Phi Mu: From Me to You

Phi Mu is for a lifetime! Just as you cherish your Phi Mu memories, we want to help you encourage college students and college-bound women to consider creating priceless Phi Mu memories of their own by sharing Phi Mu “from me to you”!

We believe that the best way to promote the sorority experience is to encourage any young woman you know to sign up for recruitment and for you to share the value of your sorority experience, your “Phi Mu story,” with her. In response to research showing declining sorority registration rates and under the direction of the National Panhellenic Conference, we want to work together. We all benefit when more PNMs register for recruitment and join a sorority – that makes our chapters, Panhellenic communities and inter/national organizations stronger. You may remember strict rules in the past about not “rushing” Potential New Members (PNMs) before recruitment begins. That is no longer the case – and our own alumnae are our best marketers!

Based on information provided by collegiate chapters, Phi Mu remains firm on the stance that letters of recommendation are an unnecessary burden for Potential New Members and chapters to manage (see the FAQ link below). We do acknowledge, and appreciate, the immense value of alumnae sharing accurate information about the recruitment process with Potential New Members. We want alumnae to share the value of your Phi Mu experience and the opportunity to connect back to Phi Mu.

This is where you come in! If you know a young woman attending, or planning to attend, a campus in the 2024-2025 academic year where we have a collegiate chapter, we want to know! When you provide a PNM’s contact information, she will receive an email from a Fraternity staff member (see the example below) that encourages her to register for recruitment and provides helpful links about the process and about Phi Mu. 

How do I start sharing Phi Mu? 

  1. Any alumna in good standing may fill out this form in myPhiMu to provide contact information for a Potential New Member. If you have not yet claimed your myPhiMu account you will need to do so first.
  2. The Potential New Member will receive a personalized email from Phi Mu Fraternity with information, links and social media handles for the chapter and the campus Panhellenic where she is attending school. 
  3. Chapters will receive the list of names of Potential New Members who have been submitted for their campus
  4. If you have a Phi Mu chapter sister/friend who did not receive this email, please forward this to her and have her claim her myPhiMu account where she can add or update her email address
  5. The form will close on July 22, 2024

 

How else can I help a Potential New Member learn about recruitment? 

  • NPC’s Website The Sorority Life has great and accurate information about recruitment. 
  • Understand that recruitment may look different than when you joined. NPC has a great resource on Notable Shifts in Sorority Recruitment; lean on these resources to help frame your conversations with Potential New Members. 
  • Look up the campus Panhellenic (i.e., “Auburn University Panhellenic”). Typically there is a website with helpful information or look for the Panhellenic’s Instagram page. 
  • Look up the Phi Mu chapter’s social media pages and/or chapter website. 
  • Help connect the PNM with undergraduate sorority women you know. They can be a great resource, even if they aren’t at the same school. 

When did Phi Mu stop using recommendation letters?

Prior to the fall 2021 Primary Recruitment season, Phi Mu’s National Council unanimously voted to remove the requirement of an alumna reference/recommendation for Potential New Members.

What is the rationale behind this change?

  • The main reason was to empower current collegiate chapter members to make their own membership selection decisions without what was sometimes undue influence, or the attempt at undue influence, by even well-meaning alumnae.
    • To better manage expectations of alumnae and of Potential New Members.
    • Some alumnae mistakenly believed that submitting a Reference Form would guarantee invitations to Phi Mu, or even a bid.
    • This often led to ill will toward the collegiate chapter and/or Phi Mu Fraternity.
  • To reduce barriers to joining by allowing each Potential New Member the same opportunity to receive an invitation for membership to Phi Mu.
    • Potential New Members without access to a Phi Mu alumna, or the knowledge of how to find one through Phi Mu or an Alumnae Panhellenic, were – or felt – at a disadvantage. That group included first-generation college students and those without family members in sororities.
    • Many Potential New Members who did know about references spent an inordinate amount of time securing them.
    • Some Potential New Members were disheartened, after submitting a reference (and going through the time to obtain it), to not get invited to the next round.
    • This often led to ill will toward the collegiate chapter.
  • Most references from alumnae – this data was provided by collegiate chapters – were “information only” and had details already available on the Potential New Member’s resume and recruitment registration form.
  • The usage of recommendation letters varies widely from campus to campus – for some it was standard but for many others, they were not utilized and those chapters still pledged quality women. For some campuses where recommendation letters were the norm, chapters had to spend an inordinate amount of time tracking and processing letters, some of which were “information only” so not helpful for membership selection decisions.
  • In the age of social media, chapters are extremely good at learning about Potential New Members in order to make their own decision about who to extend a bid to.

