If you ask me, COR is the most natural way to recruit new members. Outside of life as a collegiate member of Alpha Gamma Delta, friends are made in casual, fun environments like going out to eat and attending sporting events as opposed to singing, performing skits and decorating.
So why do we dread or even fear COR? Why can we meet hundreds of potential new members during Formal Recruitment but have trouble inviting a woman from one of our classes out to dinner with our sisters?
The answer is complicated. Sometimes, recruiting outside of Formal Recruitment carries an internal or external stigma of a less than successful Formal Recruitment effort. Sometimes, it is challenging to move from Formal Recruitment to an informal structure where we have to seek out PNMs instead of having the PNMs come to us. Other times, COR is just plain hard to coordinate with all of the other chapter activities going on during the semester.
The time has come for a paradigm shift. COR needs to be viewed as an opportunity instead of an obligation, and a privilege instead of a punishment.
The first step of a successful COR effort is to eliminate excuses. Excuses are barriers that will inhibit chapters from recognizing the necessity and opportunity found in COR. It is important to recognize that Chapter Total, the set number of women a College Panhellenic allows in a chapter, exists for a reason. Chapter Total is the number of women the College Panhellenic as well as the National Panhellenic Conference have recommended for a chapter to be stable and to provide an experience like those of other chapters on campus.
We need to put a stop to the mentality that it is better to be a small group because the sisterhood better. Such a strong sisterhood should be shared with more women!
End the mindset that there aren't any women who want to join Alpha Gamma Delta. There is a pool of women at every college or university that don't even know yet what outstanding sorority members they would make!
Stop putting off COR efforts because of a busy schedule. Member recruitment should be a priority and is easy programmed to coincide with other chapter events.
After getting rid of all the excuses, think "CAN" when approaching COR planning!
C - Collaborate: Successful COR efforts are not planned and carried out by just the COR Coordinator or just the Recruitment Team. Every member is responsible for meeting new people and participating in COR events. A collaborative effort grows the pool of potential new members and increases the amount and types of COR events a chapter may host. Consider forming a core committee of women who are passionate about COR to assist in mobilizing the chapter's COR efforts. This committee, called the GROW Committee at one chapter (Gams Recruiting Outstanding Women), can brainstorm creative ideas for COR events, mange the chapter's names list, keep track of the chapter's COR budget, etc.
A - Action: Take action by seeking out PNMs. Do not schedule COR events and expect flocks of women to line up at the door. Every member is responsible for building relationships with unaffiliated women and inviting those women to COR events. All chapters should practice Social Excellence by meeting new people on campus and "making fans" of Alpha Gamma Delta.
N - Navigate: Do not let a PNM get lost in the COR process. Each member should be helping the PNMs navigate the sorority recruitment experience from the moment a member meets the PNM to the moment the PNM accepts her bid and beyond. Effective navigation involves diligent follow-though. Care should be taken in inviting each PNM to the correct number of events and following up with the PNM after events. Members' ability to answer questions about both the COR process and their own experience as a member of Alpha Gamma Delta will be crucial factors in each PNM's decision to become an Alpha Gam.
The curtain has been pulled back on COR. When we believe that we CAN, what might have been viewed as negative or intimidating is actually exciting and manageable. COR is an opportunity for our members to meet new women and spread the word about Alpha Gamma Delta and our Purpose, and we CAN do it!
See the "Resources" section to the right of this blog for some great plans, workshops and advice about how to successfully COR!