Recently, several New Member Educators have asked about things to do with their pledge class during the new member period. Here are some activities and events to plan for the months between bid day and initiation day!
🌻 60+ New Member Class Activity Ideas: 🌻
Plan and complete a service project together. A beach clean-up, visiting the elderly, or a coat drive for needy children would be appropriate.
Host a new member surprise party given by the actives. Or, a surprise party for the actives, hosted by the new members.
Invite an educational speaker to address the class and have a discussion period afterwards. Or attend a speaking event at another location and gather back at the house to talk about the topic.
Offer a new member book club for those who are interested.
Schedule a new member retreat with lots of bonding activites.
Ask the class to choose a special nickname for their class and set 3 top goals to achieve before initiation.
Invite a career planner or faculty member to meet with the class and discuss choosing a major and career opportunities.
If someone has a connection to a professional musician (or other performer) ask them to surprise the pledge class with a pop up serenade.
Invite different favorite fraternities to serenade the class during the semester.
Offer a session on college history and greek life on campus led buy an expert.
Plan a dressy dinner party at an alumnae’s house and invite an accomplished alum to speak to the group about her sorority and life experiences.
Host a pool party, beach day, rice skating afternoon, or other “active” class party soon after bid day.
Schedule a craft evening to DIY donations for your philanthropy.
Invite someone from the panhellenic or greek life office to address the class on greek issues.
Plan a themed slumber party and movie night.
Ask the class to plan one small fundraiser during the semester and decide what the funds should be used for.
Offer one seminar or speaker on women’s health and wellness.
Request that all new members belong to one other organization on campus outside of the chapter. Make time to share information about the new member’s additional clubs.
Host a family weekend or tailgating party especially for new members.
During class meetings, make sure to explain chapter history, the role of national, dues, sorority house policies, risk management, standards, membership expectations, etc…
As a new member class, attend all-greek events and other greek fundraisers and functions together.
Create a brief questionnaire for the new members asking about topics they’re interested in. For example, would they be interested in learning more about healthy eating, depression, career planning, or personal motivation? From the poll results you can plan which guest speakers or faculty members would be most popular for an event.
Plan a “secret sister” type program between members of the class. Small surprise treats can be given throughout the new member period, with a reveal party at the end of the semester.
Host a “meet our new members” all-panhellenic, or all-greek, picnic - BBQ.
Plant a new member class tree.
Encourage new members to play on greek intramural sports teams and track their tournament play.
Attend a theatre event together as a class.
Attend a sports game together as a class.
Offer several ways for new members to meet potential big sisters and help them through the big/little matching process.
Have the new members choose one sorority house improvement project to work on and complete.
Co-host a party with another sorority’s new member class.
Give awards throughout the semester. For example, give a $25 gift certificate to ~ the new member with the highest GPA, the girl with the best new recruitment idea, the best meeting attendance record, etc..
Invite the new members to submit their ideas and share their feelings via an anonymous “Suggestions” box.
Host an energetic work-put session, yoga class, or dance instruction for the class.
Have lunch together once a week either at the house, in the dining hall, or outside.
Take a class trip to your sorority’s national headquarters.
Write, rehearse and stage a class skit especially for the active sisters.
Practice a collection of sorority songs and perform a concert for the chapter.
After learning about chapter history, plan several Game Show style competitions to test new member knowledge.
Take some road trips to visit nearby chapters.
Schedule several candle-passes where new members share what they value most in the sorority.
Have a “reverse” candle-pass where the girl holding the candle doesn’t speak and the other new members share their feelings about her.
Assign alumnae mentors to the new members in small groups based on majors and career interest.
Present a complete academic plan for the class. Require study hours, ask each pledge to set her own academic goals, give awards for A’s on tests, host a study skills workshop, etc…
Give the new members leadership training. Divide the class into small groups and pass out “case studies” of typical sorority problems. Ask each group to discuss how they would solve the issues if they were a chapter officer.
Conduct a time management seminar. Encourage using agendas or electronic scheduling.
Ask the new members to host a “mock” recruitment with the active sisters posing as skeptical PNMs.
Attend a greek council meeting together as a class and discuss the procedures afterwards.
Assign sections of the chapter’s bylaws and campus greek policies to individual girls and ask each one to present the facts to the class.
Ask an etiquette expert to offer a session on good manners.
Invite older members, or alums, of a respectable fraternity to discuss dating, relationships and co-ed behavior on campus.
