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How to Boost Your Chapter Up the Sorority Ladder

How to Boost Your Chapter Up the Sorority Ladder

Dear sorority sugar,  On my campus, my sorority is viewed as the bottom tier or least desired sorority. People call us the fat sorority and that we get all the rejects from the good ones, but we've been stepping up our game this year and we have a really cute new pledge class and we won a lot of awards during Greek Week. Recruitment is coming up in August and we want to make it our best yet, what tips/suggestions could you give us?

Dear Striving Sorority Sister,  Success builds on success! Your chapter is doing all the right things to improve their image on campus. Building a better house happens one step at a time. One or two excellent pledge classes can turn a sorority around quickly. And achieving recognition in areas such as Greek Week gives your chapter something to brag about. You need a few "wins" in your column in order to attract more terrific PNMs. They in turn attract additional great girls and soon your sorority is out of the basement and growing stronger. These are some things I recommend for improving your sorority's reputation......

♦ Top 5 Ways to Boost Your Sorority's Standing ♦

Determine Your Chapter's Core Values

Decide what's most important to your sorority. Being a "top tier" house is nice, but what exactly do your sisters value most? What is at the heart and soul of your sorority? Look to your creed and your organization's timeless traditions to clearly define your priorities. Building a sorority based on positive values and genuine sisterhood is more important than just looking hot in bid day tank tops.

Encourage your members to sit down, have a brainstorming session and select two or three defining traits of your individual chapter. Your sorority's premier qualities then become your primary promotional points during recruitment. Maybe your sorority values close big/little relationships and service to others the most. Once defined, those values should be woven into all aspects of your recruitment. 

The final step is carefully matching your core values with the most desirable PNMs you can attract. Thoughtful recruitment evaluations will be a vital task for your chapter going forward. Don't get desperate. Carefully match your favorite PNMs to your newly improved chapter and build on that process each year. 

Be the Best at One or Two Things

Your chapter probably doesn't host the coolest parties, or have the best frat connections, so focus on what you're best at instead. Select two or three things that your sorority does really well and make them the centerpiece of your activities during the year. Instead of being self conscious about your shortcomings, spotlight your sister's excellent singing skills, or promote your popular mac 'n cheese fundraiser. At this point in your chapter's life you can't be all things to all PNMs. So emphasize your premier achievements and allow the brightest parts of your sisterhood to take center stage during recruitment and beyond.  

If you don't already have several "best at" accomplishments/events, get some fast. Plan a splashy new fundraiser, win some Greek awards, or host an awesome retreat in a desirable location. Every chapter, no matter how humble, needs a few star activities in their portfolio to attract PNMs. Define your chapter's strengths as soon as possible and distinguish your house in a couple of high profile ways. 

• Go All Out With Your Sorority Style

No matter what level your sisterhood is on, you can go all out with your sorority decorations, displays, themes and chapterwear. ALL chapters can dress attractively, design cute bid day shirts, select adorable themes, skillfully decorate recruitment tables, paint stunning lawn letters, post gorgeous social media photos, hang clever banners, etc... etc... It doesn't cost any more to order fabulous tee shirts, instead of dull, boring ones. What it does take is effort and creativity. In other words -~ act the part, look the part and "be" at the tier you aspire to reach. 

If your chapter is slacking off in their "sugar" it's time to turn that around. Motivate your sisters to make thousands of tissue paper flowers for a photo booth backdrop, paint a giant sorority crest, or design sharp recruitment name tags. No detail is too small when you want to elevate your overall chapter image. View sorority social media sites and get inspired. It's okay to borrow ideas from other chapters around the country. Appealing visuals are a top priority for becoming a "sought after" chapter on campus. You must get in the game and compete with other chapters to attract PNMs.  

• Personality Counts

Another important part of improving your chapter's rep is fine tuning your sisterhood's personality. Each house has a reputation that's well known by other Greeks. What is your sorority's core personality? How do you want to be defined on campus? Fun loving, easy going, sincere and lovable? Polishing how others view your chapter's overall vibe is key to moving up a tier or two.  

The latest pledge class is your best chance to blossom. Even though your sisters have been perceived as bottom tier leftovers in the past, that can quickly change with the new members who actually chose your chapter, who are more likable and who will hopefully work hard to recruit MORE sisters like them. Your most recent new members should be strongly encouraged to step up and attract another batch of winning PNMs to your chapter. Next fall, your sophomore sisters should be on the front lines of every recruitment effort. It may seem calculating, but you must put your highest quality sisters forward during rush week to build on your recent improvements and keep the momentum rolling. 

• Count Your Blessings and Find Your Comfort Zone

As you work to elevate your sorority, keep in mind that tiers are not the most important thing in Greek life. Your sisters should not let outsiders totally define them. Sorority success is measured by the satisfaction and happiness within your house. Remember to count your blessings and be happy with your lifelong bonds. What happens inside your sorority house is much more meaningful than what others perceive you to be.

That said, it's okay to improve your chapter each semester and make your sorority a sparkling example of sweet sisterhood. The middle tier is my favorite place for most sororities. Top tier is usually stressful and the very bottom isn't a happy place. But the middle range is fulfilling, warm, welcoming and productive for most members. Shoot for realistic goals and you're more likely to achieve them. Find your chapter's comfortable zone and strive to remain there for years to come, always growing and getting better in genuine ways.  

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 ❥ For MORE chapter improvement ideas, please visit the HQ CHAPTER LIFE PAGE and browse the sorority sugar Archives for links to additional top tips! 

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