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  #1  
Old 03-05-2013, 06:42 AM
victoriasueno victoriasueno is offline
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My AI adventure

Hey everyone,

I've been working on getting information to become a PMN for AI...I feel like I've reached a wall. I've gotten replies from the National Headquarters saying they're going to pass my information on to the local Alumnae chapter however I haven't heard anything. It wasn't been that long so I'm going to sit for a bit longer before reaching out again. The part that frustrates me is I'm constantly being told I need a sponsor. Other than you gals I don't know anyone IRL that is Greek.



Patience is a virtue...I'm into this process for the long haul. I'm committed, even if this process is going to take days, weeks months or years.

I don't really have any questions, just wanted to post my thoughts.

Thanks for listening and any advice or pearls of wisdom you can throw my way is greatly appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 03-05-2013, 08:19 AM
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  #3  
Old 03-05-2013, 09:25 AM
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irishpipes irishpipes is offline
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If you don't know anyone in Greek life, why do you want membership in a Greek organization?

I fall into the category of people who think that AI should be pursued by the organization. I am not at all in favor of sorority shopping, which is what it sounds like you are doing. An important part of the sorority bond is the common collegiate experience. In my opinion, AI should be rare, and reserved for women who, despite the lack of common collegiate experience, will acclimate well into the organization. It is not, however, a second bite at the collegiate apple. That ship has sailed, and the alumnae experience is very different, which makes me wonder why you would want to AI if you don't know any sorority alumnae.
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Old 03-05-2013, 11:25 AM
adpiucf adpiucf is offline
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Given that information, you might considering putting AI on the back burner and lending your talents to other community pursuits. I don't see this ending happily for you if you don't know any Greeks in real life and/or there is not a collegiate chapter near you in desperate need of assistance because there are so few alumnae in the area to serve as advisers. AI among NPC sororities is very rare.
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  #5  
Old 03-05-2013, 11:29 AM
AZTheta AZTheta is offline
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The very few instances of AI I know of (across many GLOs, not just my own) all have had one common factor: the AI was someone who was very well known by the GLO, had done many years of service for the GLO in some capacity (e.g. worked with the philanthropy, supported a collegiate chapter, etc), and had other ties to the GLO. And in every case, the GLO pursued the AI, not the other way around.

Just wanting it (for whatever reasons) is not sufficient. victoria, IMO you may be far better off investigating other community organizations which offer membership and service opportunities.

You asked, so there's my advice.
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  #6  
Old 03-05-2013, 08:23 PM
Xidelt Xidelt is offline
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I'm an alum of a small local sorority. After I graduated and had been working for a few years, I found myself wishing I had the resources of an organized alum chapter and a larger network that the national sororities have. I found much of what I was looking for in the Junior League. I would highly recommend this organization to someone who is looking for some of the things you mentioned.
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  #7  
Old 03-05-2013, 10:08 PM
yellowrose26 yellowrose26 is offline
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I have been a lurker for a few years and I just wanted to say something. I'm an AI. While I do agree that it is not for everyone, I do not agree with how advice is given to people. No it isn't for people who never got the college experience and just want to relive college. No it isn't for people who just want letters. I also do not like people sorority shopping. However to say that it is a rare process and doesn't ever happen simply isn't true.

I am a legacy and my mother invited me to join as something special to share with her. Typically AI's do fit into five categories

1. Pledged but didn't initiate
2. Years of service to said GLO or philanthropy and AI is a gift for service
3. local sorority that was absorbed.
4. Legacy
5. Friend in XYZ invited you to join.

Ok so just because somebody doesn't fit into one of the above categories does not mean that AI is impossible and should not be pursued. Each AI story is different. People have different reasons for joining. Each case is not the same. You can't say that AI never happens and that only the GLO pursues it and not the PNAM. That simply isn't true. Each sorority has their own policy. Some AI pretty frequently. Some have certain rules for it. Some don't at all. If you look back at this forum there are tons of success stories. Each woman had a different reason and way she joined.