Request that the class work together and plan a dry sisterhood social for the sorority.
Ask the new members to design a classy tee shirt that they can all wear to special events and on designated days.
At every new member meeting play team building games and ‘get to know you’ ice breakers.
Plan a new members only camping trip or spa weekend.
Hold a new member sorority quiz bowl or trivia game night.
Ask each new member to write a letter to herself during the first few days of pledging. In the letters each girl should express her hopes, dreams and expectations of joining the sorority. Read the letters following initiation and compare experiences.
Sponsor a financial planner to speak with the group about managing money and credit while in college.
Create a new member sports competition in an unusual sport such as croquette, lawn blowing, curling, badminton, or pink pong.
Recognize a new member of the week for a special accomplishment. She gets to wear the “crown” or medallion for the week until another pledge is honored.
hannahcat91 said: I just got finished reading CoHF for the second time and I wanted to ask that if [I’m hoping and praying] sometime in the near future (very near future) you are thinking/going to write another TMI book because I really wanna know what happens with everyone. I know that I REALLY wanna know about Simon and Isabelle and Jace and Clary. I haven’t read the Clockwork series or the Bane Chronicles so I don’t know if you have put anything in those two series about those four characters. Please answer if you can.“
I get this a lot! Simon and Isabelle and Jace and Clary are not in the Clockwork series because it takes place 135 years before they were born. If you try the Clockwork series, though, you might find you like the characters in it just as much as Simon and Isabelle and Jace and Clary.
You will see glimpses of Simon and Isabelle and Jace and Clary in the Bane Chronicles, especially in the later stories. You will see a lot of them in Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, which is coming up quite soon (February is the first e-story — not sure when it will be in print, but I’d guess December 2015). They’ll be mentioned in The Dark Artifices and have some scenes.
The thing is with a series is that you do at some point have to decide whether you want to tell the story of a set of events in a person’s life, the events that changed them the most usually, or if you want to follow those characters until they die or your fans get bored, whichever happens first. If you do keep going, and I’ve talked about this before, you have to keep thinking of ways to cause conflict, and hurt your protagonists, because otherwise there is no story. And I really did think Simon and Isabelle and Jace and Clary had earned a rest.
I don’t have plans to continue the Mortal Instruments as the Mortal Instruments right now. The Dark Artifices is a continuation of the Mortal Instruments in the sense that it continues the larger story: Now that the Clave has passed the Cold Peace, what will happen to them? Will the bonds between Downworld and the Shadowhunters be destroyed? How do the Shadowhunters cope with having a corrupt government; how can it be altered without bloodshed, without repeating Valentine’s mistakes? The difference is, of course, in the emotional story of the protagonists, who are no longer Jace and Clary, Alec and Magnus, or Simon and Isabelle.
So you kind of assume that metric: if you continue to write in the same world, but change characters, you can assume you will initially lose 50-60% of your readers. If you change worlds and characters entirely you can assume you will lose 90% of them. Therefore it is not a decision any writer makes lightly.
I am quite excited about The Dark Artifices and The Last Hours as they are both very different types of stories that I have not told before, and also stories that allow me to expand and add further detail to a world I already love and have a grand plan for. I understand it’s hard to imagine you might one day like other characters as much as you like Jace and Clary, Alec and Magnus, or Simon and Isabelle, but there was a time when they were unknown, too. All old characters were new once.
It’s true that if you want to find out what happens to Jace and Clary, Alec and Magnus, or Simon and Isabelle, you pretty much have to read Dark Artifices as right now those are the only books I have planned in which they are mentioned. Just like if you want to find out what Will and Tessa’s married life was like, or what Charlotte and Henry, Gideon and Gabriel, Cecily and Sophie were like as adults, you have to read The Last Hours. But I hope that though people may pick these books up for the sight of their old favorites, they will come to care about the new characters just as much. The new characters are, after all, the people driving the plot, falling in love, making friends, and generally having things happen to them — not the old ones.
I think never say never is a good axiom — you have no idea how you’ll feel in a few years, or if a new idea will come to you. Right now I don’t have a plan to write another book where Jace and Clary, Alec and Magnus, or Simon and Isabelle are the protagonists.* That’s all I can know for now, and meantime I simply hope you’ll give the next books a try. (In fact, if you haven’t read the Clockwork series, you might want to give those a try; you might be surprised how much they connect to TMI.)
* Well, Simon is the protagonist of Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy, which is either a single novel or ten novellas, depending how you look at it.