So sorry for the immense time between posts. Truth is I have just been swamped. Lots of resumes to look at, big old snow storms, visitors from afar make for a very busy Sorority Girl 101. Good news!! Things seem to be slowing down a bit and I am lucky enough to have the WHOLE day at home, with no pressing matters, so thought I would sit down and write a bit.
I’ve had a lot of girls (and moms) ask recently how to “market” themselves (their daughters). I’ve posted before about this but an inspiration came to me as I was revisiting one of my favorite, motivational sorority videos. It was done by The National Panhellenic Conference over a year ago and it’s called “Our Potential. Your move.”. Here’s a link to it in case you haven’t seen it before. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Un6c-MY4FEY. I’s amazing..right?? I think it speaks to the process of recruitment. As PNMs you are looking to understand what the different sororities have to offer in addition to helping the sororities understand what you bring to the table as well. I thought that today I would break this 3 minute video apart and talk a bit on how you, as a PNM can use it to your advantage.
The title “Our Potential. Your Move.” is the starting point. To understand why NPC chose this title I think we need to look at the definition of the word “potential”.
Both the adjective and the noun imply that “potential can lead to positive future experiences. Isn’t that exactly what recruitment is all about? The process not only benefits the sorority, which is looking for PNMs to lead them into the future positively but it also benefits the PNM who will hopefully find a sisterhood that will impact their future in a positive manner. If we look at the synonyms that align with potential we see words like, possible, eventual, contingent, possibility. Recruitment makes a PNM’s future dreams possible. It is contingent on both the PNM and the sorority being open to the possibilities that lie ahead.
So let’s break this down even farther. The video starts off with the words, “I dare you to give me 3 minutes. To hear me out. To keep up with me. Because this is important. People have been saying things. I am an easy target. There are (close to 5 million) of me. So you either know me or you’ve heard the stories, rumors, the hype, but I am here to tell you something you may not know…the truth.
NPC is smart to immediately address the fears and concerns that PNMs (and their parents) have about joining a sorority. In the last week alone I have had 10 emails asking about hazing, drinking and other behaviors that run in the rumor mill of “sorority membership”. I can truthfully answer that to the best of my knowledge hazing doesn’t exist on the campuses where I have helped girls go through recruitment. It’s just my opinion but media loves drama and hype. They will, 100% of the time, run a negative story about issues with sorority and fraternity life before they run a positive story about the good one of these organizations does.
The video then goes on to tell PNM that sorority women are everywhere. They are students sisters, friends, women. They found everywhere, in magazines, on podiums, the stage, the screen, in uniforms, family albums, history books and in the mirror. I would go so far as to tell you that with in a one mile radius of most PNMs houses there are sorority women that the PNM didn’t even know existed. We don’t go around wearing our badges and advertising that we belong to these wonderful organizations. However, we do get involved in out communities, or local governments, we teach and motivate, we empower and lead. You see our names everywhere. Many powerful and amazing women belong to various and assorted sisterhoods. The video does a great job of listing women in the news today, role models of sorts, that have sorority affiliations.
But let’s get to the heart of the matter (and the video). As PNMs prepare and then go through the process of recruitment they will have questions. Questions like: “What if I don’t get a bid? How will I know what house is right for me? Does the process really work?” Of course you have questions! Unless you have grown up in a sorority driven home (and some have), where grandmothers, mothers, aunts, cousin, sisters, all have been sorority members; this process of recruitment can be confusing, scary and daunting. Even more so if you are going through at a very competitive recruitment school.
A PNM will have doubts about the process and its positive ending. She will have hopes for that bid, a sisterhood of women waiting to welcome her on Bid Day. She will have fears that all of the work she put in, the trust and putting herself out there will end in heartbreak and disappointment. However a PNM also has the potential to change her life, her mind, her peers her future and her world by trusting the process, going through the process with an open mind and heart.
Now comes the important part. As much as YOU, the PNM want to know more about sorority recruitment, the process and how it can be a positive experience for you, the sororities are also looking at you and wondering how your potential will benefit them. They want to know how YOU would inspire their sisterhood? As a new member how can YOU help them to grow and flourish on their campus? Will you be a catalyst of positive energy?
The sororities want to know how YOU would challenge your sisters to become better women? Can YOU challenge them to grow personally, academically and as a whole?
Sororities want to know if your sisters are able to become better women because of YOUR membership and presence? Will your capabilities bring in other young women who will continue the catalyst of positive growth?
Sororities want to know if YOU will protect your sisters? Will you stand up for them, uphold the values and virtues of your sisterhood?
Sororities want to know if YOU will “move” your sisters. Will YOU, as a person, a sister, a student, a friend and a women empower others to the possibility of a future of successes and usefulness?
These questions, these character traits are what a sorority is looking for during recruitment. YOU, as a PNM, have a very short time to convey that YOU have the ability, the desire, the willingness and the “potential” to make a difference, to motivate, to challenge, to protect and inspire. It’s something to think about between now and that first recruitment party. Look at the different topics above and think about what you’ve been involved in for the past 4 years of high school. How can you take those experiences and opportunities and use them to market YOU as a Potential (there’s that word again and make no mistake it’s here for a reason) New Member?
In many cases and on many campuses there will be hundreds of girls that have been a cheerleader, an athlete, a member of student government. What makes YOU special? What are YOU passionate about and how will that passion benefit your new sisterhood?
It’s the sorority’s POTENTIAL. It’s YOUR MOVE.