that NM programming is so lax. I mean, it's basically like a meeting or two a week, and that's it. Then you become active and you're expected to do philanthropy, recruitment, sisterhood events, socials, etc., PLUS attend a meeting a week. That's a big jump from what you had to do as a NM.

I don't know. This whole thing has started to bother me as I advise a chapter now, and it's a new chapter, so there's always a bit more attrition with a new chapter than an already established one. As an advisor, I feel like it's my duty to see these big picture things and try to work on them, but I'm at a loss right now.
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  #19  
Old 02-08-2017, 04:20 PM
Cheerio Cheerio is offline
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Originally Posted by shadokat View Post

I'm going to take a stab in the dark here, and it's not meant to judge anyone's programming, but maybe our programming that we all have is a bit outdated too. I mean, if you were a part of something providing meaningful experiences, you'd be less likely to drop out of it because the things you would have to sacrifice for it were worth the experience. Again, it goes back to the "loyalty" bond. The other thing is that NM programming is so lax. I mean, it's basically like a meeting or two a week, and that's it. Then you become active and you're expected to do philanthropy, recruitment, sisterhood events, socials, etc., PLUS attend a meeting a week. That's a big jump from what you had to do as a NM.

I don't know. This whole thing has started to bother me as I advise a chapter now, and it's a new chapter, so there's always a bit more attrition with a new chapter than an already established one. As an advisor, I feel like it's my duty to see these big picture things and try to work on them, but I'm at a loss right now.
Nearly two decades ago my org asked for major feedback regarding expectations, financials, sisterhood, activities, etc. provided to and expected of both collegians and alums. I responded with a polite, detailed response as to what I thought were outdated collegiate modules and trainings noting many were already provided nationwide at a high school level. My feedback concluded: who would want to join our collegiate org if we only provided the exact same trainings and experiences?

Looking back on the time since their inquiry, while it was great our HQ asked for feedback and they wanted to change it took a decade of spending money 'studying the problem' and seven years of 'testing their theories' before they came up with their 'solutions'. It's swell to want to change, but IMO it isn't coming fast enough to keep our women interested and involved.
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  #20  
Old 02-08-2017, 07:55 PM
33girl 33girl is offline
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I think a huge part of the problem is the insistence on integrating the pledge class too fully into the chapter too quickly. You need to learn to work with 20 people before you can work with 100. It's too overwhelming and completely opposite of how every sociological study ever has shown how people make lasting friendships.
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  #21  
Old 02-08-2017, 08:08 PM
33girl 33girl is offline
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Time commitment is the major issue I see. Greek life is a major time commitment, and if you're on the fence, it's easy to question how much time you're expected to give.

It also seems like mandatory attendance at a variety of events, merit points, study hour tracking, and fines have played a part in discouraging enthusiasm with some. These tracking systems have increase exponentially since I was an active, and they can feel overwhelming. We have an app for tracking everything now. Again, if you're not 100% committed and feeling the love, these can be "one more thing to do" that isn't very fun.
I think that varies from campus to campus. If you're in one of these huge systems where everyone has a philanthropic event (often very traditional and beloved on a national scale) and everyone goes to everything, even fun things are going to get old. At some point everyone needs to get together and figure out a way to lessen the overprogramming - like maybe everyone only has their particular event every 3 years. I know that's not something the national HQs want to hear though.
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  #22  
Old 02-09-2017, 04:45 PM
AnchorAlumna AnchorAlumna is offline
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Not to mention the enormous new member classes that many of our chapters are forced to take now....not that I'm complaining about meeting quota (whatever that means now) every single year.
But mass quantities of pledging a lot of times results in the experience being rendered cheap and, therefore, disposable.
I've asked this question of my own chapter and have never gotten an answer of any sort.
No studies seeing if shortened NM periods have resulted in higher resignations...no studies seeing if bigger NM classes result in higher resignations...surely somebody could just look at numbers and percentages and draw some conclusions.

As far as the big NM classes....maybe it's time for those campuses to take another look at putting more emphasis on a secondary recruitment in the off semester as a way to spread out the numbers going through and, as a result, lower the numbers of the NM classes.
Then again, that might make it even more difficult to get to know more sisters.
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  #23  
Old 02-09-2017, 06:45 PM
33girl 33girl is offline
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We always had 2 pledge classes a year and I think it did help in integrating women into the chapter (this was a relatively low key rush and chapters under 70, so factor that in).

