As an alum I get asked to write recs A LOT!!!! So far this year I have written close to 100 and am not even close to being done. I understand that securing recs for all of the sororities on campus can be difficult. More and more girls are going through recruitment. We have a lot of “newbies” that want to be involved in Greek Life but have no contacts or family members to help. I actually should go back because they DO have contacts they just don’t know how or where to look for them :/.
The invention of social media has made finding recs interesting. For instance, this year, Facebook pages have started popping up for PNM’s who are going through recruitment at various “competitive ” schools across the USA. The page itself is fine but it has morphed into a “hey….I need a rec for (now PNM types long list of sororities), does anyone have emails they can share?” Immediately there is a flurry of activity and girls start responding. Answers like, “Hey girl I have one for (again list of sororities) pm me and I will give you the emails.”, is acceptable….at least a little (more about that later).
However, some girls feel the need to answer by listing alums names and emails on Facebook. NOT OKAY!!!!!! This happened to me last night. Thank goodness another alum was looking at the particular page, caught the action, called me and I in turn called the girl who did this as requested in a stern tone to get it off NOW! She of course did, but the damage had been done. I received 9 emails from girls who were asking for a rec!
Now don’t get me wrong…I LIKE to write recs for girls. I understand that finding them can be difficult. My problem arises when I have girls ask for recs who really haven’t tried. I am wondering…did they really ask every teacher, school counselor, friend, friend’s mom, the friends of friend’s mom, all the ladies at church, the woman in front of them in line at the grocery store, the people they babysit for, all the co workers of mom and dad? Then there’s grandma and auntie and their friends..you get the idea???? When all else fails and you have exhausted EVERY other option THEN you reach out to a perfect stranger and ask them to write you a rec. Also just because this perfect stranger is willing to write YOU a rec doesn’t mean she now wants to write 30 of them for the girls who you have shared her email with on Facebook!!!!
So I bet you are asking…is she going to write recs for all of those girls? I might. I have emailed two of them and have spelled out the conditions I use when writing a “blind” rec ( a rec for a girl I personally don’t know). First of all I ask them to email me their resume. I look at that and decide, “is this a girl I feel comfortable sponsoring for my sorority”? GPA is a big deal as well as activities, philanthropy and of course consistency. I share with the PNM that I will then contact her and we will need to “chat” so I can get to know her. She then needs to send me her rec packet (resume, 2 pics, transcript and stamped and addressed envelope).
I have to just say that sending this by email is NOT OKAY! Well there is an exception. As with everything else in the world we are constantly looking at ways to be more efficient and of course dealing with thousands of sorority recs is no different. I came to my attention that AOPI has gone to emailing recs in on line. I have also heard that perhaps Tri-delt is doing this. The old school sorority recruitment chair in me screams “noooooooo!!!!” but I understand the efficiency of it all. SO……here’s my suggestion BEFORE you ask an alum to do the rec process by email call both the university where you are going to go through recruitment AND the national organization of the sorority in question to MAKE SURE you can email a rec!
Sorry…little digression :). Back to the rant. It is a rant isn’t it? I am so sorry, but what happened last night really upset me. On top of this a PNM had reached out the day before (a girl who I had helped had given her my email) and wanted me to write her a rec. She emailed me her resume and I immediately called her, got voice mail and left a message. She emailed me back and we arranged to “speak” the next day. I cleared my schedule to be available to chat with her (oh by the way…was trying to pack and get ready t leave town..son is graduating from college on Friday in Chicago). She never called…no text saying she was going to have to reschedule or had found another rec…NOTHING!! Rude…that’s it just plain rude.
This type of behavior sends a message to an alum …..how important is this rec to this young lady? Does she think I sit here all day just waiting to write them? Does she understand the time consuming process involved??? It send a message that says…”I don’t really care”. And ladies..that IS NOT a good message to send. Oh but …she did have time to get on the Facebook page last night and gloat about all the emails she had and how she would just LOVE to share them with everyone!!!! NOT OKAY ladies!!!
So here’s the FINAL word.
IF you need a rec and have tried EVERY single person possible, certainly reach out to an alum, alumnae chapter, national organization and if ALL ELSE FAILS, then and only then reach out to the sorority chapter on the campus you are going through recruitment at. YES…I know they list “if you need help contact us at” but as a member of the national organization of MY sorority..ummm we really would prefer you NOT do that..it’s a LAST RESORT!
WHEN you contact an alum remember you are asking this woman to spend HER time doing YOU a favor. BE POLITE and accommodating. IF you make an appointment…KEEP IT or have the manners to call/email and cancel or reschedule.
DO NOT share contact information of an alum unless you email or call her first to inquire if it is OK!!!!!
So..I feel better :)…
Its manners and common courtesy. This about what you do. Remember there is a place on every single rec that says “I am willing to endorse this young woman for membership in sorority XYZ”..just because an alum says she will write (or in some cases fill out) a rec does not mean that she has to endorse you. It’s food for thought!