Educational Administration, Department of


Date of this Version

Spring 5-23-2014


Golden, G. J. (2014). Unfulfilled Expectations: Impact of Formal Panhellenic Sorority Recruitment on Unmatched Potential New Members. (Unpublished thesis). University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Digital Commons.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Arts, Major: Educational Administration, Under the Supervision of Professor Debra Mullen. Lincoln, Nebraska: March, 2014

Copyright (c) 2014 Gregory Joseph Golden


Across hundreds of college campuses in North America, sorority organizations have rapidly expanded membership since their establishment in the late 18th century. In this time period, many collegiate undergraduate women have come to realize the perceived benefits of sorority membership and the positive impact affiliation can have for a college experience. However, for every woman who is afforded this experience, there are numerous others whose initial transition into college is defined by exclusion from these privileged organizations.

The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of the Panhellenic sorority recruitment process on former potential new members (PNMs) who do not receive an invitation for membership. Through a semi-structured interview protocol, qualitative interviews were conducted with five former PNMs. The findings indicated that immediately after the non-event, students reported both diminished self-esteem and increased anxiety. Despite these factors, participants eventually accepted their newly constructed roles following the transition. Discussion of coping strategies and unresolved issues for the students are discussed, as well as implications for Student Affairs practice. Recommendations for future research are presented.

Adviser: Debra Mullen