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  #16  
Old 05-20-2005, 03:11 AM
upstreamswimmer upstreamswimmer is offline
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At my school we have both fall and spring rush and spring rush is always the most successful. This is because we do deferred rush. You cannot pledge your first semester (for traditional/non-transfer students), so most people rush the second semester freshman year. That's when I did. Then the fall is generally the third semester overall (first semester sophomores) who liked the idea esp. after their friends went through it. This system works really well here because we are small (1500 kids) and you get acclimated before you pledge.

I would reccomend deferred rush to most schools.

Last edited by upstreamswimmer; 05-20-2005 at 01:23 PM.
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  #17  
Old 05-20-2005, 10:42 AM
adpiucf adpiucf is offline
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But doesn't a spring recruitment mean you get the people who are truly interested and not just the ones who are "t-shirt" members?

And wouldn't it lessen the burden of the really large chapters?

And wouldn't it justify the assertion of the smaller chapters that a smaller chapter has a stronger membership?

All defferred recruitment does is remove the unsure members and leave you with members who have one semester of grades and acclimation to campus under their belt-- who are serious about Greek Life. Isn't that better than a first semester student who isn't sure about anything?

Just throwing it out there--- I came from a campus with fall recruitment, and a campus with exceptionally large chapters, where we were always begging for sorority expansion because our membership was nearing 200 members per chapter. I think in fall recruitment you tend to get a lot more people to show up, but 4 years later, how many of that new member class are still there? And of those that are, how many are truly active members?
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  #18  
Old 05-20-2005, 11:43 AM
TSteven TSteven is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by alphaalpha
I think there should be some type of quota system set for informal like for formal in the fall.
alphaalpha may have found a win/win solution. A more formal structured recruitment in the fall and a more informal or loose structured recruitment - with quota - in the spring.

This way, the PNM may decide when she rushes as best suits her need. And just like formal recruitment, if a chapter is at total, they may still take quota during the loose structured recruitment (informal) in the spring. And if and when a chapter isn't at total, then the chapter can still COB when ever they want. And a bonus would be that this should open recruitment to more upperclassmen since the pressure to join as a freshman would no longer be an issue.

And as an added bonus, with the whole NPC recruitment thing moving toward "No Frills" it shouldn't be much of an issue cost or time wise.

Now, with recruitment being year round so to speak, hopefully this would elevitate some of the negative aspects of recruitment such as the "rush in the fall or not at all" pressure, "dirty rushing", and the silly "no contact" rule since these issues should be moot. The PNMs are not only allowed, but encouraged to meet sorority members in the way that is right and comfortable for them. Be that in the fall or spring. During a formal or informal way. As a first year or returning student.

Last edited by TSteven; 05-20-2005 at 02:28 PM.
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  #19  
Old 05-20-2005, 03:39 PM
PsychTau2 PsychTau2 is offline
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I think Spring/deferred recruitment is GREAT for those schools who have chapters that paint on a very lovely facade for recruitment week, then show their true (nasty) colors for the rest of the semester (c'mon...you know there are those chapters out there...we've all seen an example of them).

Having the freshmen wait until Spring to accept bids gives them a chance to see the true colors of each chapter. Either a chapter can't maintain the facade for a whole semester, or they maintain the facade and wind up actually changing for the better in the process (because the new behaviors become habit).

I'm all for having a "structured" recruitment period each semester, with the same rules for each. Partially Structured Recruitment Style actually gives campuses the opportunity to do just that. And I also think that for the larger campuses who do recruitment before classes start...if it works, keep doing it. (As stated in another thread) girls who choose to go to a university like that expect that to happen. Girls who don't feel comfortable with all of that "big school" hype probably won't attend that school anyway.

I wonder what it would be like if freshmen could accept bids in November, start their NM process (a "lite" version of it), and then initiate in the spring when they have grades (and those who don't have grades don't initiate). You could still make the NM process a total of 8 school weeks (not counting finals week), they would still have a chance to acclimate themselves to campus and could get to know the groups and the culture.

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  #20  
Old 05-20-2005, 08:54 PM
whittleschmeg whittleschmeg is offline
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I am Panhellenic Recruitment at a Univeristy in Pa, our school does not have a very large Greek Life and were struggling for recruitment. Being small one thing that didn't work for us was formal in the spring. Because there is no way around having formal we adapted it to our school and adressed the problems.

