The Strawberry Patch

Enrichment and Inspiration for Beta Sigma Phi Sisters from Marilyn Ross

Chapter Etiquette


We all need to be reminded at times ETIQUETTE is based on an intelligent unselfishness that makes relationships with others pleasant and effective. And the nicest people practice it!

The Matter of Being on Time

If you observe the etiquette of being on time in your personal life, you know the value of promptness and observe it in your sorority life too. The first time you rush in late to a committee meeting with a story to tell about your harrowing day, the others might laugh. After that, they won´t think it´s particularly funny.

Carrying on Chitchat with the Person Next to You While a Meeting or Entertainment Is in Progress

This is rude, under any circumstances, not only to the person speaking or performing, but to others in the group who may not be able to hear because of your thoughtless disturbance. If you´re tempted, consider, too, that you may be embarrassing, and almost certainly annoying, the member to whom you direct your remarks.

When There Is A Guest Speaker

If you have ever been guest speaker to a group which is strange to you, you know instinctively that the only polite thing to do is see that she -- or he, as the case may be -- is not left sitting alone while chapter members are discussing something familiar unto themselves. If you haven´t been in this situation, consider that some day you might be, and apply the Golden Rule.

The person in charge of arranging for the speaker should always see that one member acts as hostess to the guest, making sure that she is introduced and knows where to put her coat, at what point in the meeting she will be asked to speak, where she should sit. And don´t make the mistake of trying to take care of these things yourself if you are in charge of numerous other details at the meeting. It is no pleasure for a guest to sit alone and wait while you rush here and there. Appoint someone with no other time consuming duties to be the guest´s official hostess.

Learning Customs and Rules

When you belong to an organization, you owe it to yourself, as well as to your sister members, to be well versed on rules and customs.

If, as an Officer, You Are Getting a Harried Look Because Your Duties Are Too Great to Handle

It may be your fault for not delegating authority. It´s your privilege, you know, and you may be selfishly hoarding responsibility, depriving someone else of her privilege to develop her own leadership abilities.

When There Is a Social Function

Whether or not you are on the committee, you must consider yourself one of the hostesses if your chapter is giving the function. Be on hand to do your share of conversing with guests, relieving guests of plates, cups after refreshments.

Suppose the hostess is expecting you to help her in the kitchen and at refreshment time you find yourself stranded with a guest who hasn´t been too successful at circulating. Let the hostess wait until the right opportunity comes for you to steer the guest to another group. Remember, the reason for the function is to entertain the guests, and they always come first.

Take your obligation to talk to the guests seriously, but don´t keep the conversation going so long that the other person becomes uneasy. Introduce her to another and when they are chatting amicably, excuse yourself and join another group.

Paying Dues

The quickest way to lose popularity in your chapter is to become a financial risk. If your chapter has felt it wise to collect dues, you, as a member, are expected to pay them, on time. Not paying dues within a reasonable length of time is unfair to other members. And it´s quite rude to embarrass the treasurer by forcing her to remind you repeatedly to fulfill your financial obligation.

You share in the projects financed by the chapter treasury, so don´t feel you are being taken advantage of when you are expected to do your share. If you think the dues are unnecessarily high, there is a time to mention it -- in the business meeting.

Doing Your Part

You thought enough about the chapter to join it in the first place. Like anything else you are part of, there might be a time when it looks as if the ship is sinking. You may have been lucky enough to belong to a club where others did more than their share, and you were able to jump on the bandwagon and reap the benefits without contributing your time, work and talent. Ordinarily a ship stays afloat and pushing ahead because of the loyalty and conscientious effort of the entire crew!


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