But considering the zeal with which national Panhel has tried to stamp out this practice - even if it was working for the school - I don't see it happening at any of the bigger colleges any time soon. The excuse is usually that rush is too time consuming and intense to have it twice a year. That's part of the problem - PC terms aside, we are still holding "rush" and for 90% of the systems out there are nowhere near "recruitment. "
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  #24  
Old 02-09-2017, 06:50 PM
33girl 33girl is offline
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And re the ever growing NM classes...a lot of that can be attributed to RFM and guaranteed bidding (if you follow the rules). Both these things look great on paper and inclusive, welcoming etc...all things that are great to dispel the "Greeks are too selective and snobby" stigma. But if disaffiliaion is increasing as well, are these things really helping our groups?
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  #25  
Old 02-09-2017, 08:36 PM
AnchorAlumna AnchorAlumna is offline
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Originally Posted by 33girl View Post
We always had 2 pledge classes a year and I think it did help in integrating women into the chapter (this was a relatively low key rush and chapters under 70, so factor that in).
SEC style recruitment IS very strenuous, but so is the pressure to COB up to quota. I've been there and sometimes it's just better to step back, say "we're done" and go start doing the fun things that draw us together and build sisterhood.
But I've also seen a sort of "formalized" COB. This was at U of Georgia. A fairly early second semester that had a sign-up period, beginning, middle and end with a bid day. The PNMs came for dinner at the house and conversation each night. I don't think there was a skit or anything but dinner...some rotation groups at the beginning. And after that bid day, with a few late additions, they were done and could get on with the rest of the year. It was much more relaxed...it picked up those transfers and girls who didn't go through in the fall and became more intrigued with sororities during the semester. I always thought it was a great idea.

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Originally Posted by 33girl View Post
And re the ever growing NM classes...a lot of that can be attributed to RFM and guaranteed bidding (if you follow the rules). Both these things look great on paper and inclusive, welcoming etc...all things that are great to dispel the "Greeks are too selective and snobby" stigma. But if disaffiliaion is increasing as well, are these things really helping our groups?
As a survivor of the early 1970s when we could not for the life of us pledge quota and had women quitting left and right, I would NOT want to go back to the bad old RFM days!
RFM is still, I think, the best thing that happened to NPC sorority systems!
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  #26  
Old 02-10-2017, 06:43 AM
carnation carnation is offline
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True. RFM saved/brought back many Southern chapters that I can think of. It also pushed a lot of women at big schools to take a serious look at the chapters they had left, and many of those women became leaders in chapters they never would have considered before.
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  #27  
Old 02-10-2017, 12:56 PM
picardythird picardythird is offline
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As a recent graduate, I'd comfortably say >85% of our disaffiliations are related to financial concerns. They'd have trouble paying for school, housing, extra-curriculars, and as someone said earlier, first thing to get cut is the sorority as it was by far the most expensive, second maybe to housing.

The economy wasn't kind to many of us since 2007 as I'm sure so many of you know. From a student perspective, our parents were getting laid off, we were working to pay for school, some took on extra jobs just to stay in the sorority. I went to a public flagship university that was touted for its affordability, but that doesn't mean the debt didn't pile on for many classmates. Greek Life got more and more expensive as our housing needed to be renovated, expanded, etc. Rather than go into more debt, they made the financially responsible decision they needed to make. I've cried with sisters who had to disaffiliate and/or drop out of school from financial burdens. They wanted to stay.

Sorry for the ramble - it was painful to lose so many sisters to something that felt out of our control.
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  #28  
Old 02-10-2017, 04:57 PM
FSUZeta FSUZeta is offline
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Good point, but I will say that on several occasions I saw girls who told us advisors that they could not pay their monthly dues- an unhoused chapter, so dues ran between $100-200/month- out for dinners and drinks at nice restaurants where the typical bill per person would average $40-50, and FB photos of said girls living it up at the clubs, where they easily could have dropped another $40-50.....therefore, had their priorities been different, could have paid their dues by missing one or two nights of entertainment.
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  #29  
Old 02-10-2017, 07:45 PM
Sen's Revenge Sen's Revenge is offline
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I have noticed this among some LGLOs and MCGLOs also, but not so much BGLOs.
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  #30  
Old 02-10-2017, 08:42 PM
ColdInCanada11 ColdInCanada11 is offline
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Good point, but I will say that on several occasions I saw girls who told us advisors that they could not pay their monthly dues- an unhoused chapter, so dues ran between $100-200/month- out for dinners and drinks at nice restaurants where the typical bill per person would average $40-50, and FB photos of said girls living it up at the clubs, where they easily could have dropped another $40-50.....therefore, had their priorities been different, could have paid their dues by missing one or two nights of entertainment.
THIS. This is what drives me insane. We have chapters of less than 30 here (meaning that pledge classes *might* be 10 if its an exceptionally crazy year) and there are STILL girls quitting because they apparently can't afford dues but can afford to go party 2-3 nights a week.

I know that I'm an oddity- I joined for ritual and tradition. I completely understand that everyone joins for different reasons. However, does our organisation mean so little to you that you can throw it away after a year? I find it incredibly disheartening, and I wish that there were longer new member periods with more meat in the programming (like others have said). I don't think that anything is going to be changing, unfortunately.
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