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  #1  
Old 02-22-2008, 10:30 AM
gee_ess gee_ess is offline
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How to help PNMs who don't get first choice?

I am really wondering about our campus panhellenics' handling of this situation. You know the girl I am talking about - maybe it happened to you - she opened her bid card and got her second choice. It is not the end of the world, but it feels like it at the moment. Those of us who are "older and wiser" know that this usually ends up working out just great, as several threads on GC can attest to, but what can be done to help ease the shock, make her feel more welcome, etc. at the time?

Often, the Big Sis doesn't even KNOW that this new member got her second choice - the only people who know are the bid matching gurus at panhellenic. Heck, the Big is exhausted, exhilerated, convinced her house rocked recruitment. She can't even fathom that this girl wanted another house. This isn't even on the chapters radar.

What happens in your chapter, with your panhellenic to help in this situation?
Shoud panhellenic notify the recruitment chair how the bid matching went? Pros? Cons?
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  #2  
Old 02-22-2008, 10:50 AM
UGAalum94 UGAalum94 is offline
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I think the fewer people who know it was her second choice the better.

The only thing that panhellenic should do, in my opinion, is to make sure PNMs know that they could be matched to any group on the bid card, and that if she isn't going to be happy with her second and third choices, she probably shouldn't list them.

ETA: It would be disastrous to morale to tell the new members that they were actually way down on the bid list and only got bids because everyone the chapter liked better wanted other groups. Similarly, no one benefits, as near as I can guess, and a lot of harm can be done by the chapter realizing how many of their new members listed the chapter as a second or third choice. It's probably better all the way around to believe that the mutual selection process worked well, that the group and the girl have found each other, and that everyone is really excited about it.

More pragmatically, if the girl is still really disappointed, you're going to find out whether you want to or not.

Last edited by UGAalum94; 02-22-2008 at 10:59 AM.
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  #3  
Old 02-22-2008, 10:55 AM
33girl 33girl is offline
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Originally Posted by UGAalum94 View Post
I think the fewer people who know it was her second choice the better.

The only thing that panhellenic should do, in my opinion, is to make sure PNMs know that they could be matched to any group on the bid card, and that if she isn't going to be happy with her second and third choices, she probably shouldn't list them.
I agree. If the member opens up at some point in the future and tells the sisters what her choice was, that's her prerogative, but other than that, it should not come up.

If the chapter liked her enough to put her on their bid list, they more than likely will make her feel welcome & tell her they're happy she's there - even if they have no clue that she listed them 2nd or 3rd. If the new member wants to keep reminding herself she got her second choice, well, she's just making herself miserable.

If it's a case of the chapter is struggling and took everyone they could, well, that's harder. Hopefully the adversity will help everyone to bond.
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  #4  
Old 02-22-2008, 11:01 AM
adpiucf adpiucf is offline
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I really think it is an issue that the new member needs to learn to handle on her own. It may be disappointing to not receive your first choice bid. However, at the risk of sounding cynical: that's life. The sooner you figure out you're not always going to get 100% of what you want when you want it, the better.

If anything, Panhellenic should address this issue with the Recruitment Counselors. After pref card signing, or possibly even before, the counselors should sit down with their PNM's and discuss best and worst-case scenarios, offer support and prepare the women for the possibility that they may or may not receive their top choice. And to also remember that while it is their prerogative to accept their bid or not, that the chapter who has accepted her is very excited to welcome her as a sister. And if she is going to come to their home on Bid Day, she can either be a happy and willing guest, or she should just go home. Bid Day is a celebration. If the worst thing that has happened to you in 18 years is to get rejected from your top choice sorority (after 3-4 20 minute meetings with the members over a week-long period), you're actually in better shape than 99% of the rest of the world population.

I'm cynical, yes. But these girls need to grow up sometime. I remember how emotional recruitment was when I was participating as a collegian. But big picture: You haven't committed social suicide by getting a bid to ABC instead of XYZ, and you're being given the opportunity to become part of an exclusive organization that will give you amazing opportunities and experiences.
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  #5  
Old 02-22-2008, 11:26 AM
Zillini Zillini is offline
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^^^Agreed. Recruitment Counselors need to be trained so they can relay the info to the PNMs. PNMs need to understand there is always a possibility they will get their 2nd or even 3rd choice. Signing a pref card is like signing a contract. In essence the PNM is saying "I am willing to become a member of any of these orgs." While I'm all for maximizing ones options, if there is one or even two orgs you would absolutely not want to be a member of even if you went to their Pref, then do not put them on your pref card. You might end up taking a spot away from someone who really does want to be a member of that org.

