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  #46  
Old 02-17-2013, 03:29 PM
MaryPoppins MaryPoppins is offline
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Originally Posted by DaffyKD View Post
We did take recs over the phone if we had to. Who ever was our rec chair would be up all night trying to locate someone who would write something. Glad those days are behind us.
Amen. Working with a dot matrix print out of alumnae sorted by Zipcode in the weeks leading up to rush with the office phone was shear insanity.
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  #47  
Old 02-17-2013, 04:09 PM
LXA SE285 LXA SE285 is offline
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Titchou, are you from around Lafayette? My dad's people are from Buras, where Katrina made landfall. I'm not sure that counts as Cajun country, but my dad's mom spoke French before she learned English, and nobody outside my immediate family who's not from SoLa can understand a word my dad says. Eh-l-l ...
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  #48  
Old 02-17-2013, 06:35 PM
greekdee greekdee is offline
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I do like the idea of recs coming from someone who really does know the PNM, and agree that they should carry some weight...just don't know how much they really do in these mega-massive recruitments. A big crop of PNMs from my community attend UGA, Bama, Ole Miss and Auburn, making them the schools I send the most recs to. There are also a lot of NPC alumnae in my area and we network to help these PNMs get recs. Every year, we send glowing -- and I mean, they radiate with glow -- recs in on girls we know. And every year we see some get dropped by our sororities. We see legacies not make it to pref, and some have legacy connections that hold key positions in alumnae organizations. The SEC can be one rough ride.

I also get rec requests from PNMs I don't know personally. This happens both locally as well as through an online Panhellenic community I and some others are involved with. Because of how our networks are structured, we do have the opportunity to communicate with PNMs, so that helps. Most of us also operate on the "vouched for" system. If someone I know and trust vouches for a PNM she knows, then I'm comfortable giving a rec. Many alumnae I know who do recs are also okay with this. Even with all this vouching, you're still talking about recs from alumnae who don't know the PNM personally, didn't watch her grow up, etc.

Given the size of these SEC recruitments, and that PNMs are advised to get 2-3 recs per chapter, I think there are a lot being sent in by alums who don't know them personally. Yet, some of the PNMs I didn't know personally had smoother recruitments than those I did know. At the end of the day, it comes down to the connection a PNM makes with the sorority and if they can see her as a sister....not a rec from an alum 30 years out of school.

I do think recs are used to learn more about PNMs, but tend to think they are referenced for that later in the process -- as the sorority's interest in a PNM grows. Initially, though, I think they are used to manage the numbers. Good grief, if only half the PNMs in these big recruitments get the suggested number of recs, you're talking an avalanche piling up. A lot of recs arrive in the summer. How is it even possible for sororities to read through all those recs and learn about all those PNMs prior to an early or mid August recruitment?
I think they are initially checked off, then possibly referenced later if the sorority is interested in the PNM.

I honestly don't seeing them being phased out in the SEC. Given the dynamics I described on page one of this thread, I think they (or the lack of them) are part of the early weeding out.
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  #49  
Old 02-17-2013, 07:00 PM
ASTalumna06 ASTalumna06 is offline
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So here's a question...

As Greek life grows at these schools, and as chapters open on campuses that previously didn't have Greek life, and as more and more regions around the country are seeing alumnae chapters and panhellenics popping up, and as the positives of Greek life are overshadowing the negative stereotypes - what happens when every girl coming through the door has a rec to every chapter?

Granted, this might not happen for quite some time. But what then?

My mom hires people all the time, and she says to me, "Currently, a college diploma pretty much carries the same weight as a high school diploma did 20 years ago." Everyone has one. It's become one of those boxes you just check off.

What could be done once everyone has recs? Should they still be used at that point?
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Last edited by ASTalumna06; 02-17-2013 at 07:02 PM.
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  #50  
Old 02-17-2013, 07:22 PM
Titchou Titchou is offline
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Originally Posted by LXA SE285 View Post
Titchou, are you from around Lafayette? My dad's people are from Buras, where Katrina made landfall. I'm not sure that counts as Cajun country, but my dad's mom spoke French before she learned English, and nobody outside my immediate family who's not from SoLa can understand a word my dad says. Eh-l-l ...
My relatives are from around Creole, in Cameron parish - down below Lake Charles. And Lafayette is the center of Acadiana (Cajun country) so Buras is right there. Ai-eeeee!
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  #51  
Old 02-17-2013, 07:57 PM
33girl 33girl is offline
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I have a daughter currently at an SEC school. She served on her Recruitment Committee. They have tried lengthening recruitment for the last 2 years to help with retention numbers. It actually had the opposite result and there was a lot of back lash.
From rushees, sorority members, the school, or all of the above?
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  #52  
Old 02-17-2013, 08:14 PM
DubaiSis DubaiSis is offline
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ASTAlumnae06, I think this is pretty close to already reality at the big Southern schools. It would be interesting to hear what percentage of rushees going through rush at these schools have recs, especially to the big Southern sororities.
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  #53  
Old 02-17-2013, 08:19 PM
amIblue? amIblue? is offline
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I'd love to hear from some actives regarding how important they think recs are.
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  #54  
Old 02-17-2013, 08:29 PM
Hartofsec Hartofsec is offline
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Originally Posted by amIblue? View Post
I'd love to hear from some actives regarding how important they think recs are.
It might depend on which info on the rec -- the objective info (gpa, class rank, honors, service, etc), or the subjective parts (like a check in the box for poise or good moral character or whatever).

