Prepping students for sorority rush?

<p><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/22/education/edlife/prepping-students-for-sorority-rush.html?%5B/url%5D"&gt;http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/22/education/edlife/prepping-students-for-sorority-rush.html?&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/p>

<p>I try to keep an open mind, I really do (spouse was in a fraternity and I can see tremendous benefits to being a member). But these kind of articles give me feelings of aversion toward the Greek system. I think those feelings emanate not from the organizations themselves, and all the good that they do, but entirely from the fact that they use a formal process of judgment and scrutiny to determine who is qualified to be someone's BFF. Sure there is and should be scrutiny to determine who qualifies for a job, a team, a college...but this is using that same kind of judgment (probably heaped with tremendous bias and snobbery), to pick who can and will socialize with whom. </p>

<p>I'm sure the NYTimes is just enjoying stirring the pot, but this quote grabbed me: </p>

<p>
[quote]
Ms. von Sperling offers a Friday-to-Sunday intensive, for $8,000. One day is devoted to carrying yourself properly and the art of conversation. Treat rush, she says, as you would a job interview. Avoid politics and religion. “I teach them how to make interesting small talk: what you saw at the cinema, a trip to Europe. I don’t know too many 20-year-olds who are having a debate about economics.” Another day is for getting physically ready — hair, makeup and wardrobe. Ms. von Sperling organizes “outfits down to accessories, completely strategized.” Just in case a client forgets, outfits are photographed and placed in a style file.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Seriously? Most of the young intellectual kids I know thoroughly enjoy debating economics. There is a time and place for everything, of course, but it sounds like Ms. von Sperling has been exposed to only a tiny subset of students in the world: maybe only ones whose parents would spend $8 on learning poise and wardrobe selection.</p>

<p>That's the dumbest way to spend $8k that I've ever heard.</p>

<p>It is not clear to me what it is that you find upsetting about this. These women are entreprenuerial image consultants who have identified a need and filled it. Good for them. If it is the sororities themselves that you find objectionable, then the good news is that no one is ever forced to join one.</p>

<p>^ I don't have an issue with those making money off it. My feelings are about the rush process of frats and sororities. </p>

<p>Of course I don't have to participate....that is true for almost everything that turns us off. I also haven't joined the NRA, eaten haggis, become a Mitt Romney donor, or joined scientology....that doesn't mean I can't express my opinion about them. Likewise, if you don't like my thread, you can choose to not read it and not post.</p>

<p>What is killing me is the fact that I could be making $8000 for the knowledge that I give for free! This program will not help as much as letters of recs, which are the most necessary key to getting your foot in the door. No gifts are necessary for rec letters, either, though thank you notes are expected. </p>

<p>As someone who has been involved for more than 20 years, this is a waste of money. Funny thing is, on a site very similar to CC they hate these businesses as well-since the women in the article were not even in a sorority!!!!! But if parents want to waste money on this, that is there right. It will never be necessary to get into even the most competitive environments.</p>

<p>
[quote]
Likewise, if you don't like my thread, you can choose to not read it and not post

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</p>

<p>I know, but I'm looking forward to wallowing in the judgmental posts by people who are offended by the judgmental nature of sororities. :)</p>

<p>This really is a HUGE waste of money for two primary reasons: </p>

<ol>
<li><p>These women were never in a sorority, and thus aren't privy to any sorority's membership selection process or criteria. </p></li>
<li><p>Outside of a pretty small group of schools (the Southern schools, IU, ASU, USC, and a few others), you really don't need all of this stuff. Sure, recs are beneficial everywhere, but at most schools, you won't be cut just for not having 1-2 at each chapter.</p></li>
</ol>

<p>
[quote]
Sure there is and should be scrutiny to determine who qualifies for a job, a team, a college...but this is using that same kind of judgment (probably heaped with tremendous bias and snobbery)

