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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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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 03-10-2024, 05:27 PM
SquirrelyDays SquirrelyDays is offline
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One month before recruitment, the marching band released the practice schedule for the week before classes start… which is also Panhellenic recruitment week. Rosebud opened the band schedule, and opened the conflict form sent by the Rho Gamma Kelsey, and started marking off all the times when there was a conflict so she could report it to Panhellenic. I watched her get more and more agitated. We knew there would be some overlap, but we really weren’t prepared for THIS much overlap. She would be available to attend the extra preview day before recruitment starts… and bid day. That’s it. None of the regular rounds. The band rehearsal schedule is 8 am to 10 pm every day.

Boy, was she upset. Frustrated. Overwhelmed. Disappointed.

It took a while to talk through everything, but I reminded her that she had said she would be OK with spring rush instead of fall, and she had said she’d be OK with COB. She decided that she was most upset because she wouldn’t even get a chance to TRY to make a good impression. Well, that’s what the preview day is for – the chance. And she will get 2 nice Panhellenic Tshirts out of it. And she doesn’t have to stress about outfits and hair for a whole week – just for one day.

At the peak of her frustration, she threw up her hands and said “Maybe I’ll just focus on band while I’m in college, and then try to join Alpha Gam after graduation like you did.” And from the ether I heard a chorus of ***HALLELUJAHs*** from the souls of all my Sisters who have known and loved Rosebud for 18 years… but I nobly refrained from steering her that way. As much as I would love-love-love to share this sisterhood with both her and my mother, I also would like her to have a rich college experience. Sorority life could be part of that. I reminded her: COB is fine, spring rush is fine, try all the options before giving up.

We talked about how calm she will be when Rho Gamma Kelsey calls to say she has no invitations, because she is expecting it, and how relieved Kelsey will be NOT to have a hysterical PNM on her hands. There’s that Pollyanna positive attitude we practiced. 😊

However, this revelation directly affected her motivation to finish preparing for recruitment. Rosebud did NOT want to keep collecting recommendations and introductions. (“Why bother? I won’t get to meet anyone.”) Earlier in the summer she did have a wonderful chat with a young alumna from one of the unhoused chapters, which was so nice. Rosebud also hesitantly asked her 3 friends who already graduated high school and are in sororities at different colleges to introduce her. (“I don’t want to nag them over the summer.”) She did compose one pleasant email asking one of my local Panhellenic friends to review her resume and introduce her, and offering to meet up -- an email which could then be copy-pasted-revised and sent to members of the other organizations. (I had nightmares that we had forgotten to update the wording and accidentally listed the wrong sorority in one of the emails, but we didn’t. I checked. More than once.) I don’t think she actually ever recorded an intro video, but I’m not sure. She rallied in the end and had another lovely interview with my Panhellenic friend and sent follow up emails with additional information for several other alumnae, but the thrill was gone because she knew COB or spring rush would probably end up being her path.

Plus, there was a lot more shopping to do for the dorm suite!

In a sense, I understood her reluctance. Things have been changing. Are they even USING recs anymore? Two of the collegiate chapters said “don’t send recs” on the campus Panhellenic website. Four organizations had “introduce yourself” links on their national websites instead of links for recommendations or introductions from alumnae. One of the women she asked for an introduction said, “I’ll fill out the form, but they don’t really use it anymore.”

We do know it’s the current collegiate members of the chapter who can decide whether PNMs will fit in with “the vibe,” as the kids say these days. My thought was: if they will only get to meet her at the extra preview event, maybe recs might be more important to stay on their radars for COB. It can’t hurt to have a rec, and maybe it shows extra effort. Of course, the collegiates might just toss them automatically – we will never know. But the local Panhellenic women who know Rosebud personally really wanted to introduce her to their chapters. They wanted her to have a good experience, and wanted to hear how everything went in the end.
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Old 03-10-2024, 05:45 PM
carnation carnation is offline
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I'm loving this story!
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Old 03-10-2024, 06:03 PM
SquirrelyDays SquirrelyDays is offline
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One week before recruitment began, Rho Gam Kelsey sent over the schedule for the preview day. Based on what we were told by a student ambassador at her college orientation and registration weekend, she will probably talk to representatives from each group for a bit and then move to the next group, like tabling or speed dating. The event is scheduled for 3 hours and there are 12 organizations… so it seems like she’ll get 15 minutes with each group, but who knows? We’re just guessing at this point.

