Enrichment and Inspiration for Beta Sigma Phi Sisters from Marilyn Ross
No matter what plan you use, let your guests know that you have fun no matter what you are doing! Members don't need to be "stuffed shirts" to show how much Beta Sigma Phi means to them.
The goal is to present yourselves, your chapter, and an overall picture of sorority. Personal chapter business is omitted because guests cannot understand the details and will not be interested.
The following outline gives ideas on how to tell the story of Beta Sigma Phi through special committee reports, written for this purpose. They should be about 2 minutes each, or at the Model Meeting, you may tell the story in some other way. Remember, you can adapt this to your own chapter!
ORDER OF BUSINESS
PRESIDENT: "The meeting will please come to order. We start our meetings with the Opening Ritual. So that guests will hear the words clearly, members will repeat them silently as I read. We would like our guests to stand and join hands in our circle."
PRESIDENT: Welcomes guests by name. Then calls for each report in turn, as suggested below. To let the guests know they will hear reports which will be of special interest to them, the president may call for the first report by saying, "Secretary will call the roll and instead of reading actual minutes of our last meeting, she's written some illustrative minutes to give you some interesting facts about Beta Sigma Phi.
RECORDING SECRETARY: The illustrative minutes should point out that you have 2 meetings per month, the time and place; mention what business is conducted at meetings, mention committees and that each pledge is chosen for a committee as soon as she joins so that she can begin to enjoy the full swing of activities right away. If your members arrange car pools to meetings and other activities, mention that too.
CORRESPONDING SECRETARY: She will read letters which she has composed (or actual ones when appropriate) to illustrate: privilege of transfer, pleasure of conventions, joint participation with other chapters, secret sister plan. She reads a "thank you" for service given letter. She has wide scope to weave human interest stories and humor into these letters. This makes the points easy to listen to and easy to remember.
SOCIAL COMMITTEE: Report tells about the fun or socials in general (but does not go into detailed planning for any one social); mentions that each member, including new pledges, contribute ideas for future social calendar; tells which socials include husbands; traditional socials should be mentioned, such as Founder's Day, Valentine Ball, Christmas/holiday parties and Beginning Day, etc.
WAYS and MEANS COMMITTEE: Report should tell what kind of fund raising activities the chapter has enjoyed. The report should emphasize that these projects are as much fun as socials and that every member participates.
SERVICE COMMITTEE: Report should tell about the Beta Sigma Phi goals of being useful to others, with service from the heart, not just from the pocket. It should mention general plans for service and civic activities and tell how much the members enjoy the projects.
SCRAPBOOK &/OR MEMORYBOOK CHAIRMAN: She mentions some special chapter traditions. Tells how memorybook records achievements of the past and may mention some outstanding achievements by a member or the chapter. She may explain Valentine Queen contest and February Torch. She mentions publicity in general and the specific pictures (or publicity) to be taken of new pledges at the time of their Pledge Ritual which is to be given on (give date). (It is important to let the rushees know the date set for their Pledge Ritual because it helps them to make up their minds.)
PRESIDENT: "As you have heard, Beta Sigma Phi is a social, cultural and service organization. After our brief business meetings, we have a cultural program. Our Program Chairman is __________. She will tell you a little more about that part of our chapter life."
PROGRAM CHAIRMAN: "We are gaining fascinating new interests and knowledge. Programs are easy to give because members can work in pairs or teams, if they so choose. Even though a pledge is not asked to give a program right away, she soon learns that in our close circle of chapter friends, presenting ideas and discussing them is as natural as a discussion with family. Our International Office provides us with a wide category of program topics from which to choose (refer to March issue of The Torch) and all members in the chapter select the ones they want to give each year. Or, they can opt to give their own. When the selections are made, International then prints the outlines and sends them directly to the chapter.
OR . . .
An actual program may be given. If you are having a regular chapter cultural program, the chairman introduces the members in charge and announces the subject.
PRESIDENT: "You have all met ________, our Vice President. (Say a word about her personally or about the Vice President's role in the chapter.) She has a story to tell you. . but wait just a minute, please. . . I see a member waving her hand to remind me that she wanted time to make an announcement." (A vivacious member pulls out a box of chocolates and announces an engagement or arrival of a new baby. Then she explains the tradition of passing the candy.)
(The value of having this announcement break in at this point of the meeting is to give a change of pace, put in a human interest story and help guests relax again.)
VICE PRESIDENT: Summarizes the story of Beta Sigma Phi, explains that many of the privileges of membership have been illustrated through the reports given. She tells of the scope of Beta Sigma Phi, over 200,000 members in more than 12,500 chapters in 34 countries around the world. She explains the Torch magazine, Achievement Band, pins, etc.
If fees are being explained at this meeting, the Vice President explains them carefully by reading from the info sent in the rushing kit. All the material and services covered by the fees should be read with emphasis on the fact that they are included in the fees. Vice President should mention the date of the Pledge Ritual.
Vice President concludes her talk with pamphlets about Beta Sigma Phi, or an 'About (Your Chapter's Name)' sheet (refer to example)*. These pamphlets and chapter information sheet may be given to each guest to take with her. She invites each guest to visit the display table where each item is explained by a member. After the President leads the Closing Ritual, guests browse at the display table while the Social Committee serves refreshments.
The Rushing Department (firstname.lastname@example.org) also has skits available for telling the story of Beta Sigma Phi in other ways. When these are used, you omit all reports (or as many as you can). These other ways can include:
Sweet Dreams - build your own sundae or banana split!