The Strawberry Patch

Enrichment and Inspiration for Beta Sigma Phi Sisters from Marilyn Ross

Vice President's Resource & Guide



 Rushing is the way chapters grow and chapter growth is important to each individual member. When new members are brought into the chapter, everyone benefits because it increases their circle of friends; it brings new ideas and new talents into the chapter. This results in the chapter having potential of additional projects as well as making programs, discussions and socials more fun and interesting!


 A chapter may rush any time of year. It may rush as many times a year as it wishes.

 There are two main rushing seasons: Spring (March) and Fall (October). Chapters should add new pledges during each rushing season. They may also do so in between rushing seasons.

 Rushing supplies and information can be obtained by calling the Rushing/Membership Department at the International Office @ 1-888-BETA-2B1 (238-2221) or E-mailing them:

  Who is in charge?

 Rushing is a chapter affair. ALL MEMBERS should be concerned and participate. The Vice President coordinates the activity and leads the chapter in this endeavor.

  What is Rushing?

 Rushing is getting acquainted. Rushing is not the same as Pledging. Rushing is the procedure for getting acquainted with a possible new member. Since membership is by invitation only, you need to get acquainted with a person before you decide to invite her to membership. Before she can decide she is interested in joining, she must have an opportunity to get acquainted with the members and with the purposes of Beta Sigma Phi.

 Rushing is friendship in action.

 After rushing a person, the chapter decides by vote whether that person will be compatible with the members and chapter, and whether she should be invited to membership.

  How to rush?

 There are 4 to 5 main rushing activities. Each serves a specific purpose.

1 - Gathering Names

Purpose: So you can be selective in rushing and pledging.

 A group discussion [refer to Penpoint Prospective Members bulletin] works - if you want it to and if you really want to add new members to your chapter!

2 - Rush Party

Purpose: To get acquainted with rushees; to begin to enjoy their friendship and learn their interests so members can decide whether those rushees would fit congenially into the chapter.

 Rush parties may be any kind from informal to really dress up. You decide! The idea is to have fun. If the party promises a good time, both members and prospective members won't want to miss it! Mixer activities are important so everyone has a chance to get acquainted.

 Rush parties may include husbands, dates, significant others. A chapter may have more than one rush party during the rushing season.

3 - Model meeting

Purpose: To let the rushee know what Beta Sigma Phi is all about. This is often done at a chapter meeting called the model meeting. Such a meeting should be carefully planned to eliminate all possible details of chapter business which do not contribute to the overall explanation of what Beta Sigma Phi is and what the chapter does.

 A special time is set-aside at the Model Meeting for the Vice President (and other members to help) to explain Beta Sigma Phi.

 Another option: A special party at which the story of Beta Sigma Phi is presented. This is quite permissible and such a party is known as a Presentation Party.

4 - Preferential Tea (Optional)

Purpose: To honor those you have invited to membership and who have accepted. Only those being invited to membership should be invited.

5 - Pledge Ritual

Purpose: To install into membership. The Pledge Ritual should be held as soon as possible after rushees have accepted the invitation to membership and signed the pledge agreement.

 The Ritual should be rehearsed by the members so it can be given impressively. Each chapter has a Ritual Book (President usually has this since she will most likely be the Officiant) in which the Pledge Ritual ceremony is printed. Any member of the chapter who reads well may be appointed (by the President) to read the Ritual.

  Rushing Kit

 Bulletins thought to be helpful in chapter rushing. They include:

  • How to find members
  • Steps in rushing successfully
  • How to Tell the Story of Beta Sigma Phi
  • Pledge Agreements
  • Pledge Report Form
  • Bulletins to help explain the fees carefully
  • Award cards
  • Pamphlets/brochures

  Pledge Pins

 How are they requested?

 Invite a woman to membership. Help her fill in the Pledge Agreement. The Pledge agreement and her initial fees are sent to the International Office. The Pledge Report form listing the names of each pledge should be sent along with the agreements. As soon as these are received at the International Office, pins are sent to the chapter Vice President. You do not need to order pins separately.