However: More despondency, because Rosebud must check in at the band field during the third hour of the preview event, non-negotiable. She will likely have to leave before getting to talk to all the groups at the preview. Rho Gam Kelsey is very sad for Rosebud and suggests COB might be her best option after all. Rosebud was ready to go to the preview anyway, and planned get there early, and hoped to find out what the setup is like. Does she have to move around the room in a set order, or does she get to choose? At some other campuses, when there are PNMs with prior commitments, I know one solution is to schedule half-parties for those PNMs. I don’t know if this campus does that, but in any case: how would that even work at this extra preview event? Would she end up talking with some groups for 7 minutes? That doesn’t seem productive. She’s not getting a lot of information from Rho Gam Kelsey. This just sucks. I never use that word, but it fits the situation best. I’m really annoyed on her behalf. I guess if she’s lucky, the groups without houses will all fall in the last hour on her schedule, and she’d miss out on talking with groups that she is a little less interested in anyway? But what if she really LIKES those women? And she’s NOT looking forward to sprinting across campus wearing a recruitment-appropriate getup to make it to the band field on time. I’m trying to be supportive and encouraging, but she has almost given up. Pollyanna isn’t helping AT ALL.

Fingers crossed. Here we go.
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Old 03-10-2024, 06:16 PM
SquirrelyDays SquirrelyDays is offline
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Welp, that didn’t last long.

Rosebud showed up early to the extra preview session. She hoped to see how it was all scheduled, and to ask if there was a way to still meet with representatives of all 12 groups even though she had to leave early. Turns out that they had planned a welcome speech, then 10 minutes with each group and 3 minutes “passing time” between each group for making notes.

Plot twist: She wasn’t even on the list. Her name didn’t appear. She was turned away at the door. What?!

The Panhellenic VP for Recruitment spoke with Rosebud and said that Rho Gam Kelsey should have told her not to come to the preview session at all. The preview event is intended to replace just one or two of the regular rounds of recruitment, not the whole week, which is completely logical. So, Rosebud will only be allowed to participate in COB this semester. Kelsey was actually nowhere to be found, despite having told Rosebud that she would be there and would walk around the room with her. Pan VPR is very annoyed with Rho Gam Kelsey.

Grr.

She didn’t even get a swag bag with Tshirts.

GRRRRRR.
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Old 03-10-2024, 06:22 PM
SquirrelyDays SquirrelyDays is offline
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Don't despair. Pollyanna to the rescue: now there's plenty of time to change out of her recruitment dress and put on athletic clothes and saunter leisurely across campus to begin band camp while talking animatedly on the phone with Mama. Plan B didn't work, but we have Plan C ready to go: COB.

In the meantime: we learned that shy Shelly the suitemate has decided to wait until spring semester to participate in the informal recruitment sessions then. At least Rosebud will have a buddy to go through that process with if she doesn’t find a place through fall COB. Also, on Day 1 of Round 1 there was a tremendous thunderstorm in the middle of the recruitment parties, and the Rho Gams held the PNMs in silence in their locations for over an hour. Moms were freaking out all over Facebook because they couldn’t reach their daughters. Glad she missed that!

ALSO also: Rosebud’s marching band experience has been great from the moment she arrived on campus. She said the band has many traditions that feel like sorority things. She wore a tiny safety pin with ribbons of the school colors all week – like a pledge pin. She was placed in a “band buddies” group on the first day so new members could meet returning members – like bid day buddies. Plus her own instrument section is a big family already. The band has themed dress-up days and little contests that sound a lot like Polish Week team-builders. Her instrument section won the overall band spirit award on the last day, so it sounds like they work together well. She said there are ritual-like things and initiation-type moments that she won’t tell me about because I’m not in the band. Another band parent who lives local shared a shaky, blurry video of an inspiring twilight ceremony they have annually that concludes the first week of band camp, and it sure does feel familiar. At that ceremony band members receive a special pin to wear on their uniforms – sounds like pinning on a badge. Two band parents who are local professional photographers were roaming around during band camp taking fun candids and posed group photos, and posting them free for us far-away parents to download. (960 images to scroll through to find the 5 pictures she was in). Regardless of what happens with sorority rush, she has a home-away-from-home, and all of that fun has certainly distracted her from the SNAFU of recruitment.

Suitemates update: gymrat Gina was flipping out when she got home after Round 1 because her Rho Gam took her phone out of her hands (breaking the rules!) and entered her ranking choices for her (no no no!) … and entered them incorrectly. Her last preferred org was swapped with her Rank 2 org. Tears everywhere. (And that's why we don't DO that, silly Rho Gam.) Rosebud asked if there was anything to be done. I explained that really, that’s not a crisis. Almost no one gets invited back to ALL their preferred orgs. Her Rank 2 will probably move up. And she definitely should not get her mother to intervene on her behalf. If the Panhellenic VPR said, “deal with it,” then that’s what you do.

