[Our newest team member, Shira, shares a blog comparing The Bachelor to sorority recruitment. Shira hasn't even started working for us, and she's already proving (as her bio states) that she will likely be our resident expert on pop culture and celebrity gossip. Love it!]
by Shira Tober
Do you watch The Bachelor (or The Bachelorette – new season starts tonight!)? It is both entertaining and positively absurd. So is sorority recruitment sometimes Here are five similarities I’ve observed between The Bachelor and Sorority Recruitment:
1. First Impression Rose: The Bachelor is asked to single out the woman that makes the best first impression during the initial conversations, giving out the First Impression Rose. Many contestants come on really strong with a cheesy joke, a not-so-sentimental gift, or even try getting the first kiss. But when all is said and done, the woman who gets the rose is the one that makes the Bachelor feel most at ease. The same can be said for when a potential member walks into a recruitment room for Round 1. She is looking for a place that she feels most comfortable and welcome. Unfortunately, many groups think first impressions are about decorations and outfits, sorority women’s equivalent to coming on too strong, and similar to Bachelor contestants, they fall short of getting the rose and go home on the first night. Be authentic.
2. Fantasy Dates: The Fantasy Dates on The Bachelor are incredibly indulgent, including getting a private concert from a famous recording artist, having an amusement park all to themselves, and even sitting on the Icelandic volcano mere days before it erupted. Even though the dates are spectacular, they set the contestants up for unrealistic relationship expectations once they’re in the real world. Why do we as sorority women set up these same falsities? Do we really perform skits and sing songs while wearing perfectly matching outfits on a daily basis? Why don’t we present ourselves as we are in real life? We are smart, down to earth women who like to hang out with our best girl friends talking about classes, families, and the latest Gossip Girl episode. We need to be true to ourselves when we give a potential member a glance into our sisterhood so we can both see if she’ll be a comfortable fit in our daily lives. Be real.
3. Group Dates: The Group Date is the worst type of all the Bachelor dates; contestants are sometimes competing with 7 or 8 other women to get one person’s attention. Very similar to the first impression rose, the women are trying so hard to make a lasting impression that many come across as desperate. Instead, the woman who gets the coveted rose is the one that has the best conversation with the Bachelor and gets to know him on a sincere level. The chapters that are going to stand out in recruitment are the ones having meaningful conversations about why sorority membership has changed them for the better, the leadership opportunities they have been afforded, and the best friends they’ve made. The women who speak from their hearts and move away from the superficial conversation will surely get the group rose, or at least the invitation to the next round. Have meaningful conversations.
4. Last Chance Dates: It’s down to the final two women and the Bachelor usually says he’s in love with both women and has no idea how he is going to choose. During the Last Chance Date the women put it all on the line to make that last ditch effort to sway his choice. They spend their remaining few hours together talking about what the experience has meant to them and what their relationship would be like in the real world. Preference round is the last chance in formal recruitment when you relate your personal experience to the one the potential member can have. It’s the last opportunity to say (in not so many words), “I see you fitting in here,” and it’s the potential member’s last opportunity to see where they fit best. The last chance date isn’t about proving you love the person, clearly, the Bachelor loves both; it’s about making sure both the chapter and the potential member will have a lasting connection throughout the rest of college and their adult lives.
5. Second Chances: Many of the most beloved Bachelor contestants haven’t received the final rose on their original seasons. In fact, the Bachelorette is a woman who gets a Second Chance because she didn’t find love with the Bachelor or she wasn’t comfortable with “the process” and left early. So many great potential members are intimidated by the formal recruitment process, but that does not mean they lack the potential to be great sorority women. Women who leave the process, or never even begin, should still have an opportunity to find their home in a sorority. The Bachelor franchise does a fantastic job of keeping in touch with former bachelors and bachelorettes who have yet to find love on the show; they even have reunions and television spin-offs. Chapters need to do a better job of keeping in touch with women who have dropped out of formal recruitment and must work harder at finding the women who did not even sign up. If we kept in touch throughout the year and cultivated friendships with these women, they would be more likely to want to trust the process and seek out a rose.
[RING OF PHIRE: The Ring of Phire is a team of undergraduate fraternity and sorority members dedicated to delivering the messages of Phired Up Productions to their peers around the country.]
by Kate Peer (Undergraduate Ring of Phire Member)
Here in Canada, we are currently undergoing a federal election. I spent my last weekend on the other side of the country volunteering for one of the candidates with a fellow Greek who also serves as a campaign volunteer.
While visiting and working on the campaign, I began to see some similarities to fraternity/sorority recruitment: going to big events, wearing similar colors/letters, hand shaking, dressing up, charity work, handing out fliers, gathering names lists, etc. All these things are done just to get a vote; it seems so tedious at the time but when it all comes together, it is almost magical (just like sorority recruitment!).
Some of the best elected representatives, though, are the ones who build a solid connection with their citizens. This is the same way student leaders should strive to build a solid connection with everyone in their community, Greek or not!