  Pledge Training

 What is it and who does it?

 The Vice President (or a member who is appointed to conduct Pledge Training) conducts pledge training meetings to prepare the pledge to receive the next degree. To do this, she uses material in the pledge training books, 'THE BOOK OF BETA SIGMA PHI' AND 'INVITATION TO LIFE'.

 Pledge Training meetings in an established chapter are conducted outside the regular meeting time at a time and place mutually convenient for both the pledge(s) and Pledge Trainer. It is designed to be completed in 6 months.

 The pledge should learn:

  • How a business meeting is conducted
  • How a program is prepared and presented
  • How the officers, committees and Councils function
  • Her obligations for upholding the ideals and purposes of Beta Sigma Phi
  • Privileges and benefits she deserves as a member

 The 2nd Ritual, Ritual of Jewels for Ritual of Jewels member is given to the pledge upon completion of the following:

  • Completed pledge training
  • Participated in 6 months of chapter activities
  • Completed payment of her membership fees as agreed
  • Returned her pledge pin for exchange OR pay the replacement cost

 The Vice President is responsible for verifying the above qualifications by sending the Ritual Certification Forms, with pins or payment of replacement cost, to the International Office. When the form and pins (or payment) are received, pins for the Ritual of Jewels degree ritual will be sent to the VP.

 The Ritual Certification forms are sent automatically to the chapter Vice President twice per year, January and September. These forms indicate who in the chapter is eligible for the next highest degree. The VP completes the information requested, signs it and returns it to the International Office for processing.

  About your Pledge(s)

  • A pledge may transfer
  • May be granted a leave of absence or member-at-large status
  • Recommend a new rushee to the chapter
  • Hold office, and she should always serve on a committee.
  • Pledges are members from the very night of their Pledge Ritual and have full rights of membership.

  Pledge Training Supplies for Pledges

 How are they obtained?

 Training manual books - 'THE BOOK OF BETA SIGMA PHI' AND 'INVITATION TO LIFE' - are sent to the Vice President as soon as the Pledge agreements are received. Each pledge receives one set of books.

 Pledge Training material is sent to the Vice President. Another great resource can be found in The Beta Journal at Scroll down to The Strawberry Patch. There you will find a complete series of study guides, enrichments and inspirations to take your pledges through pledge training. All you have to do is click "print". Makes a great chapter review, or program too! Go directly to The Strawberry Patch at this address: All nine chapters are included.

  Rushing Expense Allowance

 What is it and how do we get it?

 A chapter is allowed to retain $5.00 for each member pledged to cover expenses of rushing. The chapter is to retain $5.00 of the first payment made by each pledge for this allowance.

 Different payment plans are explained on the Pledge Agreement. On the Pledge Agreement, the pledge should fill in the amount of her first payment to you. She will be given credit for that amount even though you deduct $5.00 as your rushing expense allowance.

  Bonus Awards

 What is it and how do we get it?

 The bonus award is for having a certain number of pledges in one rushing season. The International Office determines the number. Watch for information in The Torch and with the rushing materials sent. All pledges added during one rushing season will be added together to count toward your rushing bonus award check.

  Rushing Quota

 What is it?

 It is your chapter's rushing goal or target. It is the number of pledges your chapter hopes to add during the rushing season. You are NOT limited to pledging only the number you set as your quota or goal.

  Rushee or Pledge

 What is the difference?

 Rushee - one you are getting to know who is getting to know the members of the chapter.

 Pledge - one who has been invited to membership, who has accepted, and will be given the Pledge Ritual. She is referred to as a pledge until Pledge Training is completed and she qualifies for the Ritual of Jewels degree. The term is one of respect, indicating the member's length of experience in Beta Sigma Phi.

  Selecting Pledges

 How do we decide on which rushees to pledge?

 There is a section in The Book of Beta Sigma Phi on the exact procedure for Voting on Pledges. Refer to the index in the back of your book to find the exact page. The chapter should discuss and become familiar with this procedure well in advance of a rushing season.

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