by KJ McNamara
As recruitment ends for this Fall, we all reflect on the reasons people joined our chapters or didn’t. Why we joined our chapters and why we did not join others.
I have always believed people join people. We join because we meet someone and we feel at home with that person, not in the recruitment room or the chapter house, but with a person.
The number one reason people leave our sororities is because of misaligned expectations. Because who we are in recruitment is not who we are in every day life. New members feel like they get lost, like they don’t fit in, like they don’t matter as we begin to focus on getting through college instead of just recruitment.
When we talk about keeping members after recruitment ends it begins with this, “be yourself in sorority recruitment… it helps no one to try so hard to impress that we change our essence.” And it ends with this: Be a chapter worth staying in.
We are a foundation of strong women who help other women be strong too… just by hanging out with them they see our light and our life and they want to be that. Don’t let your light and your life burn out.
It got me thinking, who would I join this fall? So here is my list of who I would have joined based on the powerful conversations I had this fall while traveling to speak for 48 days.
I would have joined Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority because of Samantha J. Armstrong at Eastern Washington University. She has constantly been my supporter and a person who is unwilling to accept status quo in life, on campus or in her friends. She has never had a mediocre conversation… ever. She is always connecting you with resources, people, information and books. She is excellent. She sees the best in you and makes it her job to help you become the best.
I would have joined Kappa Delta Sorority because of Adrienne Simon former consultant for the organization and a person who took days out of her life and dollars out of her bank to visit chapters the week before her graduate program began. We sat on a porch one afternoon talking about her transformational mission trip she just returned from. She talked about deeply vulnerable things and said the most transformational thing she has learned in the past year is that “it is okay to not be okay.’ And most importantly she told me that our greatest fear as women is that who we are in this moment is not deserving of love, that we need to change who we are to been fully loved. She is vulnerable.
I would have joined Alpha Chi Omega because of Alexa David because she is most dedicated woman I know to her cause. She works 65 hours a week and volunteers for her sorority and advises a fraternity. We had an honest conversation about stress, the feeling of crying alone in your bed when the weight of the world is suffocating you. She told me the most valuable quote I have ever heard. She told me this: behind every strong woman is a squad of loyal strong women. She is strong.
The chapter I would have joined this fall would have been fierce, because I want to be fierce, because when I am alone and terrified I need a fierce woman to pull me up and love me fiercely.
When it comes to retention, it begins with recruitment. Be who you say you are. Work every day tirelessly to be the person your new members think you are. Be more than mediocre. Be more than chill. Be fierce in your love, support and passion for one another.
Who you are is worth joining. Who you are is worth staying in a chapter for. You just have to be the best version of yourself.