We changed our formal recruitment and no longer have bid matching. This helped alot we have doubled our new member numbers. Each PNM is still recquired to see every sorority however the problem of not getting your first or second choice is disolved (unless you are not chosen by that group). We still have Rho Gammas, your not allowed to promote your own group until after formal and there is still a silent period but we eliminated bid matching and this helped because more girls came out for formal instead only attending COB.

Also it still leaves girls a choice they may see that they fit with a different group then they original had there mind set on. If you have any questions PM me.
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  #21  
Old 05-20-2005, 10:48 PM
PsychTau2 PsychTau2 is offline
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Sounds exactly like what we did to change to Partially Structured Recruitment this year...no quota, no bid matching. Everyone hit total (which means we'll probably have to do some sort of quota next year...but that's a nice problem to have!) I figure we can still set a quota on the amount of bids that you can extend without having to do pref cards/bid matching.

We did this for Spring (typically formal) recruitment...fall informal was already pretty much set up that way (it was basically a week of organized COBs with one common bid day at the end).

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  #22  
Old 05-20-2005, 11:23 PM
PhoenixAzul PhoenixAzul is offline
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we have deffered recruitment during winter quarter (we run on a 3 quarter (10 weeks per quarter)) system. So the girls are introduced to the sororities during fall quarter...the girls hold service events and campus wide movie nights, etc. Then rush starts. It's pretty rigidly structured....rho chi's and bid matching and what have you. But at the same time, I think that more girls could be matched and that there could be better PR for recruitment in general.

However, I feel that I wouldn't have rushed during fall quarter if I could have because I was still this naive little high schooler who thought sororities were like they are in movies and on TV. But being here for a quarter I got to see that not all the girls are like that. Now I wouldn't trade it for the world. I got to be on the Rho Chi end this year, and it was really exciting to give bids to girls and see how happy it made them, and now to see them in letters having fun with their sisters is even better (plus, 4 girls from my PX group ended up being MY sisters, and they're FABULOUS!)
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  #23  
Old 05-21-2005, 12:54 AM
alphaalpha alphaalpha is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by PhoenixAzul

However, I feel that I wouldn't have rushed during fall quarter if I could have because I was still this naive little high schooler who thought sororities were like they are in movies and on TV. But being here for a quarter I got to see that not all the girls are like that.
I soooo agree with phoenixazul about this.

I know a lot of girls who have this view of sorority life, just meet one today. Then they go away to college, see the real version of greek life and then miss out. I think at what TSteven said about letting girls choice which situation they feel best in is a win win situation and i think that if you want to formal rush in the fall, fine. but allow women the chance the get a bid in the "spring" or whenever other term rush is held in to have more opportunities to get bids such as they would have in fall formal.

I guess i feel really strongly about this cause i know some many women who go away to school either thinking bad things about greek life or just not considering is and then get on campus and wish they had rush. Now i know many schools that will bid sophmores and up, but i think that the biggest opportunities are still for freshman. Anyway, spring (or whenever) informal should be similar to fall formal in that the most women can get bids to more than just the "small" houses.

whittleschmeg, what you are saying does sound complicated, but it sounds like your school found a system that works best for you, and i think that is the most important thing.
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  #24  
Old 05-27-2005, 11:21 PM
flirt5721 flirt5721 is offline
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At my school we have formal recruitment in the fall. This year we will have recruitment during the first first week of classes. During the spring we have CORs. I think it works out good like this.
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  #25  
Old 05-28-2005, 02:53 PM
Zillini Zillini is offline
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Hi folks, I'm fairly new to this BB. I found it while doing an internet search looking for something else and I'm so happy I did. So much info and fun too!

Anyways, I'm a sorority Chapter Advisor at the University of Alabama (a large SEC school with a strong Greek system) and I'd like to share our experience. It all boils down to this, it depends on the school and the strength of the Greek system on that campus as to whether a Spring Formal Recruitment can be successful.

A few years back our previous University President (who I might add was very anti-Greek) wanted to change women's Recruitment to either a deferred (Spring) or delayed (later in the Fall) from the traditional pre-fall semester dates. The administration's logic was that they wanted the incoming freshman to have to opportunity to bond with the University before committing themselves to a sorority. They also felt that allowing the PNMs more time on campus before Recuitment would give them a chance to learn more about each organization ahead of time. Finally but most importantly, they strongly felt that deferring or delaying Recruitment would lead to more cultural and racial diversity within the Greek system.

