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  #1  
Old 11-15-2009, 01:24 PM
psy psy is offline
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Lowering total: Thoughts?

I know this is campus-specific, Panhellenic decision, but just to get some discussion going, I'm curious to hear your thoughts about when lowering total should be considered. For example, I go to a campus with four sororities, and only one chapter (the same chapter for 1.5 years, very recently) has reached total in the past eight years. The three other chapters are at about 67%-75% of total pretty consistently. I know thoughts on this are varied, but I'm almost wondering if it wouldn't be better to lower total to remove some of constant pressure of COBing, especially as a lot of this seems to fall to new members or younger active members, as they still live in the dorms, take a lot of lower-division classes, etc. I know the sudden pressure to recruit can be overwelhming, and I think it could be a "turn-off" for some new members

Thoughts?
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  #2  
Old 11-15-2009, 01:43 PM
AGDee AGDee is offline
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If only one chapter has attained Total in 8 years, Total is too high. Total has to be attainable for it to work the way it is supposed to. Not only do you burn out your chapters by having to constantly COR, you also open the door for constant dirty rushing during formal recruitment. When most of the groups know that they will have open spots after formal, it is way too tempting to let PNMs know that so that they are a) likely to drop from formal and wait for COR or b) Individual Single Preference and neither scenario is healthy for a greek system.

The ideal is for Panhellenic to contact the Area NPC Advisor and ask for her recommendations on how to set Total at that campus. The largest group will not want to lower Total, but for the survival of the other three, it is essential.

Total used to be a much more "permanent" type of number, but NPC is now recommending that it be reviewed annually. Therefore, if Total is lowered and the other groups reach it, then it can be raised again very easily.

Constantly CORing is a total drain, year after year. Good luck, let us know what happens!
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  #3  
Old 11-15-2009, 05:27 PM
psy psy is offline
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Thanks for the feedback... My chapter is the one currently at total, but even then, we feel some pressure to COB/COR when members deactivate from fall to spring (transfers, grades, finances, etc). I definitely think lowering total might be good for everyone's morale at least in the short-term, but some alumnae and to some extent, our GLO adviser, have mentioned in passing being against lowering total, as they would see it as "settling." I believe in having a large, high quality Greek system, but I also believe that non-stop COBing can be incredibly draining.
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  #4  
Old 11-15-2009, 05:41 PM
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AOII Angel AOII Angel is offline
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Quote:
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Thanks for the feedback... My chapter is the one currently at total, but even then, we feel some pressure to COB/COR when members deactivate from fall to spring (transfers, grades, finances, etc). I definitely think lowering total might be good for everyone's morale at least in the short-term, but some alumnae and to some extent, our GLO adviser, have mentioned in passing being against lowering total, as they would see it as "settling." I believe in having a large, high quality Greek system, but I also believe that non-stop COBing can be incredibly draining.
In the end, you advisers are just that, advisers. The chapters need to decide if the numbers in your groups are okay without constantly spending your time trying to recruit new members. If all of the chapters are under total consistently, it sounds like your system is trying too hard to push the system beyond its means. Your experience should be about more than recruitment... at least that's my two cents!
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  #5  
Old 11-15-2009, 05:58 PM
33girl 33girl is offline
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Originally Posted by AOII Angel View Post
If all of the chapters are under total consistently, it sounds like your system is trying too hard to push the system beyond its means.
Exactly. The alums need to get over it and realize it isn't like it used to be when they were in school. As for the Greek advisor, he/she needs to realize that even if they came from a school where 200 (or 100, or 50) member chapters were the norm, not all schools are like that. Being part of a small chapter is NOT what makes the sorority experience unpleasant - it's being part of a small chapter and continually being pressured to make it a large chapter.

Not to mention, I'm assuming the mens' groups are similarly smaller than they used to be - and no girl wants to go to a mixer and have it be 3 sisters to every guy.

If housing isn't an issue, and you decide (example) 10 is a suitable number for total for your campus...honestly, that's your prerogative. Don't let anyone buffalo you otherwise.
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Old 11-15-2009, 06:41 PM
violetpretty violetpretty is offline
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I come from a school where every chapter does informal recruitment in the fall (we have spring formal recruitment), but with total at 95, 13 of 14 chapters have 92 or more members, and one is around 80. So, even though all chapters participate in informal, almost all of them make it or come very close.