Why is there not an opportunity to attach resumes, photos, or additional information to the "Phi Mu: From Me to You" form?

Chapters receive photos, resumes, and often essay questions and even videos from Potential New Members with their recruitment application. Submitting additional photos and information chapters already receive on PNMs’ resumes is an unnecessary step.

Is a Potential New Member guaranteed a bid through this process?

No. Potential New Members are not guaranteed a bid. (Potential New Members were also not guaranteed a bid when recommendation letters were used in the past.)

How will chapters use this information?

It is up to each individual chapter to determine how to use this information. There is no expectation for what chapters do with the information.

Will I receive an acknowledgment that the Potential New Members’ name has been received by the chapter?

Chapters will not be expected to send thank-you notes or acknowledge that names were received. You will receive confirmation from the Fraternity that your form was received upon submission.

What will a Potential New Member receive when her name is submitted?

Emails to Potential New Members will be sent in batches, so there may be a gap between when her name is submitted and when the informational email is sent. She will receive an email similar to the example below, personalized with her first name and the college she is attending/plans to attend.

 

Background Information about Legacies and References

Beginning with the fall 2021 primary recruitment season, Phi Mu’s National Council unanimously voted to remove the preferential treatment of legacies and the requirement of an alumna reference/recommendation for Potential New Members. These changes empowered our collegiate chapters to make their own membership decisions and reduce barriers to joining by allowing each Potential New Member the same opportunity to receive an invitation for membership to Phi Mu.

When Phi Mu was founded in 1852, educational opportunities for women were scarce and largely limited to white women of privileged backgrounds. Phi Mu has evolved with the higher education landscape and we hope to offer the benefit of Phi Mu membership to any woman who represents Phi Mu’s ideals of love, honor and truth. 

You can read additional information about the decision here

General Questions

Information for Collegiate Chapters

Information for Alumnae Members

Will my legacy still be able to join Phi Mu? 

A Phi Mu legacy will be extended the same courtesy that is given to all Potential New Members. 

Phi Mu continues to define a legacy as a sister, half-sister, step-sister, daughter, step-daughter, granddaughter or great-granddaughter of a Phi Mu in good standing with the Fraternity. 

It is our hope that members teach Phi Mu’s values of love, honor and truth to their legacies so that when it comes time to choose a sorority home, legacies will want to join Phi Mu with other Potential New Members who share these values. 

Membership in Phi Mu is open to but not guaranteed to any woman. The Fraternity firmly supports our chapters in making autonomous membership decisions. 

 

Why is information about Potential New Members no longer needed from alumnae? 

Phi Mu has long been aware that the emphasis and utilization of Reference Forms/recommendations letters varies widely from campus to campus. While securing an alumna reference or letter of recommendation is the norm at some large institutions, many of our chapters receive none each year and are still able to pledge quality women who represent Phi Mu’s values of love, honor and truth. 

On some campuses, many Potential New Members spent a large amount of time attempting to find an alumna to write them a reference/letter of recommendation and it became increasingly clear that this was a true barrier for access to the organization. While Phi Mu values the information that our alumnae members provide to help our collegiate chapters, having a reference/recommendation letter as a required aspect to join Phi Mu actively excludes women who may not have access to an alumna to write one for them. 

An alumna reference or letter of recommendation has never guaranteed an invitation to membership and Phi Mu firmly supports our chapters in making autonomous membership decisions. 

Have Additional Questions?

Contact Phi Mu National Headquarters: email membership@phimu.org.