If somebody truly has something great to bring to a sorority then why not? Do I think sororities have the right to be selective? Absolutely. Just as they are in the college setting.

Give people a chance. There have been many great AI's serving each NPC. Don't beat it down.
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  #8  
Old 03-05-2013, 10:14 PM
DeltaBetaBaby DeltaBetaBaby is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowrose26 View Post
I have been a lurker for a few years and I just wanted to say something. I'm an AI. While I do agree that it is not for everyone, I do not agree with how advice is given to people. No it isn't for people who never got the college experience and just want to relive college. No it isn't for people who just want letters. I also do not like people sorority shopping. However to say that it is a rare process and doesn't ever happen simply isn't true.

I am a legacy and my mother invited me to join as something special to share with her. Typically AI's do fit into five categories

1. Pledged but didn't initiate
2. Years of service to said GLO or philanthropy and AI is a gift for service
3. local sorority that was absorbed.
4. Legacy
5. Friend in XYZ invited you to join.

Ok so just because somebody doesn't fit into one of the above categories does not mean that AI is impossible and should not be pursued. Each AI story is different. People have different reasons for joining. Each case is not the same. You can't say that AI never happens and that only the GLO pursues it and not the PNAM. That simply isn't true. Each sorority has their own policy. Some AI pretty frequently. Some have certain rules for it. Some don't at all. If you look back at this forum there are tons of success stories. Each woman had a different reason and way she joined.

If somebody truly has something great to bring to a sorority then why not? Do I think sororities have the right to be selective? Absolutely. Just as they are in the college setting.

Give people a chance. There have been many great AI's serving each NPC. Don't beat it down.
So...you know that the OP doesn't fit into one of the AI categories, yet you are encouraging her to continue pursuing it? Please tell us what you suggest she do next.
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  #9  
Old 03-05-2013, 10:25 PM
yellowrose26 yellowrose26 is offline
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I'm just speaking about AI in general. I have seen so many people post about AI and they are constantly told that they shouldn't even try and that it is impossible. Greek life is a great thing. People join in different ways. And that's ok. In other posts on this forum women used to post stories about their AI journey and other posters were encouraging and excited to learn where the OP ended up. What happened to that? Even though somebody doesn't fit into one of the 5 categories doesn't mean they shouldn't even try. Some of those stories are women who had no connections.

Is it possible that the OP might not be successful? Sure. But she can at least try. If she wants to pursue it then it can't hurt her to try. Maybe she should look into the Junior League, Beta Sigma Phi etc. But telling her to give up isn't the answer. I would suggest just focus on 1 sorority. That perhaps she relates to the philanthropy or maybe the values align with hers. Contact HQ or the local group and go from there. I had a friend who did that and Nationals put her in touch with her local group. She had no prior connections. It wasn't impossible for her. Is that going to be the case for everybody? No. She was lucky. It may not work out for everybody but it isn't impossible. That's the point I'm trying to make.
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  #10  
Old 03-05-2013, 11:10 PM
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Sciencewoman Sciencewoman is offline
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I think that Gamma Phi has a pretty welcoming policy toward AI, and our alumnae chapters even get "extra points" for sponsoring an AI. Our AC has initiated two AIs in recent years...both worked for the college where we had a new chapter. One got to know our resident CLC during colonization, and the other was a very close friend of an active alum. Both women attended schools without Greek systems, and both women jumped right into advisory positions with the chapter. In both situations, the AC approached the potential member. Sponsoring an AI is very involved, and I wouldn't be eager to do it for a stranger.
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  #11  
Old 03-05-2013, 11:31 PM
fascination fascination is offline
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Thanks for your thoughtful posts, yellowrose26 and Sciencewoman. It seems to me that AI is looked down upon by some regulars on this site, as if AI seekers are interlopers. I don't understand that attitude. Whether an organization's decision makers approve of AI as a way to reward special women, or see it as a way increase the number of reliable members who will contribute financiallyand with service, that does not diminish the status of women who joined in college.
Yes, an AI's perspective within the organization will be different from that of a woman who joined in college, but so what? The experiences and perspectives of collegiate members vary enormously from campus to campus and chapter to chapter, too.
There is nothing wrong with someone's thoughtfully considering an organization that she already has a tie to. And, I see no problem with researching all organizations that are open to AI to determine if one seems to be a good fit. Some organizations make it very clear on their national websites that they welcome AI interest.
Strong organizations generally need as many good members as they can get, regardless of whether they joined as a shy, awkward 18 year old at a weak chapter or a sharp, polished 18 year old at a highly sought after chapter or a 30 year old professional woman who would fit in very nicely with an alumnae chapter that really needs more members to accomplish their goals - one of which is to help recruit more quality members.
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  #12  
Old 03-05-2013, 11:45 PM
DeltaBetaBaby DeltaBetaBaby is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sciencewoman View Post
I think that Gamma Phi has a pretty welcoming policy toward AI, and our alumnae chapters even get "extra points" for sponsoring an AI. Our AC has initiated two AIs in recent years...both worked for the college where we had a new chapter. One got to know our resident CLC during colonization, and the other was a very close friend of an active alum. Both women attended schools without Greek systems, and both women jumped right into advisory positions with the chapter. In both situations, the AC approached the potential member. Sponsoring an AI is very involved, and I wouldn't be eager to do it for a stranger.
I think Phi Mu is similar. I actually know of three women who were AI'd into my chapter while I was a collegian, and two were family connections, one was a prominent local businesswoman who was friends with a very active alumna.

