Tag Archives: greek affairs

Picking Favorites

Parents aren’t supposed to have favorite kids, right? Parents love all their children equally, even if Susie is pulling straight A’s while Sally is getting busted for smoking weed behind the 7-11. It’s only in the really messed up families that a parent picks an obvious favorite (or least favorite) child.

Perfect moment for this image.

And as a student affairs professional, I try not to have favorite students/residents/buildings/student groups/student leaders. But, just like siblings fight over this sort of thing, my students grumble about this constantly. “Why is she at that building’s event but not ours?” “How come she has a lunch meeting with him?” With the things these students know, I swear PDFM U has it’s very own Gossip Girl following me around and updating the students on my life.

“Spotted: The Author attending ABC’s Philanthropy Event”

Here’s the secret to how I choose which events to attend: I am a good, dedicated, overworked, entry-level student affairs professional. I also have no life. SO. If you invite me to something and I have the time free, I will 98% of the time be there. The students that accuse me of “never coming to anything” NEVER INVITE ME TO ANYTHING. Or…on a slightly more annoying note, the thing the students invite me to is something that as a professional, I CANNOT attend.

Remember back in college, everybody joked about this triangle?

I believe I chose good grades and social life, because I honestly don’t remember ever getting a good night’s sleep.

Well, that triangle still exists except the labels have changed – they are now me, students, and booze. You can still only pick two. If there are students and booze, I cannot be there. If there is me and booze, there sure as hell better not be students there. If there are students but no booze, I can be there. Maybe I should make a flowchart with this and distribute it to my students so they know what sort of events to invite me to…

I feel like I’ve mentioned it before, but in my almost one year here at PDFM U, there are some students who have gone out of their way to get to know me. I really appreciate that. They are the ones who have helped me the most and really let me know what’s going on at this school. Students out there – if you want to get to know a campus administrator better, you have to reach out! It’s a two way street. I know there are some people out there who set some very strict boundaries and won’t talk about anything personal unless it’s a work-related issue, but most of us do open up a bit.

Have you ever had to deal with this before? How do you handle students that accuse you of favoring one group over theirs?

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My First Formal Recruitment

Truth: the first time I experienced formal sorority recruitment was as a working professional. Undergrad U had a small Greek system and did not have formal recruitment. I had certainly heard of it but was positive it only existed in the large, Southern schools until I started grad school. Grad School State DEFINITELY had formal recruitment (it seemed to last forever!) and one of my friends there had an internship in Greek Life so I got to hear all about it.

Now, while some schools have their formal recruitment in the fall (well technically summer since some schools do it before move in), both GSS and PDFM U hold formal recruitment in the spring and don’t allow first year students to go through until spring. I can see both sides to this argument. It’s super easy for freshmen to sign up for recruitment before they know of anything else on campus. However, I had to see a lot of my friends and sisters that went through as a freshmen be placed on academic probation by the organization and sometimes even by the school because they couldn’t handle the heavy workload AND being a new member their very first semester. Forcing students to wait means that they might get involved with other activities on campus, but it also means they will be more prepared to balance everything and less likely to “grow out of” the organization.

For those of you who weren’t or aren’t involved with Greek Life, formal recruitment is a style of sorority recruitment put in place by the National Panhellenic Council – the governing body over 26 national sororities (or women’s fraternities). Recruitment isn’t just as easy as Sally Sorority inviting Nancy NewMember over for cookies at the sorority house. Actually, there’s rules against that. Sally would be accused of Dirty Rushing (ooooooohhh) and have to meet with her campus Panhellenic association and would receive a sanction and her entire organization might receive a sanction.

BACK TO THE POINT. Formal recruitment is a set period of time where sororities hold different recruitment events and women who are interested (Potential New Members – PNMs) register and are given a schedule of “parties” to attend. During the process, the PNMs rank the organizations they like and the organizations rank the PNMs. In theory, it works great because people can tell which organization they feel comfortable with and nobody has their heart set on an organization that hates them unless they are completely delusional, right? Wrong. In reality, PNMs wind up disappointed when they get cut from their “favorite” organizations and NOTHING sucks more than when a PNM is on the bottom list for all the sororities on campus and gets released from recruitment. If you want to know more about how recruitment works or hear different recruitment stories, head over to greekchat.com and be prepared to lose several hours of your day (WARNING: I went to greekchat.com just for the link and wound up getting distracted).