[/quote]
</p>

<p>In some places, especially those obnoxious over-the-top Southern Greek places such as those mentioned in the article, I wouldn't be surprised to hear that the judgment is chock full of bias, snobbery, snide commentary on someone's clothing choices, handbags, socioeconomic background, etc. And in other places, such judgment doesn't take place at all and it's merely a more formalized version of meet-a-lot-of-people-and-figure-out-which-ones-you-want-to-hang-with. As happens every single time this topic is brought up, PLEASE stop generalizing, and stop lumping the over-the-top Greek systems (that frankly embarrass the rest of us in their tackiness) in with the reasonable down-to-earth ones where you don't need recs and it's not about who wears Tory Burch and who doesn't.</p>

<p>While I'm not spending $8K on this kind of thing, the things being discussed - how to put oneself together in a stylish and sharp manner, how to present oneself in public settings, how to socialize and work a crowd - aren't, in and of themselves, bad things for a young adult to learn. Look at the posts you get on CC every year from college seniors who are asking the most basic questions about what to wear to an interview because their parents completely let them down and never showed or told them how to buy a suit, put together classic jewelry / accessories, etc., never created any occasions where their kids had to wear anything other than jeans / sneakers.</p>

<p>I will agree with you Pizzagirl, though even at the large Southern schools and other competitive places they are not just looking at shoes or concerned with wealth. As you know, you actually have to share a living space with these potential new members and even lots of Daddy's money wouldn't make me put up with someone who was likely to treat the other members like dirt or do something embarrassing that would reflect poorly on the entire chapter.</p>

<p>^Agree. I have observed that there is a huge dearth of knowledge in young people regarding basic social skills. Everyone could benefit from a course like this. But I think it is much too expensive.</p>

<p>I like Mizzbee, wish ladies wouldn't charge so much that many sorority women are willing to give for free if just asked... </p>

<p>On the topic of Greek Life, it is for some and not and ideal match for others. That is what makes this a great country to live in.</p>

<p>"In some places, especially those obnoxious over-the-top Southern Greek places such as those mentioned in the article, I wouldn't be surprised to hear that the judgment is chock full of bias, snobbery, snide commentary on someone's clothing choices, handbags, socioeconomic background," -- as opposed to what? The completely "unbiased and non-snide" commentary of that first line?</p>

<p>
[quote]
These women are entreprenuerial image consultants who have identified a need and filled it.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Priceless!</p>

<p>
[quote]
If it is the sororities themselves that you find objectionable, then the good news is that no one is ever forced to join one.

[/quote]
</p>

<p>But a student's college experience likely will be impacted by sororities even if she doesn't join one. Especially at schools where the Greek system is a big deal.</p>

<p>Lemme check:</p>

<p>Black never goes out of style. Mix with blue, white, khaki, gray*, and especially yellow/gold. </p>

<p>Please deposit $8000. Thank you. :D</p>

<ul>
<li>Hey....had to give a shoutout to the old Confederacy. :D</li>
</ul>

<p>Add, don't be rude, smile, sit up straight, be yourself. $8K please</p>

<p>As for dressing, here is what I tell people: you are not dressing to impress a guy. Cover you chest, pull down that skirt and wear it with confidence. It is a Club, but you don't dress like you are going to a club.</p>

<p>I had the same initial reaction to the article as MizzBee...I give this advice for free every year! I think there is a real need for a quick workshop covering points like MizzBee is making above. In some places, the local Panhellenic alumni association might fill that role (also for free).</p>

<p>Most Panhellenics give a workshop complete with fashion show for the freshman going through rush. At the schools I am familar with the workshop covers proper dress for each day, themes for each day, what to expect and how the process actually works for the young ladies. One school even has a "practice rush round". I love that the intent is to put everyone at ease. All that for free! :)</p>

<p>I was too lazy (or uninterested) and didn't read the article, but get the idea - I cannot help but think a girl who really needed such a two day crash course, would definitely come across as phony trying to implement it??</p>