Phi Sigma Sigma Discontinues Special Consideration for Legacies During Membership Recruitment
Phi Sigma Sigma, Inc. is proud to share changes to our membership recruitment policy, discontinuing the special considerations extended to legacies. This marks one small step on our larger reevaluation of the structural, internalized, institutional and interpersonal practices that create barriers for women to join and and share in a meaningful sisterhood experience.
Prior to this change, a legacy, defined as the daughter, sister, niece or granddaughter of a Phi Sigma Sigma, must be accorded special consideration as a courtesy. Despite the varied interpretation of special considerations across our chapters, continuing to offer any preferential treatment perpetuates and upholds a system of privilege within our membership and does not meet our responsibility to promote inclusivity. We believe this change provides an opportunity to reflect the expectations that our Founders sought, when they created the first non-sectarian sorority, allowing women of different faiths to come together and share in the bonds of sisterhood. In reflection, this is a long overdue. As we continue to examine and assess all of our practices, we hope that our Founders' vision will continue to serve as our organizational compass.
We recognize there is a special bond for alumnae who are able to share their sisterhood with a family member. The change to our policy does not negate this shared experience or its significance, but instead allows us the opportunity to make Phi Sigma Sigma more accessible to all women who seek sisterhood and share our values.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
When does this start?
This change is effective immediately in anticipation of fall recruitment.
Does this mean I'm not a legacy anymore?
The policy does not change anyone's identity as a legacy. Though all potential new members are now given the same consideration during recruitment, current members can celebrate with their legacies who join Phi Sigma Sigma at initiation and through other events throughout both of their memberships.
As an alumna member, why shouldn't my daughter be extended special consideration during recruitment?
Legacies have the privilege of being related to and raised by college-educated women who had the opportunity to pass along Phi Sigma Sigma values. However, there are many other groups of students with barriers to entry and prioritizing legacies increases these barriers.
Chapters were not required to give legacies a bid. What is the harm in giving them extra time to consider Phi Sigma Sigma?
Our hope is that legacies have been considering Phi Sigma Sigma long before arriving in a college environment. During recruitment, chapters are restricted in the number of invitations the can extend per round. Extending an invitation to any woman who you do not intend to offer membership to at the end of recruitment limits the potential member's opportunities to meet chapters that are realistic options.
What if a potential new member indicates she is a legacy when registering for recruitment?
A potential new member is welcome to indicate that she is a legacy of Phi Sigma Sigma when registering for recruitment. However, this information will not be considered during the chapter's membership decisions.
I am an active member and my sister is participating in recruitment this year – I don't know how I would treat her like other potential new members?
You should treat her just like close friends and classmates that you have preexisting relationships with that are pursing membership. You can always consider the qualities and accomplishments you have observed over time to come to your membership decisions.
What is Phi Sigma Sigma's stance on recommendation letters?
Phi Sigma Sigma does not maintain a procedure or format recommendation letters and has never required recommendations for consideration membership. On campuses where recommendation letters are a customary practice, we have accepted letters but they do not have weight in membership recruitment decisions.
I know of a potential new member who will be a great sorority woman. What should I do?
Sorority membership is an impactful and empowering experience that we want as many women as possible to experience. We all play an important role in promoting the sorority experience and ensuring we share the value of membership. Potential members and their caregivers want to know that sorority membership is worth it. The best way to know is by hearing the testimonials of sorority women. By telling the world your story you take ownership of your sorority experience and help potential members to see themselves in your shoes.
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