We had a lot of women that expressed interest in going through recruitment back in the fall. I was so excited to have huge classes and started dreaming of raising total and expanding. Unfortunately, not all of those women were interested when it finally came time to sign up for recruitment. We lost some to grades. Some transfered to other schools. Others were just not interested. One lied to my recruitment director and told her she transfered to another college…only for me to see her ALL OVER CAMPUS the following week. Not cool.

At first I was upset that there were so few women going through recruitment. I felt like I had somehow failed. Except. I didn’t. The current sorority women were the ones responsible for recruiting women. And I saw plenty of things that they were doing wrong. This made me feel a little better (does that make me a bad person?) but it wasn’t until my Panhellenic President pointed out that having a small recruitment with myself and so many members of our executive board being new was a good thing that I was truly okay with it.

I definitely learned a lot during formal recruitment. It was interesting to see the process, both because I hadn’t before but it was also my first time seeing recruitment as a professional. Now that I’ve seen it, it’s time to sit down and review how things went and try to think of improvements for next year. I definitely want to use the computer system more and update some of our older materials. I am also really excited to start working with my new Panhellenic executive board!

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Why I THINK I Joined a Sorority

It’s no secret that I was in a sorority during my time at Undergrad U. Unlike some of the people I joined with, I haven’t “outgrown” it. I still try to get back for larger events and while I don’t keep in touch with everybody, I do my best to keep in touch with those I was closest with. One of my friends from Junior League said that she goes on a trip with her entire pledge class every year. Eighteen women. Ten years. That’s kind of awesome.

Throw what you know!

People frequently asked why I joined a sorority. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that it was never my intention to join a sorority. In fact, I spent most of my first year hating the sororities at Undergrad U because one put a bad taste in my mouth. I’ve found that my answer to that question has changed over the past few years, probably because my feelings towards my sorority have changed. I’m not saying there was ever a point where I didn’t like it, not at all! It’s just that being active is very different that being an alum.

A bit of what my first…okay SECOND taste of Greek Life looked like.

I think I first joined because I really didn’t have any female friends. I am still super close with the guys I spent most of undergrad with (we have yearly vacations!) but let me tell you, things get awkward FAST when you’re on a day trip with all guys and realize that you need a tampon. There was only so much that I could talk about with my guy friends, especially once I developed feelings for one of them… #awkwardcollegeproblems.

I mean, at least Donna had Jackie!

As I got closer to my last preference night ritual, I realized that I was going to have to tell all these potential new members about why I joined my sorority. This was towards the end of my senior year and I had been reflecting on the past four years, including my rough transition from high school to college. Something that one of my home friends said to me that first year seemed to apply to my joining a sorority…I was a fish that was always looking for a bigger pond. Once I got comfortable with being at college, I needed to find a new challenge. That challenge was joining a sorority and thrusting myself into a new group of people that I had never met before….because you know, that hadn’t happened enough my freshman year. So at that last ritual, I told all these girls that I joined to take on something new…and let me tell you, my sorority let me try TONS of new things!

Not my actual chapter.

Now that I have been out for a few years, I think I joined because I NEEDED sisters. I’m an only child and very recently had to see my mother and her siblings care for their aging mother. They struggled. There’s only one of me. It terrifies me to know that some day I will have to take care of my parents without any help. Not to mention the mere idea of not having parents…at least if you have siblings you have SOMEBODY. I have tons of close friends, but at the end of the day they have their siblings. Heck, even most of my sisters have actual sisters. I know that my sorority sisters will always have my back, but I still always wanted somebody that was just mine…and then I met my big. My big is also an only child. She has cousins that she is close with, but while many people go to older siblings for advice and to talk about important stuff, my big and I have each other. She’s put up with me hating…just about everything and I’ve helped her navigate surviving life after college ends (side note – that would be an AMAZING book title…just saying) and we bounce ideas back and forth constantly.

