September 7, 2011

Promoting Your Greek Membership

For me, promoting my Greek membership began in August 1972 when I stepped off the bus from picking up my bid card at the LSU student union and was welcomed at the Alpha Phi house with my new pledge sisters. That night is still a blur to me.

I quickly found out that a couple of girls in the dorm were also Alpha Phi new members. In short order, we made our way to the closest store to purchase our first Alpha Phi t-shirts – customized stitched on letters with our name on the back! With the purchase of this new t-shit, I was now promoting Alpha Phi all across campus. We were SO proud to be affiliated with Alpha Phi that we were promoting Alpha Phi without even thinking about it. We started learning all of the songs, the different chapters and the history of Alpha Phi. After initiation all members received a wonderful Centennial history of Alpha Phi that I still cherish today. It also became a lot easier to promote our membership when Alpha Phi adopted the Bear as a mascot when I was in college. That was a lot easier to cuddle with than an ivy plant!

After graduation, marketing my Greek membership became rather vague. I am an extroverted person and a joiner so when I interact socially or join organizations, Alpha Phi comes up naturally in conversation. It definitely helped in meeting other Alpha Phis when I mentioned my membership in social situations. It also helped me professionally, as I was told by friends that two women at the bank I worked at were also Alpha Phis. It even helped to seal the deal on selecting my son’s first daycare. The care provider showed me one of her daughter’s room that was set up with cribs and there on the wall was the girl’s Alpha Phi composite from USC. So, it definitely benefited me personally to mention my Alpha Phi membership.

The role of promoting Greek membership changed as I became a mother. My son saw my involvement first hand as a volunteer as well as my husband’s for his fraternity, Alpha Gamma Rho, where he was a treasurer of the local house corporation board. During my son’s senior year of high school, I actively asked his friends about their interest going a fraternity or sorority. I wrote recommendation letters for any of the young women who I knew well and considered to be good candidates for Alpha Phi. I also did my homework on the chapter at the school they were planning on attending. I took it upon myself to find out the other sororities at the school and helped connect the young women with women in the community who could write a recommendation for those sororities. This is a great way to promote the National Panhellenic groups as a whole. If the woman ended up joining Alpha Phi, I would call her mom to volunteer that if she, as a mom, had any questions that I would be happy to help.

Volunteering at recruitment for any local college is also a wonderful way to promote Greek membership as these young women see that you, as a Greek member, are still involved. Alpha Phi is a lifelong membership and alumnae should embrace any opportunity that allows them to demonstrate this to our younger members. Remember, you “ARE” an Alpha Phi not, I “WAS” an Alpha Phi!

Nancy Bennett (Delta Tau-LSU) currently resides in Fresno, CA.

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