I wouldn't know what to do with a woman who doesn't have some kind of personal connection to my organization. That said, I'd consider "friends in the org" a personal connection, and if any of my close female friends who were never Greek suddenly said "man, I really regret that I never joined a sorority", I would put the wheels in motion for them. I know several outstanding women through arts boards and such who I would love to have as sisters, even if they have never thought about a specific organization before.

So, for the PNAI's who are contacting headquarters and/or local chapters: do you not have any friends who were Greek women? That would seem to me to be the place to start.
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  #13  
Old 03-06-2013, 01:10 AM
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AOII Angel AOII Angel is offline
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The problem with having absolutely NO connection is that organizations don't really have a mechanism to vet these women. We don't do AI rush, and most alumnae aren't willing to go out of their way to recruit women they don't know from Adam to join. Alum chapters meet at the most once a month, so it would be difficult to get to know enough about a PNAI in that setting without a sister vouching for her. That is why having a relative, friend, prior relationship with the organization is so critical to success. Being a known commodity takes a lot of work out of the formula. Let's face it, alums are too busy running their lives to worry about vetting someone completely unknown to them. It's not worth the effort unless they are really desperate for some warm bodies (which depending on the area of the country does happen.)
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  #14  
Old 03-06-2013, 01:26 AM
TexasViolet TexasViolet is offline
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It's also a disservice to the PNAI. Having a close friend in the organization can help answer your questions, serve as a mentor and really help you to get involved in the organization. My advice to you would be really ask your friends, see if anyone is Greek and open to helping you through the process. You really never know! It would be a positive for you to have a friend in your corner.
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  #15  
Old 03-06-2013, 05:45 AM
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AGDee AGDee is offline
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Originally Posted by AOII Angel View Post
The problem with having absolutely NO connection is that organizations don't really have a mechanism to vet these women. We don't do AI rush, and most alumnae aren't willing to go out of their way to recruit women they don't know from Adam to join. Alum chapters meet at the most once a month, so it would be difficult to get to know enough about a PNAI in that setting without a sister vouching for her. That is why having a relative, friend, prior relationship with the organization is so critical to success. Being a known commodity takes a lot of work out of the formula. Let's face it, alums are too busy running their lives to worry about vetting someone completely unknown to them. It's not worth the effort unless they are really desperate for some warm bodies (which depending on the area of the country does happen.)
This. We've done it in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where we have two collegiate chapters and very few alumnae. We really need those AIs to help with the chapters. The OP gives her location in her other post in the AI forum and it isn't a location where any collegiate chapters have a great need for assistance. I think that will add to her challenges.
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