Understanding the Constitution and Statutes and Policy Changes Related to Collegiate Recruitment

Following the legislative vote outcomes of Convention 2021, several changes are being made to the recruitment process and are effective immediately.

This page was last updated on July 27, 2021.

Legacy Legislation

The proposal to remove “special considerations” given to legacies in recruitment passed. This means, effective July 24, 2021:

  • Legacies will not receive a courtesy invitation to the first invitational round.
  • Legacies will not automatically be placed at the top of the bid list if she attends preference.
  • The Legacy Introduction Form (LIF) has been removed from the website and chapters will no longer receive information about legacies ahead of the recruitment process via that form nor through the Recruitment Information Form (RIF).
  • A PNM may share her legacy status with the chapter during recruitment and will not be treated differently because of it.

Sponsorship Legislation

The proposal to eliminate the requirement of sponsorship did not pass. This means, effective July 24, 2021:

  • Grand Council has voted to sponsor all PNMs not otherwise sponsored, alleviating the Chapter Membership Selection Committee (CMSC). CMSC will not need to meet as all PNMs will be already sponsored.
  • Minor updates to the RIF have been made but the overall RIF process remains the same.
    • Changes to the RIF include: 
      • The legacy section, parent names, unnecessary parts of home and high school addresses, SAT/ACT scores and the “Other Greek Relationships” section have been removed. We also clarified the endorsement types.
  • The RIF still includes a “Do Not Endorse” option and those will need to be addressed appropriately.

General Questions

Grand Council has been carefully examining Pi Beta Phi legacy recruitment policies as well as other recruitment-related practices over the last 18 months. This effort originated from years of conversation about the relevancy of our practices to today’s college student and today’s college campus. With the onset of COVID-19, some of these conversations – specifically those around membership sponsorship – became mission critical as the logistics we were asking chapter leaders and Alumnae Advisory Committee (AAC) members to endure while physically-distanced were unreasonably burdensome. Then, with the Fraternity more firmly expressing our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion over the summer months, we were faced with the reality that our practices may be antiquated, exclusive and create barriers.

Changes were issued for the 2020-2021 academic year. Specifically related to special consideration for legacies, chapters were given options on whether or not to extend courtesies to legacies during the recruitment process. With feedback from many within our organization and the rapidly evolving climate of higher education, Grand Council felt it imperative they were proposing the best possible solutions for Pi Beta Phi to sustain our organization into the future.

At Convention 2021, the convention body voted to eliminate the special considerations given to legacies. The proposal to eliminate sponsorship did not pass, and therefore the RIF process will continue.

As a cornerstone of Pi Beta Phi’s recruitment philosophy, membership decisions are up to each individual chapter. Chapter members are given the opportunity to offer membership to women they feel are the best fit for their chapter.  

That said, alumnae have and will continue to play a role in recruitment. In support of chapter recruitment efforts, alumnae may submit RIFs for PNMs and are encouraged to promote the benefits of the sorority experience and their pride in Pi Beta Phi membership: tell a PNM why she should sign up for recruitment, share how Pi Beta Phi has impacted your life and help them understand the life-long value of the sorority experience. 

To support our chapters in collegiate recruitment, Alumnae Advisory Committee members and a team of Fraternity alumnae volunteers guide and advise the chapter through the recruitment process based on current trends and long-proven plans for success.  

Updates on Pi Beta Phi’s diversity, equity and inclusion work can be found at pibetaphi.org/dei.

Questions about Legacy Recruitment Changes

Per Pi Phi’s Constitution and Statutes, a daughter, sister, or granddaughter of a current initiated member is considered a legacy of the Fraternity. Chapters may add step relationships and great granddaughters as legacies in their own bylaws.

Legacies will no longer receive special considerations from Pi Beta Phi chapters in the recruitment process. This means, a legacy will no longer receive a courtesy invitation to rounds nor will a legacy automatically be placed at the top of the bid list if they attend the Preference Round. A chapter will not be required to know who legacies are in the recruitment process. The legacy may choose to share this information verbally during the recruitment process, but will not be treated differently because of it.

The goal during recruitment is to invite the very best women to membership in Pi Beta Phi. To do that, we must respect the uniqueness of each woman participating in recruitment and create an environment where all PNMs feel welcome and comfortable as their authentic selves. Pi Beta Phi cannot foster that type of environment while favoring one group of women over all the others due to their legacy status. Each PNM deserves a fair and equitable opportunity to get to know the chapter members and vice versa.  

A recruitment legacy policy, by nature, is inequitable. Such an inequitable policy is inconsistent with Pi Beta Phi’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The previous legacy policy provided an advantage during the recruitment process to PNMs who are Pi Beta Phi legacies.

