Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Better Pre-Recruitment Education Leads to More Empowered PNMs

The following is a guest post from Anna Katsis, a senior at Clemson University during the 2018-19 academic year. 

I had the privilege of serving on our Panhellenic Executive Council for two years as a member of the Recruitment Team. I took on the role of vice president of Panhellenic recruitment for my second year on our Executive Council, which afforded me the responsibility of overseeing primary recruitment during fall 2018. 

Throughout my time on the Recruitment Team, I had the opportunity to interact with many potential new members. As I transitioned into being the VP of recruitment, my advisor mentioned to me there was a new program available to educate potential new members (PNMs) prior to registration. 

At Clemson, we always host a live orientation session for PNMs once they have arrived on campus for recruitment. Historically, this is the time where we educate PNMs about what the National Panhellenic Conference is, explain what membership in a sorority means, discuss key definitions, detail the recruitment process and talk about other councils on our campus. 

A problem for us was that not only were we presenting all of this new information to them in one huge dose during the orientation session, but also these women were being thrown into a completely new environment, new school year and new experience as a whole. It was a lot to take in and we found the PNMs were not fully absorbing all of the information. Women going through recruitment still had many misconceptions about the recruitment process and what being a member of a sorority meant, even though we thought we had given them all the information we thought we possibly could. When the idea of the Potential New Member Orientation (PNMO) program was presented to us, we knew we had found our solution to this issue. 

We believed PNMO would allow us to increase transparency about what the recruitment process entailed and what being part of our community meant before women even decided to officially participate. We customized our PNMO program by creating an introduction video. In this video, we specifically talked about our community, such as how many chapters are on our campus, what we call our recruitment counselors and our community's values. This ensured PNMs were educated about both general and specific information related to the Panhellenic experience.

By having women complete the PNMO modules prior to registration, we were able to answer much more specific questions from PNMs and their parents. Our belief was the modules made it very clear about what the recruitment process entailed and those thoughts were confirmed based on our interactions with PNMs. The women going through recruitment had a basis of knowledge that empowered them to ask better questions and gave them the ability to have more realistic expectations about joining a sorority. In addition, we were able to focus more on logistical information during our live PNM orientation sessions, which allowed for the women to be less overwhelmed during so many new experiences.

We are so glad we implemented Potential New Member Orientation into our recruitment registration process here at Clemson. By providing better recruitment education to PNMs, we empowered them. I highly recommend other colleges and universities take advantage of this program so their PNMs can be empowered, too!

About Potential New Member Orientation (PNMO)
PNMO logo
The National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) has partnered with LaunchPoint to offer Potential New Member Orientation (PNMO), a program designed to improve a potential new member’s experience with joining a sorority. This online, self-paced educational tool provides consistent recruitment education and a continuing recruitment resource to potential new members as well as a time-saving opportunity for fraternity/sorority advisors. PNMO covers many topics, including an overview of fraternity and sorority life, terms and definitions, an explanation of Panhellenic recruitment, benefits of membership and the sorority experience and more. For more information, visit the LaunchPoint website or email info@launchpointconsulting.com.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

A Message From the NPC Chairman: The road map to ensuring sorority communities stay vibrant and healthy

As the National Panhellenic Conference and its 26 member organizations continue to advocate for and preserve the sorority experience, a new strategic plan has been adopted by the NPC Board of Directors. The plan encompasses three priorities which broadly define the key approaches NPC volunteers and staff will use over the next few years to accomplish our mission and drive toward our vision of Advancing the Sorority Experience Together.

The three priorities are: champion the sorority experience, foster strategic growth of Panhellenic communities and leverage the collective strength of our member organizations. These priorities are the outcomes NPC aspires to achieve, and the strategies under each priority are the approaches we will take to achieve our goals.

The 2019-22 strategic plan is a reminder that if NPC is to thrive, we need to continue to look ahead and be visionary. This means we must embrace the fact the world around us is ever-changing. New technologies, social media, changing societal norms, competitive job markets and an altered educational system have undeniably changed the life of today’s collegian. With these topics in mind, take note of some of the key words in our strategic plan – protect, advocacy, diversity, growth, collaboration, develop and support.

Bottom line, it’s our goal to remain relevant to future generations of young women. Thus, NPC’s 2019-22 strategic plan is the road map we will take toward ensuring our sorority communities stay vibrant and healthy now and into the future.


Carole J. Jones
NPC Chairman 2017-19

Saturday, March 2, 2019

The Special Story of a Sorority Pin

The founding of sororities began well over 150 years ago, when the term sorority hadn’t even been conceived, giving each of the 26 NPC member organizations a deep and rich history. Every member of one of these 26 organizations has her own story and journey within the greater Panhellenic community. Recently the story of one lifelong sorority member was brought to attention after her daughter-in-law Launi Elliott, a member of Delta Delta Delta, found a Zeta Tau Alpha membership badge among her mother-in-law's things after her passing. Elliott then contacted the NPC office in Indianapolis for guidance on returning the pin.

NPC office staff connected Elliott with the Zeta Tau Alpha International Office to shed some light on the history of the badge. Here’s the story of the owner and the badge:

The badge belonged to Edith May Lyons, or May as she was often referred to. May was initiated on May 4, 1929, as a charter member of the Beta Rho chapter at the University of Manitoba located in Canada. May went on to receive her master’s degree in science while also participating in research at the University of Toronto.

May’s badge had been found in a leather case that held a pearl-accented badge attached to a Beta Rho gold guard. Also in the case was a white violet 50-year member pin, truly highlighting that sorority isn’t for four years - it is for life. Within Zeta Tau Alpha, it is customary to return a members badge after she passes, bury it with her if requested or pass it to a legacy member. Seeing as there were no legacy members to pass the badge too, Elliott thought it best to return the badge. Now the badge and its contents have been safely returned to the Zeta Tau Alpha International Office. May’s badge will sit proudly in the ZTA Historical and Educational Center, set to open later this year at the International Office.

In correspondence with Elliott, Zeta Tau Alpha Archivist Patti Cords Levitte stated the Balfour leather case was in “the best condition I’ve ever seen for one of those – usually they are falling apart from age.” Levitte also stated that having “the badge of a charter member to display is very special.”

May’s story is a great reminder of why sorority women wear our badges proudly each year on International Badge Day. This year International Badge Day will take place on Monday, March 4. Sorority women around the world will be proudly displaying their badges and their pride in being a lifelong sorority woman.