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  #1  
Old 08-29-2005, 01:13 PM
adpiucf adpiucf is offline
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New Member 101

Now that the "rush" is over, the new member period begins! Any tips for sorority new members on acclimating to Greek Life? Post them here!

Here are mine:

Have fun!

Pace yourself. You have an entire school year (and all the rest of college!) to experience Greek Life. You don't have to go to every social and mixer. Do attend some, though! They're fun!

School comes first, but chapter meetings and mandatory service hours are important, too. Schedule yourself accordingly so you can get it all done.

Did you know that most national groups offer scholarships? Check it out online-- there may be a national scholarship on reserve just for women from your chapter or members in your major. Your area alumnae association may also offer scholarships. Ask your scholarship chair for more information.

Know that having 100 sisters does not equal 100 new best friends. There are going to be people you become very close to, and others who are more acquaintances than they are friends. That's ok! It's normal.

What's said in chapter meeting stays within the chapter. Don't gossip about negative chapter goings-on with non-members, on message boards, etc.

The older members have been there longer. Respect their opinions by observing how things work before you go in and try to change everything. This is also a good lesson on the job or in any other extracurricular activity you may join. You risk alienating people when you try to drastically change how they do things-- or they may do things a certain way for a reason.

Don't speak poorly of a fellow chapter member.

If you're ever in a situation that compromises your morals, integrity or a situation that just doesn't feel kosher, get out of there before anything happens. And call a chapter adviser immediately. All sororities have taken a national stance on hazing-- there's a zero tolerance policy in place for the hazers and the hazed. Don't be a victim. You're not there to do pushups, run personal errands for sisters, be woken up at odd hours, or made to do anything that does not have a positive educational purpose (scheduled new member meetings/retreat and reasonable study hours during normal waking hours).

To feel sisterhood, you need to attend more than than bare minimum weekly meeting and service hours. Come to a few socials and sisterhood events to meet people! As always, remember to balance your time out so you have time for school and yourself! Getting and using a dayplanner helps!

In a group of women, there will not always be 100% agreement. If you have a conflict with a member, try to resolve it between one another before taking it to an officer, like Standards. It's ok to not always be in agreement with all the members.

Choose your battles carefully. If the chapter majority votes for something, like buying pink roses for the formal instead of white, and you're not on with winning end of the vote, learn to accept it. Sulking won't change the outcome.

Take the time to understand how the sorority works as an orgnanization! Chair an event or take on some kind of leadership position-- it will help you grow as a leader in ways you hadn't imagined possible and help the sorority, too!

Get involved with an activity outside of the sorority, something all your own.

Make friends with non-chapter members, both Greek and non-Greek! Also remember that you made a lot of friends in recruitment-- you may not have all joined the same sorority, but you're still Panhellenic Sisters-- don't let these great friends get away! The same goes for your friends pre-recruitment who may or may not be Greek! You can be a member of a sorority and have lots of friends outside the sorority at the same time! (And who knows? Your non-Greek friends may see how much fun it is to belong to a sorority and decide to go through recruitment next year!)

When you wear your letters, and when you are not in letters, you represent your organization. Make an effort to look and be your personal best. Others judge you by the activties and behaviors of your sisters, and others judge your chapter by your behaviors and activities. So be a good student, look your best and be a lady.

About boys: If you like a guy, and he's in a fraternity, ask around. He may have been involved with one of your sisters. There's an unspoken code of ettiquette in dating a sister's ex, even if she isn't your close friend. Similarly, you're going to be meeting lots of boys. Word travels. He may kiss and tell.... or others may have kissed and told on him. Be discrete. Fraternity parties and mixers aren't the place to meet your soul mate-- have fun and make new friends, but be responsible and be a lady. Hold out and get him to take you out on a real date in broad daylight. You don't have kiss (etc.) all the boys... and know that if you do, people will know it and may judge you for it. Oh and just some common sense, if you have a crush, don't be a fraternity house stalker.
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Last edited by adpiucf; 09-04-2005 at 04:05 PM.
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  #2  
Old 08-29-2005, 01:34 PM
KSUViolet06 KSUViolet06 is offline
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* If you have homework up to your ears, soccer practice the next day, and 2 finals coming up, IT'S OKAY TO SKIP THAT MIXER. There wil be plenty more, trust me.

*You WILL most likely feel a little overwhelmed during your new member period. There will be TONS of fun things to do, new people to meet, and info to learn. At times it might seem like a bit much. TALK to your new member class about it. Talk to your New Member Educators about it. They were you once and will be able to totally understand.

*Get to know your older sisters. They can prove to be a valuable resource to you in the sorority as well as school and college life.

*I'd keep a scrapbook or diary of your new member period. It's one of your most exciting times in the chapter.

*KEEP A DETAILED PLANNER! Planners are a must!

*Understand that disagreements do happen. All 100 of you will NOT ALWAYS get along. Yes, you're sisters, but you're also human first, and humans argue. What matters is how tactfully you handle disagreements.

