Are letters of reference required?
No. Not only are letters of reference not required for recruitment event invitations, they are also not required for membership. Many young women are offered bids to Theta membership each year in every chapter that did not have letters of recommendation.
Do letters of reference still help?Absolutely. They provide a wealth of information to the chapter regarding potential new members (PNMs), they let the chapter know that the PNM has alumnae support and the PNM is awarded "bonus points" for having a letter of reference. At colleges where recruitment is extremely competitive, bonus points are extremely helpful.
Deadlines?There are no "official" deadlines for letters of reference. Each chapter must accept and award the bonus points for any letter of reference that arrives while the PNM is still attending events at their chapter even after recruitment has begun. Some chapters have set "preferred" deadlines which they STRONGLY encourage. As you can imagine, reading literally thousands of references the week before recruitment begins would be impossible. The sooner the reference is received, the more time the Executive Recruitment Committee (ERB) has to review the PNM and promote her to the chapter. Sooner is always better!
Letters of Support?While they will always accept and read letters of support, they would like the RRBCs to know that they are not giving the PNMs an additional edge. They do not receive any extra bonus points for them. For some chapters that receive 2,000 letters of reference, adding 2-3 letters of support for each PNM on top of that means they are now having to read 6,000-8,000 letters. The numbers of PNMs going through recruitment has grown exponentially since many of our alumnae were active. Please educate your local alumnae chapter that 1 letter of reference with no letters of support is sufficient. Yes, even in Texas and Oklahoma! They also mentioned that the customized folders, matching stickers, etc., while very cute, do not help the PNM any more than those that are just paper clipped together. Let's save these girls and their families some money by letting them know that it's really not necessary. No need to make sure that the PNMs from your city have the cutest packets!
Online vs Hard Copies? All were in agreement on the conference call that the majority of references they receive nowadays are online. So...if you are still struggling with making the switch, feel free! You will now be in the majority. The chapters that want hard copies print them out. Many alums worry about sending the reference online because they want the hard copy pictures to get there. In reality, they have to scan those pictures into their computer when you send them because promotional sessions are done via their computers so it's actually easier for them when they receive them online.
Click here to submit a letter of reference online.
Click here for more information about letters of reference.