This proposal was met with a great deal of resistance from both the actives as well as the alums. Of course there was the whole "tradition" thing that is deeply imbedded here. But there were tangible arguments against it as well with the biggest one being financial.

There is a local accounting firm (owned by a Pike) that specializes in Greek organizations and handles around 75% of the sororities and fraternities on campus. They estimated that deferring Recruitment until Spring would cost the sorority system around $750,000 in lost revenue in that fall becaue quota at the time was around 45 with 17 houses on campus. All but a few houses usually make quota without any trouble, so all these chapters would have to go a full semester without those dues. Sure each house would eventually "catch up", but that first year might put several houses into bankruptcy. Keep in mind that all sororities on this campus have (aging) physical houses and alot of those maintenance costs are fixed regardless of how many members you have.

There was a lot of protesting. Each GLO contacted their Nationals asking for help to prevent this from happening. Letters and phone calls poured in to the Admin from Grand President's around the country, but I personally don't think that held much sway. What finally got the Admin to back off was pressure from local Greek alums, many of which were on the Board of Trustees and big benefactors. Again that's my personal opinion because no one ever came out and actual verbalized a reason. But if you look over a list of most University alums with strong Greek systems, the biggest donaters tend to be Greek.

So Admin moved Recruitment from the week before school (mid-August) to prior to and on Labor Day weekend with Bid Day being on Monday, Labor Day. That proved to be a disaster for alot of reasons. First, the faculty (which is also tends to be anti-Greek) didn't cooperate at all. Recruitment parties were held in the evenings and the faculty wouldn't excuse PNM's or actives from evening classes. I swear some purposely scheduled tests, quizzes or papers during that time too. So you saw girls grabbing their books to study whenever they could.

Second, most girls were very unhappy because they couldn't go home. Labor Day is usually the first time, especially freshmen get a chance to return home and recharge their batteries from the craziness that is college. With football games every other weekend, most didn't get home until Thanksgiving. By that time, they were pretty stressed out and overwhelmed.

Last, it didn't do a thing to increase diversity. Frankly I never understood that argument anyway. How could changing Recruitment dates increase diversity? You need to change mindsets first.

Well we suffered through this for a few years, then we got a new University President who was not only pro-Greek, he was Greek himself. He realized that since the Greeks make up on average 20% of the population, you need to have a strong system to have a strong University.

Coincidently, the previous Admin had hired a big time consulting firm to study why the University had such problems with freshman retention. Seems there was a surprisingly large number that didn't return their sophomore year. The results were made available soon after the new Pres came on board. Guess what they found? It seems the biggest reason for students leaving was that they felt lost in the shuffle and overwhelmed by the big University. It said that freshmen needed to find small groups to associate with in order to feel like they belonged, were wanted and were a person, not just a SSN, a GPA or a statistic. Gee, that sounds alot like the Greek system now doesn't it?

So we were able to move Recruitment back before the fall semester. Women were able to concentrate on Recruitment, then when it was over concentrate on school. (at least in theory ) We did however make one very good change by adopting an "upperclassmen" quota specifically for sophmores and junior. Before this if you didn't pledge as a freshmen you were pretty much out of luck. Your only hopes of being Greek were to COR with one of the smallest chapters that hadn't made quota or were still below Chapter Total. Basically, your options were very limited. Now you can wait a year to go through or even if you dropped out of Recruitment your freshman year, you can go through again the next. No big deal.

I'm not saying pre-fall Recruitment is the only way to go. Rather, this was our experience and like I said earlier it all depends on your campus and your Greek system. The biggest benefit I can see for Spring Recruitment would be that you have a semesters grades from PNMs. With the short pledge period we have now, that's a real drawback.
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  #26  
Old 05-28-2005, 03:00 PM
33girl 33girl is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Zillini
There is a local accounting firm (owned by a Pike) that specializes in Greek organizations and handles around 75% of the sororities and fraternities on campus. They estimated that deferring Recruitment until Spring would cost the sorority system around $750,000 in lost revenue in that fall becaue quota at the time was around 45 with 17 houses on campus. All but a few houses usually make quota without any trouble, so all these chapters would have to go a full semester without those dues. Sure each house would eventually "catch up", but that first year might put several houses into bankruptcy. Keep in mind that all sororities on this campus have (aging) physical houses and alot of those maintenance costs are fixed regardless of how many members you have.
If they told the sororities about this several years prior to it happening, couldn't they budget so that this wouldn't be as much of a problem? Especially since you say many of the costs are fixed costs?