*KNOW WHEN YOUR DUES/FEES ARE DUE and PAY PROMPTLY. It's just curteous to the chapter to do so.

*Get involved. I've heard alot of girls from some chapters say that they "don't feel like part of the chapter". These are always the girls who only come to the mandatory once a week meeting. Hold a chair position, join a committee, offer up ideas for socials, participate in other chapter's philanthropies. Do something! This is now YOUR chapter too and you'll only get as much out of it as you put in.
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Last edited by KSUViolet06; 05-30-2010 at 10:10 PM.
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  #3  
Old 08-29-2005, 03:53 PM
quillogold quillogold is offline
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I'm an Alpha Xi at UCF and the main thing to remember that what you feel is COMPLETELY normal. It's weird coming into an organization where you don't know any one and the older members all seem to have their own "groups." It takes a while to get to know everyone but don't give up! Hang with it and you will never regret it. PM me if you ever need advice or questions about Greek Life in general at UCF. I can't help you with the ADPi stuff but I can definitely let you know about the campus and Greek Park.
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  #4  
Old 08-29-2005, 04:12 PM
Kasis-anon Kasis-anon is offline
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Keep a diary, even if it is just a brief entry every day in a datebook, it's something you can always look back on.
Take pictures and keep a scrap book (the real life kind-not just on-line), it doesn't have to be the most elaborate thing in the world just something you can page through ten years from now and remember when...
If you meet someone you think is just the perfect catch at a mixer or social, schedule a meeting during daylight hours-opinions change in the harsh light of day.
Pick two or thee other new members and make scheduled dates at the library or other study location. Keep the dates.
Go to the first meeting of 2 or 3 other campus organizations this semester. Choose at least one to stick with.
Make time for friends outside your chapter. Go to functions with floor-mates and other class mates.
Ask the seniors in your chapter what they wish they had known coming into your school. Also ask what they're happiest about accomplishing.
You may not be comfortable with every person in your chapter. That's okay, just don't gossip about them with anyone, not even other members. It's negative bonding and can destroy an organiztion. Just Live and let live.
Call your parents, let them know how you're doing.
Enjoy it, go to football games, homecoming, etc...
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  #5  
Old 08-29-2005, 04:12 PM
ThetaDancer ThetaDancer is offline
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Just remember that everyone has been in the position of not really knowing what's going on because they were new...and feel free to ask questions! I remember having so many questions about greek life in general, and I always loved how willing everyone was to answer them.
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  #6  
Old 08-29-2005, 06:21 PM
AOIIBrandi AOIIBrandi is offline
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Fall Semester is traditionally the busiest for Greek Life. You will be overwhelmed, but remember that your New Member period is also busier because you have more things to attend than the initiated sisters (New Member Meetings, New Member Mixers...)

Attend as many functions as you can. This allows you the chance to get to know the other sisters and lets them see that you are committed to the organization.

Sororities have rules and standards (read by-laws) - some concerning behavior, smoking, drinking... You may not like some or all of them, but don't immediately put them down or try to change them. Once you've lived with them for a little while you may find you respect them or at least understand why they are there.
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  #7  
Old 08-29-2005, 07:32 PM
KSUViolet06 KSUViolet06 is offline
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*Know your chapter and national alcohol policies.

*Get to know your advisors. T They are knowledgeable about your orgs national structure and policies, and are there to help you with any concerns you might have.

RESPECT ALL YOUR SISTERS! This includes fellow NM's, officers, alumnae, and advisors. That's just being a good person.

*WEAR you LETTERS and BE PROUD to BE XYZ. You are the best source of PR for your sorority.

*Stay involved in other outside activities. Believe it or not, there will be times where the last thing you want to see (after a week and half straight of recruitment workshops) is more XYZ events. So it's good to have another focus for your energy.

*I encourage anyone in a national organization to attend regional/state/district conventions or conferences for your organization. Even if you only do it once. It's a WONDERFUL feeling to meet with so many other women who share the same bonds that you do. . It's amazing and I urge you to go if you have the opportunity.


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Last edited by KSUViolet06; 07-14-2010 at 01:33 AM.
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  #8  
Old 08-29-2005, 08:02 PM
Hootie2 Hootie2 is offline
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Stay in the mix when you graduate from college. Remember, being in a sorority is for life, not for four years.
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  #9  
Old 08-29-2005, 11:21 PM
PhoenixAzul PhoenixAzul is offline
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+ your pledge mistresses/ NME's are NOT UNREASONABLE PEOPLE. Talk to them. If you are having a rough time transitioning into sorority life or with balancing college+sorority, TALK TO THEM, they will work something out to make your NM period enjoyable and successful, but you must speak out.
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  #10  
Old 08-29-2005, 11:36 PM
Glitter650 Glitter650 is offline
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Remember, you are now a part of a certain organization doesn't mean that those other orgs that you visited throughout the week have the plague, talk to those girls who were in your rush group that went to a different org.
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  #11  
Old 08-29-2005, 11:41 PM
AGDee AGDee is offline
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Listen carefully to your organization's definition of hazing and if you ever feel at all uncomfortable with something that is going on, talk to an alumna advisor about it. You can also talk with the other new members about it and perhaps go to an advisor as a group, if that makes you feel more at ease. But, please talk to someone who is not directly involved but who has authority.