I love my big so much! I think she deserves her own post…but she’d probably just shake her head and say “LITTLE!!”

Just like I didn’t (and still don’t) have a set reason for joining a sorority, there are MANY reasons to go Greek. There are still so many negative perceptions out there and I nearly fell for them! I always encourage students to check it out…the worst that is going to happen is you won’t like it. Why did you choose to join your fraternity or sorority?

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The Best (and Worst) of the Desk

Well…this is ironic. I already had a College Prepster-inspired post planned for Monday, but today Carly said she wanted to see people’s desks. Unfortunately, since I want to remain anonymous for the sake of my job and the pictures of my dog and friends’ kids would give my identity away, there will be no pictures.

The Basics

Since my desk is in my office, I didn’t get to pick it out. It’s rather boring, but I’m very happy that it’s not a cubicle. It’s also rather large. Other things that I didn’t get to choose? My phone and my computer. My office phone barely serves a purpose. I was provided with a cell phone and that is the number I give everybody. As for my computer, at home I have an iMac, but sadly PDFM U gave me a Windows computer. It could be worse though. The computer they gave me is a laptop and it has a docking station so at my desk I can use a “regular” keyboard and mouse. I also have a monitor, so if I open my laptop while on the docking station, I basically have two monitors. I have a bad habit of keeping my email ALWAYS open on my laptop screen which is terrible for productivity. However, it has inspired me to keep my inbox relatively clean and organized.

Personal Touches

I mentioned earlier that I have lots of personal photos around. I have an old ribbon board that just did not match anything in my apartment. I brought it to my office and use it to display photos and cards. The sororities on campus always send me the cutest thank you cards! I seriously need to ask them where they order these cards from. I also bought some office supplies to help keep my desk organized. I have a magazine file to hold folders, mail, and papers that just don’t have a home yet. When I first started working, the Human Resources department gave me a school mug that I use to hold pens (Pentel RSVP, fine point, black ink), scissors, and highlighters.

Let There Be Light!

I hate the big fluorescent overhead light in my office, so I brought in a desk lamp. It can be a little dark, especially with the sun setting earlier, so I might raid my apartment to see what else I can bring in. Maybe a floor lamp in the corner?

Calendars

One of the first things I ordered when I got settled in my new office was a four month dry erase calendar. I’ve color coded all the areas I oversee so I can see what’s going on at a glance. I also have an agenda I carry around EVERYWHERE with me. Seriously, there’s nights that I’ve been out on the town wondering just why my purse is so heavy only to see my agenda peeking out. I am a huge, huge fan of Google Calendar, but my school’s email system is Outlook-based…meaning that I use the Outlook calendar. For the first two months, I tried to use both, but I would forget to copy things over and it was a mess. I’ve since come to terms with using my Outlook calendar…now that I figured out how to color code it and how NOT to have my phone alarm go crazy at all hours of the day.

Stay Hydrated!

Other staples on my desk? A glass of water, hand lotion, and lip balm. We have a water cooler by our administrative assistant’s desk and I feel like I’m constantly going out there for more water. Oh well, I suppose there are worse problems to have in life. My other addictions are the lotion and lip balm. I currently have TWO  types of lotion on my desk…a pump bottle of St. Ives and one from Bath and Body Works. My lip balm of choice is Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Swivel Stick. There have been days where I have walked back to my apartment to get it.

Coming soon…?

I really need to come up with a better way to file papers and tidy my office. Because I’m constantly running around campus, there seems to always be a stack of papers somewhere. Maybe that is something I can tackle while students are on winter break. I have another spot on my wall with a sticky note that says “diplomas”. There was no way I could afford those schmancy diploma frames when I graduated, but someday I will frame those expensive pieces of paper with expensive frames and smile at them while feeling important AND broke.

So that, ladies and gentlemen, is where The Author gets her work done.

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