I'm not saying the financial thing isn't a legitimate gripe but when choosing a time for rush the focus should be on what is best for the students, not what will help the chapter with their money issues.
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  #27  
Old 05-28-2005, 09:23 PM
bamabelle005 bamabelle005 is offline
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small correction: Dr. Witt was not greek when he first came to the Capstone. However, this past semester he accepted a bid for alumni status from Phi Delta Theta. Dr. Witt was pro-greek before he became greek.
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  #28  
Old 05-28-2005, 10:22 PM
Zillini Zillini is offline
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First off so that everyone is aware that I know what I'm talking about, I started volunteering as a member of House Corp 11 years ago. I was "drafted" to be the Financial Advisor nearly 10 years ago and then asked to take on Chapter Advisor 9 years ago. I'm still Fin Adv as well as a non-voting member of House Corp. I also realize I forgot to mention that I'm an ADPi.

33girl, you're right that if the system were given enough lead time most chapters could budget for this. But there's more to the story. I'll probably bore you all to tears, but here it is anyways. Before I get into this too far let me clarify something, for this discussion I will use the term "chapter" to refer to the organization itself and "house" for the physical houses.

Now for a little bit of background. I confess I'm no expert on Greek Life history here at Bama as I moved here from Illinois back in '94. To my knowledge, at that time the ADPi house is one of the "newest" having been rebuilt in the early 70's. But it's still a 30+ year old house with all the maintenance and upkeep costs that entails.

FYI - Pi Phi and AKA were rebuilt about 4-5 years ago. The University owns the land the fraternities and sororities are located on. We have 100 year leases on the property and we all own the houses. Sorority Row backs up to the stadium and the University bought these two houses in order to expand. They were provided with new lots and were able to rebuild. Needless to say they are the envy of every House Corporation on campus because of their new modern wiring, plumbing, kitchens, etc.

Anyways, as I said all of the 17 NPC chapters own houses and the majority of them are roughly the same physical size. Obviously I don't know the specifics of other chapters and their houses, but I believe that ADPi's info is pretty much average give or take.

Chapter Total has been at 125 since I've been here. At the time when the Admin (again I stress previous) was proposing Spring Recruitment, the largest chapter was around 140 members. We were about middle of the pack size-wise and constantly flirting with that 125 level. (Note: These numbers are is off the top of my head without digging through my files to confirm it.) According to our accountant, our financial break even point is 120.

Keep in mind that the cost of running a house doesn't fluctuate too much regardless of how many members you have. The reason being that for our house we only have room for 40 members to live in. So adding or losing members doesn't really affect the costs associated with the house much, aside from a little bit more wear and tear on carpet and such. But utility bills, maintenance, staff salaries and everything else are roughly the same regardless of the total number of members.

Ok, back to the discussion of budgeting for a Spring Recruitment instead of Fall. As I said, we were around 125 chapter total so we couldn't take any additional members. With 120 as the break even, that only allowed 5 members worth of dues for saving. Given that we would miss out on 45 (average quota at that time) members dues for one semester, it would take several years to save enough to cover the loss.

Still we weren't even given that chance. The first we heard of the Admin's proposed changes was in mid-Spring and it was to take effect the following year. Budgets had already been made and approved and money spent. We would not have had the time to save for that deferred Recruitment rainy day.

We, and others I'm sure, would have had to eliminate all non-essential spending to make up for it, including probably all social functions, Recruitment, you name it. For those chapters with savings accounts, they would probably have been drained. Or as a last resort, chapter dues and house bills would have to be significantly increased for that first year to cover the shortfall. Then of course we faced the problem of losing more members because they couldn't afford this one time bill, digging us deeper into that hole. We finally learned in mid-June that Recruitment was scheduled for Labor Day week/weekend.

Phew...anybody still awake out there?

Last edited by Zillini; 05-28-2005 at 10:32 PM.
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  #29  
Old 05-28-2005, 10:23 PM
Zillini Zillini is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by bamabelle005
small correction: Dr. Witt was not greek when he first came to the Capstone. However, this past semester he accepted a bid for alumni status from Phi Delta Theta. Dr. Witt was pro-greek before he became greek.
Oops, my apologies.

Hey Bamabelle! It's great to meet someone else whose local.
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