I wouldn't recommend lowering total if all groups were CORing and reaching total, but they're not. Perhaps lowering total just slightly would help. Because your chapter won't have to COR after formal recruitment, it'll help the others by not having to compete with your chapter, and you'll get to relax and enjoy your new members. I don't think lowering total is settling. When PNMs know that they can just SIP or drop out and try again in COR, that does not help the smaller chapters.
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Old 11-15-2009, 07:30 PM
Leslie Anne Leslie Anne is offline
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I come from the same campus as VioletPretty only 20 years earlier. Back then the campus supported 18 chapters with Total at about 135. I can easily see how the alumnae who are now advisors might think of the lower Total as nearly catastrophic and would be inclined to keep Total as high as possible. Like 33girl mentioned, though, those alumnae need to accept that the campus simply can't support the same numbers anymore.

I tend to see lowering Total as the opposite of "settling." You need to keep the number high enough to serve the campus yet not so high that chapters start to lose their selectivity.
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Old 11-15-2009, 08:01 PM
AGDee AGDee is offline
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Not only that, but the alumnae are used to the old way of thinking.. Total is absolute and is revised rarely rather than of the mind "re-look at it every year".
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  #9  
Old 11-15-2009, 10:52 PM
Zillini Zillini is offline
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I suggest you reach out to your NPC Area Advisor for her opinion. Not only does she have access to that campus' historical numbers, but she also isn't invested in the historical/tradition issues that can sometimes interfere with local alum's perceptions. It is her job to be impartial and to make a recommendation on what would be best for all chapters to aid them in success.
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  #10  
Old 11-15-2009, 11:52 PM
thetygerlily thetygerlily is offline
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COR does take time and energy, but can also be a really great option for those who wouldn't do as well in formal recruitment- yet would make fantastic sisters. I also came from a campus with deferred recruitment, so fall was all about COR and internal chapter ops. We never really saw it as a burden, it was just how things were. However, I should also note that total was at 60 with 2/3 chapters at 25-30, and the other at 15-20. Many members didn't know what total was because it was never a factor, although they started to address it when I left. Lower total wouldve certainly helped, because it should be realistic for the chapters- but COR shouldn't be considered solely as a bad thing.
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  #11  
Old 11-16-2009, 12:32 AM
Kappamd Kappamd is offline
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COR does take time and energy, but can also be a really great option for those who wouldn't do as well in formal recruitment- yet would make fantastic sisters. I also came from a campus with deferred recruitment, so fall was all about COR and internal chapter ops. We never really saw it as a burden, it was just how things were. However, I should also note that total was at 60 with 2/3 chapters at 25-30, and the other at 15-20. Many members didn't know what total was because it was never a factor, although they started to address it when I left. Lower total wouldve certainly helped, because it should be realistic for the chapters- but COR shouldn't be considered solely as a bad thing.
WOW.

I would think that it would be somewhat demoralizing to have to formally recruit and the COB like crazy, only to never reach total. I know how draining COB can be, especially when you have to do it every semester.
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Old 11-16-2009, 12:59 AM
thetygerlily thetygerlily is offline
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WOW.

I would think that it would be somewhat demoralizing to have to formally recruit and the COB like crazy, only to never reach total. I know how draining COB can be, especially when you have to do it every semester.
It would've been if we had known what total meant! To us it was just "we can't go above 60" which didn't affect anyone. The demoralization was that two chapters were so strong while the other was only 20% the size of the others, which grew to about 90-95% when I graduated. Having a more realistic total possibly could've prevented it from getting that bad.

ETA: Oh, and we were on trimesters... So we CORd 3 times a year. But we didn't know any different!
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Last edited by thetygerlily; 11-16-2009 at 01:04 AM.
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  #13  
Old 11-16-2009, 06:55 AM
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AOII Angel AOII Angel is offline
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It would've been if we had known what total meant! To us it was just "we can't go above 60" which didn't affect anyone. The demoralization was that two chapters were so strong while the other was only 20% the size of the others, which grew to about 90-95% when I graduated. Having a more realistic total possibly could've prevented it from getting that bad.

ETA: Oh, and we were on trimesters... So we CORd 3 times a year. But we didn't know any different!
Yes...setting total lower could have prevented this. If the stronger groups had to stop recruiting, it would leave more women available to the other groups to choose from when they recruited.
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  #14  
Old 11-16-2009, 10:01 AM
honeychile honeychile is offline
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Two thoughts:

-Are you using Release Figures?

-Every chapter should be "Recruiting" 24/7/365. Of course, if you're at Total, it's a LOT easier to show the confidence needed to recruit more successfully.
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Old 11-16-2009, 01:08 PM
psy psy is offline
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It would've been if we had known what total meant! To us it was just "we can't go above 60" which didn't affect anyone. The demoralization was that two chapters were so strong while the other was only 20% the size of the others, which grew to about 90-95% when I graduated. Having a more realistic total possibly could've prevented it from getting that bad.

ETA: Oh, and we were on trimesters... So we CORd 3 times a year. But we didn't know any different!
That's really interesting... Here, we're under constant pressure (it seems) to be at total.
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