PNMs also need to be aware that the Chapters have no idea what a PNMs preference order was. All we are given is a list of our new members. We can only hope that every one of those wanted us as much as we wanted them.

Announcing that your new GLO wasn't your first choice will be interpreted by your new sisters as you not wanting to be their sister. It can make it even more difficult to fit in and find new friends. "Why should we try to be friends with her? She didn't even want us." So in essence you would be creating a self fulfilling prophecy. "See, I just knew I didn't want this group. I haven't made any friends."
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  #6  
Old 02-22-2008, 11:32 AM
33girl 33girl is offline
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Announcing that your new GLO wasn't your first choice will be interpreted by your new sisters as you not wanting to be their sister. It can make it even more difficult to fit in and find new friends. "Why should we try to be friends with her? She didn't even want us." So in essence you would be creating a self fulfilling prophecy. "See, I just knew I didn't want this group. I haven't made any friends."
Oh, I meant much later, like a year later, when the XYZs did something really stupid and the member says "I have an extremely embarrassing confession...I put XYZ first. What the heck kind of crack was I on?? I would hate it there so much!! I love you guys!!"
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  #7  
Old 02-22-2008, 01:02 PM
KSUViolet06 KSUViolet06 is offline
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Originally Posted by adpiucf View Post
I really think it is an issue that the new member needs to learn to handle on her own. It may be disappointing to not receive your first choice bid. However, at the risk of sounding cynical: that's life. The sooner you figure out you're not always going to get 100% of what you want when you want it, the better.
I totally agree. So you got your 2nd choice? Okay. You could've NOT gotten a bid at all. You should just be excited that these people are happy to have you and enojy your new member period. If you find that you can't do that, depledge and don't continue to waste the sorority's time and yours.
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  #8  
Old 02-22-2008, 01:06 PM
gee_ess gee_ess is offline
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You all make excellent points.

If dealing with it within the chapter is off limits, I wonder what procedures panhellenic could introduce. Yes, Gamma Chi's are hopefully trained to say all of those things about the possibility of getting a second or third choice BEFORE bids card go out, but what follow up is in place? If the chapter shouldn't know about the choice ( and I tend to agree with this) then shouldn't someone address this with the girl after it happens? We have counseled and advised and "been there" for her all through the process and at this juncture we say, "get over it, you are just going to have to deal with this." Seems like a pan rep could at least follow up, or something.

I agree that they learn to deal with it, but I have seen this devastate a pnm, especially on a large campus. I also agree there is no easy answer, I just feel like we leave this situation unresolved each year, and we have made so many strides in dealing with the other aspects of recruitment.
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  #9  
Old 02-22-2008, 01:13 PM
33girl 33girl is offline
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If the girl really wants to call up her rho chi, I suppose she can - but then again, once she knows what sorority the PX is in, she may feel differently about her.

If she still has a problem dealing with it, she can go see a school counselor who will keep things confidential. Or talk to a sister/friend who's Greek at another school.

Weren't there Panhellenic committees at some schools to console girls who didn't get bids? Couldn't she go there as well?
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  #10  
Old 02-22-2008, 01:21 PM
PiPhiERDoc PiPhiERDoc is offline
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One of my roommates when I was going through recruitment got her second choice. When she opened her bid she turned to me and said "Wow, I got XYZ...they must have REALLY wanted me!" How great is that? Being fairly innocent of the whole process, she just assumed that getting her second choice house meant that they just wanted her so much that it trumped her first choice, and she was just happy to be wanted.
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  #11  
Old 02-22-2008, 01:25 PM
Zillini Zillini is offline
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Oh, I meant much later, like a year later, when the XYZs did something really stupid and the member says "I have an extremely embarrassing confession...I put XYZ first. What the heck kind of crack was I on?? I would hate it there so much!! I love you guys!!"
I've seen PNMs/new members announce at their new house during the Bid Day celebration that they didn't get their 1st choice. I've seen PNMs in tears having to be talked into putting a jersey on. Not the best way to start off one's membership even if it does end up working out for the best in the long run.
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Old 02-22-2008, 01:29 PM
KSUViolet06 KSUViolet06 is offline
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Something to think about: In some situations, the disparity in the PNMs mind between their two choices isn't always so serious that she is devastated when she gets her 2nd choice. Like the PNM ranks ABC first and XYZ second, but isn't upset when she gets XYZ because she still likes them. I could possibly see a PNM being devastated over getting a 3rd choice, but not a 2nd.

