Panhellenic Recruitment Counselors: Two Campus Studies

Recruitment counselors are an integral part of the formal recruitment process. Their influence is strong and they often contribute to important decisions by PNMs. How are your recruitment counselors impacting your PNMs? Your retention in recruitment? Could their impact be improved?  Let’s look at two descriptions of recruitment counselor programs. Do you see your campus here? See also this Penn State Kappa Kappa Gamma video:

Campus A

Recruitment counselors, also known as Rho Taus, submit an application to the Panhellenic officers responsible for their selection. Panhellenic officers use the application to choose the incoming class of Rho Taus. Each sorority chapter expects a certain minimum number of Rho Taus to represent their chapter. At the same time, there is a maximum number of women permitted to serve as Rho Taus from any single chapter. Fairness and parity among chapters are respected during the selection process.

While many Rho Taus are the “best of the best” from their chapters and have truly Panhellenic hearts, a good number of Rho Taus applied to escape chapter recruitment responsibilities. Rho Taus participate in ten training sessions lasting approximately 90 minutes each. Training topics focus on recruitment rules, policies, and procedures as well as problems solving, confrontation, and counseling  Rho Taus disaffiliate from their respective chapters thirty days prior to recruitment. Campus A has struggled with retention of PNMs during the recruitment process, with fewer than 70% of their recruitment registrants completing the recruitment process and signing MRABAs (Membership Recruitment Acceptance Binding Agreements) after preference events.

Campus B

Recruitment counselors, also known as Greek Guides, submit an application, are interviewed by a panel, and provide personal references. The Panhellenic officers actively recruit prospective counselors by inviting former recruitment counselors to provide communication topics and suggestions of women they believe would be excellent Greek Guides. In fact, the council allows any woman who is a proponent of the fraternal experience to serve as a Greek Guide, including women from the National Pan Hellenic Council and Multicultural Greek Council.

Because the role of Greek Guide is highly respected, there are many applications. Applicants are released at several points of the application process. The selection process is affiliation blind and Panhellenic chapters are reminded that their “representation” remains the job of their Panhellenic Delegates, not members who serve as Greek Guides.

Women chosen to become Greek Guides attend a weekend-long retreat together. Their training lasts more than 50 hours over a six-month period. It includes procedural information as well as detailed coaching on helping PNMs uncover their own strengths, values, and relevant experiences. Certain Greek Guides are dedicated to helping women who are released from recruitment. The University’s counseling center provides training to Greek Guides and services to PNMs during recruitment as well. Check out also this page about the Kappa Kappa Gamma Style.

Rather than focusing on disaffiliating from their own chapters, Greek Guides learn to cross-affiliate with ALL chapters, learning about each chapter and spending time with women from each affiliation. Campus B has seen a steady increase in recruitment registrations, PNM retention during formal recruitment has surpassed 95%, and it’s chapters’ retention through initiation has increased. This Panhellenic Council recognizes PNMs as the primary stakeholder during the recruitment process like some mothers also get actively involved.

If you thought you saw shades of your campus, but not an exact match, you are right. These are fictional campuses, but they are largely composites of real campuses as described by real collegiate Panhellenic leaders. Did you see how your campus might achieve a new level of success by making small changes to your recruitment counselor program?

What do you think of “cross-affiliating” before disaffiliating? What do you think of having non-Panhellenic advocates ushering PNMs into sorority life? Why would a Panhellenic community abandon a much-loved Greek-letter title for its counselors? What unorthodox, outlandish – or logical, sensible ideas – do you have for improving the PNM experience through recruitment counselors?