I feel that the actives may find the former more helpful than the latter (they creep facebooks for the latter, actually).
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  #55  
Old 02-17-2013, 08:34 PM
greekdee greekdee is offline
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I would SO love to hear from actives about the importance of recs! Some of the info on recs is the same info on resumes and even registration forms. This, by the way, is a very interesting thread. Thanks for starting it, Hartofsec!
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  #56  
Old 02-17-2013, 08:38 PM
DeltaBetaBaby DeltaBetaBaby is offline
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Originally Posted by amIblue? View Post
I'd love to hear from some actives regarding how important they think recs are.
I just want to point out that there are schools (like my alma mater, though I know the SEC has dwarfed us since my day) that have huge numbers and very few recs sent in advance. Certainly we managed to figure out how to get from 1200 women to around half that after the first round.

I'm not going to get into MS details, but it's not as though you have NO information on a woman before she walks in the door. Everyone fills out a rush application with high school activities, awards, honors, etc...the same stuff you'd probably find on a rec from an alumna who just met the PNM. You obviously have GPA's and class standing, as well.

(NB: I still maintain that, once chapters are 100+, you could do a random draw of names and everyone would be just fine.)

So what is the rec really doing?

1) Showing that the PNM did her homework in advance. Are women who haven't done this more likely to drop out? Will they be surprised by the financial or time commitments? I have no idea; it would be an interesting thing to find out, though I can think of almost no way to do so.

2) Making sure she doesn't have an arrest record or anything. This is a good thing, I think, but again, I don't think that getting a rec from an alumna of every group is necessarily necessary to accomplish this.

At the same time, I see some major downsides. For starters, it perpetuates a class eliteness that I personally find to be one of the most objectionable things about the Greek system. Obviously, that's inherent in recruitment anyway, but let's be honest that women from less-privileged backgrounds are going to have a very difficult time finding recs.

Last edited by DeltaBetaBaby; 02-17-2013 at 08:41 PM.
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  #57  
Old 02-17-2013, 08:44 PM
ASTalumna06 ASTalumna06 is offline
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Originally Posted by DubaiSis View Post
ASTAlumnae06, I think this is pretty close to already reality at the big Southern schools.
If this is the case, how do recs help to "get the numbers down" after round 1, as others have indicated earlier in this thread? I would imagine it would have more to do with the info contained within the rec, rather than whether a PNM has actually obtained one.
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  #58  
Old 02-17-2013, 08:50 PM
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AOII Angel AOII Angel is offline
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Originally Posted by DeltaBetaBaby View Post
I just want to point out that there are schools (like my alma mater, though I know the SEC has dwarfed us since my day) that have huge numbers and very few recs sent in advance. Certainly we managed to figure out how to get from 1200 women to around half that after the first round.

I'm not going to get into MS details, but it's not as though you have NO information on a woman before she walks in the door. Everyone fills out a rush application with high school activities, awards, honors, etc...the same stuff you'd probably find on a rec from an alumna who just met the PNM. You obviously have GPA's and class standing, as well.

(NB: I still maintain that, once chapters are 100+, you could do a random draw of names and everyone would be just fine.)

So what is the rec really doing?

1) Showing that the PNM did her homework in advance. Are women who haven't done this more likely to drop out? Will they be surprised by the financial or time commitments? I have no idea; it would be an interesting thing to find out, though I can think of almost no way to do so.

2) Making sure she doesn't have an arrest record or anything. This is a good thing, I think, but again, I don't think that getting a rec from an alumna of every group is necessarily necessary to accomplish this.

At the same time, I see some major downsides. For starters, it perpetuates a class eliteness that I personally find to be one of the most objectionable things about the Greek system. Obviously, that's inherent in recruitment anyway, but let's be honest that women from less-privileged backgrounds are going to have a very difficult time finding recs.
This. It's just tradition now and changing to a system without recs would be as likely as SEC chapters giving up their tailgating spots on gameday.
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  #59  
Old 02-17-2013, 09:04 PM
amIblue? amIblue? is offline
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This. It's just tradition now and changing to a system without recs would be as likely as SEC chapters giving up their tailgating spots on gameday.
Well, now you're just talking crazy.
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  #60  
Old 02-17-2013, 09:56 PM
gee_ess gee_ess is offline
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Recs will never go away in the SEC...it is too ingrained in the culture of sorority life of that region (the above conversation about 'who are your people?' is proof enough that the habits and cultural customs of this part of the country are slow to die).

A couple of comments on their use:
I do NOT write recs for girls I do not think will represent my group well. I feel responsible to my group,and I do not write a rec unless I have vetted the young woman. If I find out something I do not like, I simply do not send the rec. I do not believe in a rec for a rec's sake. That kind of thinking is problematic and negates the whole purpose for a rec.

Second, my experience with actives (as a rush advisor) is positive regarding their use of recs. My chapter makes them readily accessible during work week and encourages the girls to study, read, and utilize the information found in the recs. The recs are an extension of the work week activities and prep. IMO, chapters who do not make recs an integral part of work week are missing out on a key part of the recruitment process.

Lastly, I can't speak for all houses, but in my experience, the chapter is often very aware of the out of state girl, the girl from the tiny town of 250, the girl from Boston, etc and recognizes she is not from 'the SEC machine"and that her recs may be fewer in number or less sparkling and gushing as those from women in our state. It doesn't always mean an automatic release, but I have certainly heard an active say "She is from Nowhereville, USA, has great grades and activities. We should meet her!"

I think the problem with recs is that they are abused by some alumnae groups - the ones who hold rec writing afternoons and write recs on all the young women who have registered with their group. And so, recruitments are flooded with empty recommendations.
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