For Round 2, participants could visit a maximum of 9 organizations.
Gymrat Gina went back to El Retiro, Casements, Mangoes and Ca’ d’Zan.
Talented Tammy went back to El Retiro, Casements, Villa Vizcaya, and Ca’ d’Zan.

They were a little bummed to have less than half a schedule, but rallied.

For Round 3, with a max of 6, they returned to those same 4 orgs.
They were anxious, because out of those 4 orgs they each had 2 they definitely didn’t want and 2 that they were deciding between.
They each preffed at Casements and a chapter without a house, and they each SIP’d Casements and both received bids to Casements. Choosing to SIP is common on this campus because of the unhoused chapters. (SIP = single intentional preference = only writing 1 sorority on your bid card)

They were delighted with that result! We are happy for them. Strategically, though, it was the outcome with the least advantage for Rosebud. Casements was full to the brim last year and not likely to have COB spots that might be offered to a suitable suitemate who couldn’t make it to formal recruitment. Boo. Also, it started making the suite a little awkward because two of the girls were together all the time and the other two girls were a little bit left out. Just a bit.

And now I have been directed not to use the term “suitemates.” It’s weird, apparently.

Last edited by SquirrelyDays; 03-10-2024 at 06:43 PM.
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  #12  
Old 03-10-2024, 08:00 PM
SquirrelyDays SquirrelyDays is offline
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One week after recruitment, with absolutely no prompting from me, Rosebud marched her little off-brand Converse hi-tops into the FSL office to advocate for herself. She asked if she could get the Tshirts she paid for. Whomever she spoke with was shocked, SHOCKED I say, at her tale of her whole experience. They said she should have been informed that she would have to go directly to COB or spring rush as soon as she told Rho Gam Kelsey about the band camp time commitment, way back in the middle of the summer. They said that Pan VPR should have been more on top of it, and should been more gracious at the preview event. She was given the contact information for the Panhellenic President and “we’ll see what we can do” about the Tshirts. I’m not holding my breath.

Later that same day, Rosebud attended her first recruitment event with Tau Beta Sigma, the co-ed marching band service sorority. This is a natural fit for her because she was so involved with the marching band all throughout high school and contributed extraordinary amounts of her leisure time to making sure events ran smoothly. She often was first to arrive and last to leave. She promoted membership in the band to the feeder middle schools during annual campus visits, and made her closest friends through the band. She organized the equipment cabinets with Martha Stewart flair. Her college campus has chapters of both TBS and Kappa Kappa Psi, the co-ed marching band service fraternity. She said she would first visit TBS events to see how she gets along with those members because during band camp “KKPsi moves furniture and TBS hands out popsicles.” Eyeroll. She does know there is more to it than that. The two organizations both provide support to the band, like organizing uniforms and handing out lunch or snacks on game day, and yes, moving furniture. When Rosebud came to the campus as a high school student for the honor band weekend, TBS staffed the registration tables.

Happily, she had a great time at that evening recruitment event! The icebreakers she described to me would have made me run for the hills, but she loved them. And she loved the members! Because TBS is not an NPC organization, she could actually be a member of TBS and still participate in COB or spring rush if she chooses. And because she sees the TBS members 3 days a week at band practice, she’s getting to know them really well.
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Old 03-10-2024, 09:47 PM
SquirrelyDays SquirrelyDays is offline
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So: on to fall COB!

The following week Rosebud was walking near the student union and the Ca’ d’Zan women were tabling for COB. She chatted with them and filled out their interest form at the table, and then she spent time talking with a second group of sisters in the coffee shop nearby. Smallest group on campus. Half the size of the next larger group, in fact. No house. At one point she said that was all stuff she didn’t want. However: After talking with them she called me saying, “They were REALLY nice! Like I’d actually be friends with these girls!” Two of her friends from back home had accepted bids at Ca’ d'Zan at other universities the week before. She thought that would be neat to be sisters on different campuses.

Then, Rosebud got a message via social media from Mangoes sending her their COB information. However, she was less inclined to consider joining Mangoes. Once classes started, the gossip did, too, and campus chatter said that the active members don’t really like each other and don’t spend time together outside of required events. Who knows if that is actually true. It doesn’t seem like it based on their super-active social media accounts! (Objectively, they have a great PR officer.) But she certainly listened to that tent talk (sans tent). If she meets some Mangoes members personally later, she might have a different opinion, but for now she doesn’t want to attend even one event with them.

