With the close of the fall semester, Omega Phi Alpha chapters celebrated the activation of their new pledge classes. Nationally, OPA now has 30 chapters with nearly 1,000 total paid active members, 550 of whom are new. With the spring semester fast approaching, now would be an excellent time to plan for a successful recruitment.

OPA recruitment consists of two main step–initiation and activation. While service is the strongest tie that binds OPA sisters, recruitment and education also support the sorority. The primary way OPA gains new members is with recruitment of students at the collegiate level, and spring recruitment allows for a more intimate, less-hurried experience. And prospective spring pledge classes are perfect for recruiting leaders who may have just rotated off of another leadership position. Reach out to these leaders and focus on getting to know a new core group of qualified women who can enrich our sisterhood for many years.

When deciding to join a group, leaders typically look for qualities such as balance, benefits and authenticity. Here are some tips to help tailor a recruitment experience to entice leaders to join our sisterhood and strengthen the sorority.

Balance > Leaders are usually good at prioritizing. They are able to delegate, step up when necessary, and take on other tasks when it is time to branch out. A good leader may recognize that she cannot do it al–leadership positions, job and a full course load–and she should be prepared with that information. Be honest and open about the time commitment of the pledge AND active periods. Leaders will want to be able to balance their lives. Show potential pledges that OPA has a strong, but manageable program of service and leadership.

Benefits > Leaders want to know that their actions have purpose. While the work OPA does for the community is important overall, the sorority also offers numerous benefits to the individual. Show potential pledges how leadership is incorporated in chapter committees and programming. Take time to explain how a pledge could use her personal strengths to better the chapter as well as grow as a leader. Mention the national leadership program as a way to deepen individual skills. Leadership is accessible even without having to take on officer roles. This elevates OPA above the average student organization.

Authenticity > It’s important to be authentic. Prospective members are not just looking to join an organization, they are looking to join your group of sisters. Recruitment activities beyond ice breakers and team building go a long way to build a rapport with leaders. These prospective members want to get to know the chapter as real people. Activities such as trash pick-ups, coffee dates and dinners before sporting events allow leaders to see chapter dynamics in a relaxed atmosphere. They also wants to feel that the chapter is interested in getting to know her as a person. Events that closely match chapter activities can give prospective members an authentic taste of OPA chapter life.

So, now that you know what leaders may be looking for, here is how OPA presents itself.

Marketing > Our new brand identity gives OPA a professional way to stand above the crowd. Review the new branding guide on the website (under Resources) andbe one of the first chapters to incorporate the new look in all your communications.

New member training > Spring recruitment will be the first time the newest sisters experience recruitment from the member side. Be sure the new actives are ready with the confidence to be themselves. Take time to practice conversations together as a chapter. Mock voting sessions are also a great idea to guide new actives in the procedure of membership selection.

Quality brings quantity > It has been said that you can’t recruit someone you don’t know. It is important to remember that no one is just an OPA sister. We all have different interests, majors and hobbies. Make a chapter list of all the activities sisters are involved in. Try to invite one leader of each organization or team to chapter recruitment events. Have a networking event for all of the campus leaders. Don’t forget to reach out to educational and leadership honor societies such as Omicron Delta Kappa, Mortarboard and Golden Key.

Looking for more ideas? Reach out to Megan Johnston, vice president of membership, at membership@omegaphialpha.org.

By Mackenzie Garretson (Alpha Delta), Chevron writer