Dee
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  #12  
Old 08-29-2005, 11:44 PM
honeychile honeychile is offline
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Echoing a few of the outstanding points (with commentary) prior to posting my own:

-Choose your battles carefully. It's part of the maturation process. You will survive if you have to wear a baseball cap (along with everyone else) at Homecoming.

-Get involved with at least one other (non-Greek) activity. You may even meet some people who are in other GLOs.

-Keep a scrapbook or diary of your new member period. It's one of your most exciting times in the chapter. And, some GLOs have contests for scrapbooks! (says the Best Scrapbook winner!) As another poster said, don't keep the online diary, do the real thing. If that means posting in your online diary, and copying & pasting each entry for a document, so be it.

-Respect, respect, respect!! You got the bid, you've pledged your heart - now is the time to live it. The best way is to show your new sisters the respect with which you'd like to be treated!

My own:

-If your Greek System has Greek 101 or a similar intro to the system, try not to miss ANY classes! If it wasn't important, it wouldn't be mandatory!

-Take the time to dream out loud with some sisters. What are your goals? Career? Is marriage an option? Children? Shoot for the stars!

-Remember that each rule is in place for a reason! It may take you years to realize this, but it's a valuable lesson.

-Treat your alumnae well. They are in a position to write resumes, nominate you for (Inter)National Awards, and just help you through a bad patch in life.

-Don't gossip, at least maliciously. It's one thing to say that Suzy Senior's boyfriend was seen at a jeweler's, it's another to say that you saw him at the Free Clinic.

-Learn what should be said in public, what should be said in private, and what shouldn't be said at all.

Lastly,

-Have Fun!!!
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  #13  
Old 08-30-2005, 09:40 AM
KSUViolet06 KSUViolet06 is offline
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*If you ever have the opportunity to get involved with Panhellenic Council (whether it be as an Exec. Board member, recruitment counselor, or Judicial Board member) - PLEASE DO SO! It's a great opportunuty to learn Panhellenic policies. I served on J-board once and it was very enlightening. I gained so much information about recruitment rules and other policies. Not to mention I got to interact with girls from other sororities.

*Let your place of employment know IN ADVANCE if you need time off from work for any event.

*Know the standards that your chapter holds you to (participation, financial, etc). Does your chapter have a merit points system for participation? Do you get fined? These are important for you to keep in mind.

*Don't get discouraged if things are confusing in the beginning. It gets better as you start to understand how the chapter works.

*Unless you have a class, or are otherwise excused, be on time. Plan accordingly to do so.

*Don't sweat it if you have some friends who decide not to hang out with you because you joined a sorority. It happens sometimes. Your true friends will be excited for you or at least respect your decision and understand that you are still the same person.

*On that same note, if you have good friends who are not Greeks, DON'T forget about them. Make dates to hang out REGULARLY. Sometimes the only people you'll want to see are those friends who have no clue what total, quota, no frills, and infractions are. I've been involved with my service group since freshman year, and those girls are some of my best friends. I can tell you they didn't stop being my friends when I joined Sigma. We honestly have gotten closer because I know I can call them anytime I'm feeling stressed.
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"Remember that apathy has no place in our Sorority." - Kelly Jo Karnes, Pi

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  #14  
Old 08-30-2005, 11:12 AM
CarolinaCutie CarolinaCutie is offline
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LOL some of these things need to be told to long-initiated sisters as well...
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  #15  
Old 08-30-2005, 01:25 PM
OtterXO OtterXO is offline
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I cosign on all of the above things, but in my experience there are two issues that I've noticed with new members:

1) Respect. Please respect yourself and your chapter. It may seem fun and cute to make out with a guy from XY fraternity and spend the night at the guy's house following the ______(insert theme name here) Party, but all it does is make you look like a big ho. If you don't want your house to be known as the slutty girls/alcoholics, do not make a habit of hooking up with guys while you're wasted at parties. I knew a girl who was "that girl" and her membership in her chapter ended when she decided to write a fraternity's name across her breasts and let the guys take a picture for a rush poster. It can be a slippery slope ladies…

2) Drama. There are going to people you don't like in your chapter. I absolutely guarantee it. However, gossiping and forming "alliances" makes things worse. You do not want to be in a chapter that is divided. It's not fun and you will NOT be successful on campus if you are a chapter that is imploding. This is often the beginning of the end for chapters that close. If you see factions/cliques developing into a situation please talk to your advisors/officers/national HQ and address the issue before it gets out of control.
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