Rosebud went with her two Casements (new member) roommates and some older (initiated) Casements sisters to a movie over one weekend, and then met up with them again one evening during the week to binge-watch a TV show. From her descriptions, it wasn’t clear to me whether these were COB events, or just them being gracious and welcoming. A few weeks later she went to a grab-a-date at a local professional sporting event with them, too, as her roommate Gina’s guest. Since Casements was the organization with the most members on campus last year, I think it’s unlikely that they have spots to fill. But stranger things have happened.

El Retiro had a few COB activities, but Rosebud said they were announced with very little lead time on their Instagram stories, and they were scheduled during band practice. Sadly, she missed them all.

(If you’re keeping track: that’s 3 of the original 6 organizations that I predicted might have extra room for more members, plus the roommates’ org.)
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Old 03-11-2024, 08:49 AM
SquirrelyDays SquirrelyDays is offline
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Rosebud went to another COB event with Ca’ d’Zan later in the week and had a GREAT time… and then they offered her a bid. She was SO surprised. She didn’t think it could happen that fast. She thought she would be expected to attend more than just 2 events and the info table. They told her she didn’t have to accept or decline right away. She made a plan to attend a spin class with one of the members the next day, and then she called me. Over the next 3 days we had multiple pros-and-cons phone calls (which somehow always seemed to happen right as I was sitting down to order a meal in a restaurant). A summary:

PRO: She wants to be involved in something now, rather than waiting until next fall and missing a whole year. And there’s no guarantee that she would be offered a bid next year. It’s common for upperclassmen to receive a bid, but it’s not 100%. And no upperclassmen quota on this campus.

But CON: she really wanted to live in a sorority house. We have discussed that unless she receives a bid during freshman year, that probably won’t happen. If she initiates as a sophomore, then her first opportunity to live in the house would be during her junior year … right when she would be starting her upper-level courses on the specialized satellite campus which is 30 minutes away from sorority row on the main campus. She had planned to get an apartment near that satellite campus when those classes started. (Campus culture is that only freshmen live in the dorms anyway.) She COULD live in the house and commute to class, but it’s better to be occasionally late to social events than to risk being chronically late to class due to traffic, so a location close to the satellite campus was the plan. Especially because she doesn’t have her license yet and would have to rely on the college shuttle buses for transport. (Or accommodating friends.) (Or maybe just GET YOUR LICENSE, Rosebud, let's goooooo)

So she THINKS she wants to wait for spring rush. The number of organizations participating in spring rush would be fewer … and would probably still include Ca’ d’Zan. Rosebud thought it would be bad form to decline a bid in fall and then try to join again in spring. So, if she took “living in the house” out of the equation, she really felt like she WANTED to take the bid … but she still wasn’t SURE.

PRO: She likes the idea of knowing a small number of active sisters very well, rather than being in a crowd of women where she might not get to know each member personally.

Some CONs that I thought about, but did not share with her: probably lots of COB … all year long. There could be pressure from national leadership to grow, but maybe not. They might be fine with this chapter being small. Plus if she’s in an extroverted mood, meeting more new people every week isn’t exactly a crisis. It’s fun!

PRO: it’s less expensive. I had budgeted for the high end of the range of annual costs reported on the FSL website and it would be fine if she spent that much, but she’s just so practical that she took cost into consideration. And honestly, it’s not significantly less expensive because without a house they have “facilities rental fees” built into their budget since they pay to reserve locations for ritual and activities.

Ultimately she determined that she wanted to meet more sisters before deciding. I thought that was smart. IMHO, if it’s a very small group, it needs to be cohesive to survive. She doesn’t mind hard work, but she wants to enjoy the people she’s working with. If there is bickering in a group of 50 women, it’s hard to escape the one person who gets on your nerves the most – unlike a group of 150 women.

That spin class was a killer, by the way. She left gasping halfway through.

Last edited by SquirrelyDays; 03-11-2024 at 09:10 AM.
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Old 03-11-2024, 08:58 AM
SquirrelyDays SquirrelyDays is offline
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Thanks for your comment, Carnation! I missed that last night.

And now I'm realizing how much I utilize parentheses. And how often I start sentences with "and." Too late to edit now! Hope readers will forgive those, too, in addition to verb tense craziness.

Last edited by SquirrelyDays; 03-11-2024 at 12:34 PM.
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