In August 2020, Grand Council issued a temporary recruitment policy for the 2020-2021 academic year, allowing chapters to choose which, if any, courtesies they would afford to legacies. At that time,  it was important to address the concerns raised about the inequities of current legacy practices while the Fraternity examined options for a long-term solution. Since membership decisions are made at the chapter level, the chapter choose model allowed for the chapters to decide which model best fit their chapter. 

The shift in policy allows Pi Beta Phi chapters the greatest opportunity to pledge the best women for membership into Pi Phi.

Chapters may invite as many legacies as they’d like to each of round of recruitment. This policy change only means that legacies will not be invited to rounds or ultimately to membership solely based on their legacy status.  

Pi Beta Phi values the special lifelong connection a legacy presents. The legacy and legacy relationship will continue to be celebrated through meaningful opportunities, such as pinning a legacy at initiation. Celebrating a legacy and favoring a legacy are not the same.

A PNM may indicate her legacy status on her primary recruitment application through her university Panhellenic. There may be cases in which legacy status is not asked for on university Panhellenic recruitment applications. A PNM is also welcome to share her legacy relationship verbally with the chapter members she meets during recruitment. The Fraternity will no longer administer the Legacy Introduction Form (LIF).

The changes to the legacy policy took effect immediately.  

A significant number of National Panhellenic Conference member organizations have made changes to their legacy polices in the last year. While Pi Beta Phi did not make this change because other organizations have changed their policy, the Fraternity considered the rationale for changes made by peers to inform the decision that is right for Pi Phi.

The number of known Pi Phi legacies going through the primary recruitment process across the country tends to grow each year, so it’s difficult to say how many Pi Phi legacies will start the process next year and beyond. What we do know, based on chapter-reported data, is on average, Pi Beta Phi has historically pledged 25% of known legacies for the last several years.

Legacy relationships (Mothers, Sisters and Grandmothers) will still have the opportunity to participate in her legacy’s initiation ceremony. Other events, such as the legacy luncheon at convention and chapter-specific events, highlight legacy relationships and provide a way to connect with other legacy families. More informal and personal celebrations between families is another way to celebrate, and we often see examples of passing down badges, swapping member experiences, providing their New Member with a lavalier or Greek letters, sharing a special meal together after initiation, etc.

Questions about Membership Sponsorship and Recommendation Changes

Alumnae members or Alumnae Clubs may sponsor a PNM via the Recruitment Information Form (RIF), Pi Phi’s “recommendation” form. RIFs are not required by Pi Beta Phi and if a PNM does not receive a RIF from an alumna, she will be sponsored by Grand Council for the 2021-2022 school year (see above for details on Grand Council’s decision to provide sponsorship).  

We do not encourage sending additional information, like resumes, photos, letters of support, packets, etc., to collegiate chapters. Chapters are receiving information about PNMs from their College Panhellenics via the recruitment registration process and therefore additional information sent by alumnae is duplicative and can be burdensome to our chapters.  

Many alumnae are utilizing the online RIF, which can be found at www.pibetaphi.org/recruitment. Once submitted, the information will be sent to the chapter and you will automatically receive a confirmation of receipt via email when you submit the form which will serve as the RIF Acknowledgement.  

You must be logged in to the website to gain access to the form. If you do not have or cannot remember your login information, click here and follow the steps to set up or reclaim your account. We highly encourage you to take the time to update your personal information, like your address and email, in your account as well. 

While alumnae are welcome to submit RIFs, we also encourage alumnae to consider selling the PNM on Pi Phi as opposed to selling the chapter on the PNM. Meaning, if you have the opportunity to talk with a PNM about your sorority experience, we hope you will share all the things you love about Pi Phi and your collegiate experience. Tell her why you chose Pi Phi and what you’ve gained by being a member of a sorority. Alumnae have a unique opportunity to provide guidance to a PNM before she goes through recruitment and we encourage you to take advantage of that.

No. The Legacy Introduction Form will also be eliminated.  

A PNM may indicate her legacy status on her primary recruitment application through her university Panhellenic. There may be cases in which legacy status is not asked for on recruitment applications and we anticipate that trend to grow across the country in the coming years. A PNM is also welcome to share her legacy relationship verbally with the chapter members she meets throughout the recruitment process.

Pi Phi History

In 1867, 12 courageous young women at Monmouth College came together to form a sisterhood rooted in shared experiences, enduring values and Sincere Friendships. Today, more than 150 years and 300,000 members later, we continue to celebrate our founders' vision as sisters of Pi Beta Phi.

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