The Delta Pi chapter at Winthrop University used its most recent primary recruitment as a chance to develop and showcase its sisterhood both during recruitment and after.
Chapter President Dani Altringer said the chapter intentionally focused on Tri Sigma’s five values, relating sisterhood, philanthropy, and preference round through specific speeches or activities. The first day was centered on philanthropy and the speakers, who were previous chairs that planned major philanthropy events like Sigma Breaks the Stigma, Gold Week, and Rocking for Robbie. They used these experiences to discuss how they strive to live out our values through our work serving children and discussing mental health on our campus. The chapter also used experiences in visiting the playroom at UNC-Chapel Hill and visiting a local Levine Children’s Hospital to help potential new members connect with Tri Sigma’s philanthropic aim of Sigma Serves Children.
The second day spotlighted sisterhood and each of the speakers explained which value they held closest to their hearts and how Delta Pi’s sisterhood has fostered that value within them throughout their time in the chapter. Preference day was very personal, with one-on-one discussions between a potential new member and a sister about the value that shined brightest through that potential sister.
“Recruitment is the time of year when the chapter feels very intimately connected and incorporating our values more fully throughout the weekend only strengthened that connection among sisters and fostered new connections with our potential new members,” Dani said. “I think our recruitment went so well this year because each sister that was in the room wanted to be there. We were intentionally recruiting girls that we could see in our chapter and used pre-established qualities that we would like in our new members during recruitment.”
Delta Pi also contributes its success in recruitment to the hard work they put in to prepping to recruit new sisters into the chapter.
“We all understand that in order to continue the foundation that we were built on, we need to be the best recruiters the PNMs meet,” Dani said. “We walk into recruitment with the mindset that, even if the PNM may not be a Sigma, we still want her to be happy and comfortable in our room – there should be no reason someone does not want to come back to us or have any negative remarks wherever they end up. I think what keeps all of the sisters going is knowing that it will all be worth it when we get our New Members.”
Part of that prep work before recruitment includes fostering sisterhood among members. The chapter matches up “secret sisters” during recruitment and the secret sister gives small gifts like drinks, snacks and a kind note. The secret sister remains anonymous until the last day of recruitment.
The chapter also uses the preference round to dive deeper into showcasing its sisterhood. Every PNM in the room is assigned a value the chapter sees in them, and their main recruiter tells them this and explains why they see that in them. The sisters also circle up and show the PNMs their sisterhood through having each sister say “Sigma is” and finish the sentence with something meaningful to them.
“Our conversations are focused on trying to find out what the PNM is truly passionate about, what their personal values are, and often PNMs will disclose private information and a sister is able to bond with them over this,” Dani said. “My advice for a chapter that may be struggling with preference round would be to bond and have a goal of making the PNM comfortable.”
Dani said the chapter surveys their new members on recruitment performance and they are consistently told the new members perceive the chapter as genuine and that they could see the bonds of sisterhood between members.
“Me saying ‘bond’ may seem odd, but I believe that a chapter who is truly connected and is comfortable with who they are will be able to show PNMs that they have a support system and a home in Tri Sigma,” Dani said.
Delta Pi uses their chapter meetings as a way to continue building these bonds of sisterhood that help them have success in recruitment. Every week at chapter meetings, two different sisters are given either the Sigma Bear (Harmony Care Bear), or the Sisterhood Journal. The Sigma Bear recipient is chosen by the officer board to make sure her efforts to move the chapter ever forward have not gone unnoticed and that she is appreciated by each and every sister. When announced, all other members write notes to this sister, which she then gets to take home along with the Sigma Bear until the following week when the next sister is chosen.
The Sisterhood Journal serves a similar purpose, but the recipient is chosen by the sister who received the journal last. Each week, the sister writes a letter to the sister they plan to give it to, telling her things she loves about this sister and reasons she is proud of her. Then that sister will read the letter aloud to the recipient and it will be repeated for the next week and the next sister.
Your chapter could utilize these sisterhood ideas, along with the ideas located in the Sisterhood Chair section of the Committee manual, to build sisterly bonds and showcase those in recruitment. Is your chapter doing something cool to highlight your sisterhood and foster those bonds among your members? Submit that information here to be highlighted in the next Sigma Standard!