I'm not the biggest advocate for this, but I personally think that if you would rather not be in a sorority at all than be in your 2nd choice OR it's so serious that you're going to need counseling or be depressed about getting a bid there--you should just ISP (intentional single pref or "suicide").
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  #13  
Old 02-22-2008, 01:35 PM
violetpretty violetpretty is offline
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This is why I think it's important for the women to open their bids in front of the Rho Gammas in private. The Rho Gamma can help her get over any disappointment and help her see the big picture.

Last year when I was a Rho Gamma, there was a girl who went to my high school who got her second choice on bid day. It was tough for her because her Rho Gamma was in her first choice chapter (she knew for a while), and she and her Rho Gamma got along really well. I sat down with her and her Rho Gamma and we talked about it. She cried, she wanted to make sure it wasn't a mistake (no), she asked me if it would have been different if she had suicided (she would have been unmatched), she asked me if she could go through in the fall (no), she asked what her chances would be like next spring (not so good---she was a sophomore at the time, so she'd be a junior). She liked her second choice, but she just needed to get over the initial shock.

Because of her class standing, my answer to her was basically, it's this chapter or no sorority at all. You can walk away now, you can walk away tomorrow, you can walk away after a couple weeks, or you can walk away right before you are about to be initiated. I told her she might as well stick it out and see if she can be happy there. She ended up going to bid day with a good attitude and is very active and happy in her chapter.

ETA: While I understand the sentiments of "well if you didn't want the chapter then don't put them on your pref card" or "you should be happy to get any chapter", like gee_ess said, it seems like the end of the world of a NM at that moment they see the second or third choice in their hands. There are tons of women who are initially disappointed, not so much that they don't like their second choice, but because they didn't get their first choice. Sometimes they just need to talk about it and it can really change their attitude for the better.
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Last edited by violetpretty; 02-22-2008 at 02:02 PM.
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  #14  
Old 02-22-2008, 01:41 PM
1908Revelations 1908Revelations is offline
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Originally Posted by adpiucf View Post
I really think it is an issue that the new member needs to learn to handle on her own. It may be disappointing to not receive your first choice bid. However, at the risk of sounding cynical: that's life. The sooner you figure out you're not always going to get 100% of what you want when you want it, the better.

I'm cynical, yes. But these girls need to grow up sometime.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KSUViolet06 View Post
I totally agree. So you got your 2nd choice? Okay. You could've NOT gotten a bid at all. You should just be excited that these people are happy to have you and enojy your new member period. If you find that you can't do that, deplede and don't continue to waste the sorority's time and yours.
Excuse the crash, but I like what KSUViolet said as well as adpiucf.

Correct me if I am wrong, but on the pref card one should put Sororities that they actucally see themselves belonging to rather than fill up the card and see what you get, right? If that is the case someone getting their second choice should not be a big beal and if they didn't want them they had the choice to suicide, right?

Like KSU said, they better be happy they get in a house because some girls don't get picked at all.


ETA:
For example I have heard some interested girls (NPHC) talk about if they have to join on a line that is large they would rather wait or not join at all. I call BS on that because if they want the Sorority for the right reasons they would not care about that moretheless they should think about how many people wish they could get in. I swear people are such babies. There are many other women who would be glad to be in ABC, XYZ, 123 so shut up! LOL
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Last edited by 1908Revelations; 02-22-2008 at 02:19 PM. Reason: typo
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  #15  
Old 02-22-2008, 02:14 PM
Zillini Zillini is offline
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This is probably going to come across as my being cold or heartless. Sure I'm sad for a PNM who doesn't get a bid at all or doesn't get her first choice. But you know what? Rejection is a part of life. I think maybe the bigger problem here is that society has gotten so concerned with protecting/promoting kids' self esteem that for many this is the first time they've ever faced failure or not gotten exactly what they wanted. If you don't learn that lesson at a young age, it's much harder to deal with when you are older. "Oh we don't keep score at our soccer games because everyone is a winner! Everyone gets a trophy just for showing up!"

Competition does not have to be an evil thing. Being rewarded for hard work or trying harder the next time or just not fitting in are things that all kids need to learn. Not getting what you want for whatever reason does not mean you are a bad person or that they are bad people for not wanting to give it to you. So if someone hasn't learned this lesson at age 18 or 19, maybe this is a good thing. How will they deal with rejection at age 22+ when they are 1 of 1,000 job applicants for only 10 entry level positions? Do employers need to provide counselors for the 990 who didn't get hired?

In the imortal words of the Rolling Stones: You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you just might find you get what you need.
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