The members of the National Panhellenic Conference want every potential new member (PNM) to be informed about her options for joining a women’s fraternity. At the completion of the formal recruitment period, all women are given the option to sign a Membership Recruitment Acceptance Binding Agreement (MRABA). In order to receive a bid from a sorority on campus, the MRABA must be signed. The MRABA form is used on every campus that has a College Panhellenic.
All PNMs are given information and instructions by a member of the fraternity and sorority life staff and/or Panhellenic about the MRABA form and what they are agreeing to abide by. PNMs should pay close attention to the information given to them, especially the points outlined below.
1. A potential new member may:
- Choose not to complete an agreement at that time.
- Choose to list any sorority whose preference (last) event she attended and from whom she is willing to accept an invitation to membership (a bid).
- Choose to list only one preference, but she must understand that this will limit her potential to join any other NPC group during the just completed recruitment process should she not be placed with her single (only) choice.
2. When signing the acceptance agreement, she agrees to accept an invitation to membership from any NPC fraternity/sorority that was listed on the MRABA form.
3. Once the acceptance agreement has been turned in to the representative of the College Panhellenic Association, it cannot be altered or changed.
4. If she receives an invitation to membership (a bid) from any NPC group that was listed, and she chooses not to accept it, she may not pledge any other NPC women’s fraternity/sorority on the campus for one calendar year from the time of the signing.
5. If she does not receive an invitation for membership (a bid) from any NPC group that was listed, she is eligible for membership through the continuous open bidding process. However, this process is dependent on whether or not membership spaces are still available.
Thoughts of a Sorority Mother
I drove up to watch Emily perform in her first Jazz Ensemble group performance last night. She has sung in high school and at church, but this was the first time I was going to watch her sing in college. In the past, her father, sister and I were always her biggest fans and her cheering section. But this event was different for in front of us and behind us were 20 of her AOII sisters.
It was a moment that brought a tear to my eye for a whole host of emotions. Just 3 weeks ago, Emily was initiated into her sorority and now has a bond with a family beyond our own biological one. Being an NPC sorority member myself, I know the awe and wonder of having your group’s secrets revealed to you and how special initiation is when you are finally a fully fledged member. And even though her group is AOII and mine ZTA, we can still talk about our experiences without breaking our vows. But she now has thousands of others with whom she shares a unique experience that I will never know. As a parent, it is in that moment, that you know your child is making life decisions that you so hoped for at 2, 5, 10, 15. But now at 18 when it is all happening in front of me, it is a ball of pride and hope, with a little bit of angst and a tug on the heart that my daughter is growing up.
Within 2 weeks of being initiated, Emily was elected an officer of her chapter and is now serving as a Panhellenic Delegate. All those qualities that we as parents had seen and hoped one day she would put to use, are now being put out to the world. Her AOII family has made her one of their own and we are so grateful for her to have a place to fit in, to belong, to develop lifelong friendships and to most importantly learn about life and its opportunities to serve, lead, make a difference. With pride and faith, her father and I are letting go so that she can make her mark, an impact in her world.
It was quite obvious that it has already begun when all those sisters stood and cheered, hugged and congratulated her, enveloped her in a big circle, and made her feel loved.
For an instant I wondered did she even know I was there. My heart was reassured when she left the circle, gave me a big hug and whispered in my ear, “I love you Mommy”.
Ah, my little girl is still in there!