Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dispelling Recruitment Myths: Chapter Selection

Some Chapters are better than others. FALSE

I won't be happy unless I am offered a bid by a particular chapter. FALSE

Fall Formal Recruitment can often be a hectic and uncertain week for potential new members and current chapter members alike. The pressure will only increase if you go into the process with preconceived notions about chapters. Until you meet the women of every chapter on campus, there is no way to know which chapter will fit you best.

Each and every chapter here at KU is unique in its own way. And every chapter changes with each incoming pledge class. Keep an open mind and make your own decisions. Being a sorority woman does not end with your four years at KU. You will be a sorority woman for life. You will come to cherish the time spent in your chapter and the women that surround you will be come your closest friends. This decision will affect you and you only. Don't allow anyone else to sway your decisions, you will be the only one who can decide where you belong.

It is my strongest belief that things always work out for the best. Try to keep this in mind during recruitment and especially on bid day. Sometimes, you might receive a bid from a chapter that was not your top choice. It is important to keep in mind that every chapter has a unique set of wonderful women. These women are scholars, leaders, philanthropists and most importantly, sisters. The women represented on your bid card want you. They see in you qualities that are important to them and they would love to welcome you into their sisterhood with open arms. They might not have been your first choice, but on graduation day you will look back and be unable to imagine your college experience any other way.

If you take any advice from these blogs to heart, let it be this. Go into recruitment with an Open Mind and always always always Be Yourself. Things have a funny way of working out in the end. You will end up in the chapter you were meant to be in.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Dispelling Recruitment Myths: Legacies

I am a Legacy for a certain chapter, so I will automatically get a bid.

My Mom/Grandma/Sister had a wonderful experience in "Alpha Alpha Alpha" so that's the only the chapter I will consider.

Both of the above statements are common recruitment myths. But before we start this blog we should define "What is a legacy?" A legacy is a potential new member whose mother, grandmother or sister is affiliated with a Panhellenic chapter.

In answer to the first recruitment myth, each potential new member is considered on an individual basis. Women who are legacies are not obligated to join a particular sorority and that particular sorority is not obligated to pledge her. The potential new member and the sorority are looking for a mutual compatibility, not family connections.

In reference to the second myth, we encourage all of the women participating in Fall Formal Recruitment to keep an open mind about each sorority. It is always wonderful to hear about the lasting friendships and bonds that tie a woman to her sorority. However, each campus is unique and each chapter changes and evolves every year with each new pledge class. It is important to follow your heart and choose the chapter and group of women you feel the most comfortable with. Keep in mind that which chapter to join is your own decision, no one else can make it for you.

Monday, July 11, 2011

One Mom's Thoughts on the Parental Role in Sorority Recruitment

Fall Formal Recruitment can be an emotional process for many women. It is often their first experience being away from home and the task of choosing a home for the next four years can be daunting. Parents often want to be parents during this time and help their daughters through the process. But as many parents of teenagers know, it can be hard to determine what is helpful and what is not. How can you best help your daughter during the week of Fall Formal Recruitment? 

Below is an excerpt from www.sororityparents.com. Blogger Mary Beth Rice offers some of her tips and advice. To read her full blog post click here.

"A couple of weeks ago I was asked to speak at our local University to the parents of potential new members going through Recruitment. It was move in day; the auditorium full of tired and emotional parents. I was asked to share some advice on what role they could play in their daughters’ upcoming sorority recruitment and start to college. This was a bit daunting to me and humility set in as I hoped I had at best a few encouraging words to share.

Fortunately, I did come up with a few suggestions parents could reflect upon in supporting their daughter through recruitment and beyond, yet allowing them to spread their own wings. I will share them with you too. Take them or leave them but do enjoy this new phase in life for the both of you.

1. Lose expectations or feelings from your own Greek life experience. Whether you have a Greek affiliation or not, you do have some opinion about Greek life if you went to college on a campus with a Greek system. Some of these opinions or biases may be based on a college experience quite a few years back. Try and encourage your daughter to form her own opinions AND only after she begins the process,  not taking to heart any bias from boyfriends, siblings, hometown friends, distant relatives, etc.

2. At each of the recruitment events, encourage her to look around those rooms and really get to know the other potential new members at each of the events. Those are the young women she will be living with and experiencing campus life with and each day of recruitment will help her know where she is most comfortable.

3. For daughters who may be shy or reserved, the recruitment process might be overwhelming. Encourage her to be open minded, taking a risk as she embarks on college. It is a great time to branch out and perhaps lose some of the high school labels we all put upon ourselves. One can really be and should be authentic and sincere throughout the whole process. Even if your daughter decides recruitment might not be a fit for her at this time, remind her that this experience will afford her a great opportunity to get to know other women on her residence hall floor and beyond. New friendships may come from it.

4. She will be exhausted and emotional. Allow her this indulgence and help her maintain her sense of humor. Remind her other potential new members are experiencing the same things.

5. Be a good listener. You don’t have to fix anything. If she can share the ups and downs of her experience she can sort through her feelings about all of it and often doesn’t need or want advice.

6. As she begins college try and become connected to your daughter through technology. NOTHING replaces voice to voice communication, eye contact or hugs…but this generation communicates on Facebook and in text messaging and there is no going back. Learn to text and possibly get a Facebook page (especially if your daughter is encouraging it) just to be connected….not to hover but just to be available. The technology allows a kind of subtle way to be present.

7. Encourage and frequently discuss safe choices especially regarding alcohol and driving under the influence or with others who have been drinking. The more we encourage them to be safe and smart, the more likely the messages will stick when presented with more risky choices. If you are informed about binge drinking and alcohol poisoning then you can help inform her. Awareness is the first essential step.

And finally,
8. Love her up and remind her of the gifts you see in her! As a parent I was not prepared for how difficult the transition was for my own daughter on many levels. One loses a bit of confidence beginning all over again out of high school-especially if the new campus is large. That is why it is EXCELLENT that our daughters want to join a sorority to engage in that support system and in those relationships as they begin college life.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Supporting our Military Sisters

Last month the Chairman of the National Panhellenic Conference wrote a special message to honor and recognize women in the military. You can read her message here.

Sorority women come from all walks of life and can be found in all types of careers. They can be found serving their country in all branches of the military and in high ranking positions. Notable sorority women in the military include:

Margaret A. Brewer, Brigadier General, Marine Corps
Marianne Blackburn Drew, Rear Admiral, Navy
Terri Walter Gabreski, Brigadier General, Air Force
Claudia Kennedy, General, Army

The National Panhellenic Conference also shared the story of a sorority woman, who at the age of 58, decided to join the military. You can find the podcast interview with Kappa Kappa Gamma Carol Haertlein Sells here.

In this podcast you will learn that Carol decided to join the U.S. Army after taking a visit to an Army rehabilitation center in Texas four years ago. She is part of a new doctoral program at Brooke Army Medical Center. She took a leap of faith from teaching occupational therapy in Wisconsin to instructing occupational therapists for the military – and she had to go through basic training along the way.

This Fourth of July we wanted to recognize our military sisters and send them our support. We recognize that freedom isn't free and our hearts go out to all the enlisted men and women as well as veterans that have served our nation and protected our families.