I even saw the effects of Dynamic Recruitment in politics by observing the true connections which are made and seeing how they are not just about face value. While I was speaking to my friend about campaigning and asking him questions about what type of events his candidate did, he mentioned that, “’restaurant talking’ is probably the most effective form of campaigning.” He explained that this method is one in which people can have real conversations with their respective candidate – issues are discussed when parties are seated, allowing you to have their full attention.
At the time, I thought he was talking about campaigning, not recruitment. But looking back at the conversation, I was able to realize how similar the two really are.
This concept is just food for thought (no pun intended). But maybe it is time you start thinking of places where you can discuss your fraternity or sororities ideals, a place where people will be sitting and listening, and a place where you can have their full attention rather than handing out thousands of flyers only to see them end up in the trash 30 seconds later. It also goes to show that the tools you learn as a sorority woman or a fraternity man are ones which will last you for a life time. Your brothers and sisters, maybe even you, have the potential to be great creators of change and lasting impact in the world, master the small skills now and you will be successful in all your endeavors.
Basically every top movie list will rank Citizen Kane in their top movies ever made, with many granting this 1941 classic the title of GREATEST OF ALL TIME. As a self-proclaimed movie buff, I took it upon myself to Netflix this bad boy and see what it had in store for me.
After two hours, I can proudly say that I enjoyed and understood Citizen Kane. The film had great story development, characterization, and a satisfying ending. It also has quite the legacy and reputation in Hollywood and has continued to hold up quite well to this day as the gold standard in filmmaking. In short, it continues to live up to its reputation.
How many of you are on a campus where you have a clearly defined “top fraternity” or “top sorority”? For some of you, there may be several top tier organizations in your IFC or Panhellenic with reputations for being the best. For others, you might have a group that has always been, currently is, and for the foreseeable future will remain the GREATEST OF ALL TIME.
Is that enough to intimidate you? Who decides which groups get to be the best anyway? Their members do. You can’t blame it on their reputation. If they’re widely considered the best, then they’re probably doing something right. Rather than back yourself into a corner and let them continue on being the GREATEST OF ALL TIME on your campus, take a second and learn from them.
How are they recruiting their members?
What activities are they doing to set themselves apart?
Who are the key individuals and groups that the greatest organizations have developed relationships with?
By finding out the answers to these questions, you leverage your group to become even better by instituting new “best practices.” And don’t stop asking questions there.
Think about other groups on campus that are known for being the best. Even think about going off campus… what organizations/businesses/individuals can you and your group learn from? There are literally thousands of books and articles on motivation and innovation. Take the opportunity to learn from what you consider to be THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME and apply it to yourself and your chapter.
If all filmmakers were too intimidated to make movies that may not match the brilliance of Citizen Kane, we may never have gotten The Godfather, Star Wars, Schindler’s List, or The Lord of The Rings trilogy. All of these movies offer something different to the viewer and are typically considered among the best films of all time, but I’m sure that the creative team behind each film borrowed something somewhere from a director or picture that they admired.
You have the power to be a part of the next GREATEST ORGANIZATION OF ALL TIME. Don’t let yourself be intimidated by the history of other groups, the bells and whistles that they might put on, or the reputation that they have. John Wooden, a legendary basketball coach and Beta Theta Pi member once said, “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”
Other groups may be defined by their reputation, but remember that their reputation was built because of their character and actions. You have the power to learn from others, make change happen, and redefine the character of your fraternity or sorority. Start now.
by Josh Orendi
Surrender. The first image in your mind might be a white flag, perhaps a bandit with two hands in the hair, or maybe you’re thinking of defeat. That is one definition. However, try to allow yourself a few moments today to think deeper and explore the complexity of that word more thoroughly. You may gain some insight and an “ah-ha” moment.
To surrender means more than giving up. The alternative definition is literally to “yield to the possession or power of another … to give oneself entirely to some influence, course, emotion.”
The mental image is not laying on our back or cowering. Rather, it is proudly standing and volunteering our whole selves to a meaningful cause, a more promising future, a worthwhile team….
We “give up” when we get married. Together we are more than we can be as individuals.
We “give up” ourselves when we got initiated into a fraternity/sorority. Together our brotherhood/sisterhood is stronger than when we go it alone.
We “give up” our stubborn ways when a great teacher enters our lives.
We “give up” our bad habits, our lesser selves, when we fully commit to being the best version of ourselves.
I have a child in my mind. Standing on the very edge of a diving board, staring down at the water, with bright orange arm floaties on. I picture the moment when the look of fear turns turns into a proud, excited grin and he carelessly throws himself into the water. Full surrender from the safety and known world of the shoreline. A plunge into something new. No turning back.
Nearly every person, team, leader, chapter, and organization we work with carries baggage of the past (both good and bad). The Dynamic Recruitment system and Social Excellence lifestyle work. Most people and groups acknowledge that. The challenge for most is fully surrendering to a new system, model, process, philosophy, and lifestyle.
When groups treat performance improvement like a fad diet, the yo-yo results are the same. They’re even predictable. Year round, values based, Dynamic Recruitment isn’t a collection of good ideas any more than a fit lifestyle is just a collection of dumbbell exercises. Full success requires full immersion. Are you ready to surrender?