When we visit college campuses and interact with sorority women, we often ask, “How was recruitment??” We want to know how things have gone, and perhaps more importantly, how they plan to continue to recruit. Almost every time I’ve asked that question in 2015, I’ve been greeted with the same response:
“THANK GOODNESS RECRUITMENT IS OVER!! I’M SO GLAD TO BE DONE!!”
This exasperation is often followed by an explanation of gratitude that recruitment went well, irritation with fellow sisters without great attitudes, and the overwhelming feeling of accomplishment—it’s complete, it’s over, and my work here is done.
This is a perfectly natural response, of course. Planning recruitment is hard work! Corralling all of your sisters into their bump groups, forcing them to practice their conversations and rotations, keeping the beat as you try to help your sisters stay in time during song and skit practice, facilitating the membership selection conversations, coordinating decorations and outfits…it’s more work than most understand. And being thrilled at the thought of being “done” is exactly the right emotion to have. Take a deep breath girl, give yourself a self-five, and take a nap. You nailed it!
But are we ever really “done”?
Done growing your chapter? Done working to help new, great women connect with your sisters? Done helping your women have great conversations about our values? Done sharing with others why our sorority experience has made our lives better? Done working together to show the cam-pus the best version of your chapter and its members? Done recruiting?
Your campus’ formal growth process may be over at this point, but I don’t think we’re “done.” Not yet. Not ever.
Let’s do some quick math….
How many people go to your school?
Subtract the number of men you go to school with (they can’t join you!)
Subtract the number of women who are already affiliated with a sorority or fraternity (they’ve already joined!)
That is the number of women on your campus that you have the potential to recruit. The number of women you have the opportunity to connect with, to share sorority with. The number of women who could join your chapter. The number of women you could grow by.
Not all of them will want to join you, and you won’t want them all to join you. And that’s okay. But you can’t recruit who you don’t know. You can’t find out if you’d like them to be your sister until you’ve met them. They can’t decide if they should be your friend (and eventually your sister) until they meet you. Until you connect with those unaffiliated women currently on your campus, reach out and make friends with them, they’ll never be able to join you. You can’t recruit who you don’t know.
Formal recruitment might be over, but our work is not done. What if we used the rest of this semester to make friends with women who are not yet affiliated? Women who have never thought about sorority before? Women who we take class with, play sports with, eat meals with, work out with, and walk past on campus— each one of those women has the potential to join you some-day. If, and only if, they first meet you.
We hope that formal recruitment was wildly successful for ALL of you—seriously, ever chapter in the country! But whether it was or wasn’t, we still have work to do. Help us grow. Help your community, your chapter, yourself. Take on a new recruitment focus for the rest of this semester: meet more non-affiliated women. Take the rest of this semester to recruit the women already on your campus, to meet them, get to know them, and be their friends. Your future sisters are out there waiting for you—all you have to do is meet them.