New Member Education (NME) is a period of time that all potential members must complete before becoming eligible to be a full active member of a society.
We hope that NME is a top priority for you during this period, but we are willing to work reasonably around class and work schedules.
During NME, potential new members learn the values and traditions of the society. They also develop skills to help them function as actives within the society. Finally, potential new members get to know their “NME sisters” and the current actives better during this special time. The bond of sisterhood among all Palmers grows and is reinforced through the shared experiences of NME. Many of the skills learned during NME are valuable in real world work situations after graduation. The friendships that form during this time last a lifetime and span many generations.
When you decide to start the NME process is completely up to you and is limited only by your academic eligibility and standing with Whittier College. No one can tell you when the right time to participate in the process for you is except you, yourself.
An important thought: Many members find that going through the NME process as an underclassman is a valuable experience because they had time to grow as an individual with every experience society life presented. As these members learned more about themselves and what they could do as society members, they were able to accomplish even more within the society. Furthermore, while NME teaches these members a great deal about being a society member, there is still a lot to learn from your sisters about the society and how it works, especially in the first year. More often than not, members who delayed joining the society wished they had more opportunity to realize their full potential as an active. While these individuals have few regrets, many do wish they had went through the process sooner.
One of the many skills taught during NME is time management. There are many things to learn and do in during the process, but Palmers learn to manage all the things they do with the help and cooperation of their Palmer sisters.
It is important to be very honest with yourself about your time commitments before deciding to go through NME. You need to be fair to your new member sisters and the Palmers in following through with your obligations to the entire group both during and after NME. No matter how busy our members are, we do expect them to be engaged and active within the group.
Most Palmers serve on at least 2-3 committees during the regular semester as well as attend weekly meetings that are at least 1 hour. In addition, we place a priority on maintaining good grades while attending activities and fundraising events. Life balance is important; Palmers are often members and leaders in other groups and teams on campus and many work. Being able to accommodate all those schedules is something we work on constantly and while certainly not everyone can always attend everything, we do expect our members to make every effort to be involved.
The costs of NME are dependent on the activities and projects each NME class decides to do. They are encouraged to arrange fundraisers to support their projects just like we as active members do the same to support our activities. Dues are a part of being a Palmer Society member and there are additional costs as a part of being a member including gear and event fees.
In order to be allowed to participate in NME, you must also meet certain eligibility requirements set by Whittier College. Potential members indicate that they want to participate in the NME process by submitting a bid to the society (or societies) of their choice. Once the bid request window closes, you will be notified whether you have acquired a bid from the society or not. Then, you choose whether to accept or decline the bid through an online form hosted by the school. For more information, visit “Becoming a Palmer Member.“
I didn’t attend Open House, Rush or any of the other Prospective Events. Can I still participate in NME?
Open House and Rush Events are designed to give potential members and the individual societies the opportunity to get know one another. The Palmer Society requires potential members to attend at least 2-3 mixers the Fall semester before the NME process. Individuals unable to make these events should approach the President or New Member Educator to discuss additional opportunities and eligibility to join the Palmer Society with careful consideration to time commitments given. Furthermore, potential members are welcome to approach any society member at any time during the year to find out more about joining a society.
Whittier College societies are one of the oldest traditions on campus and have stood the test of time when other groups have faded with the changing needs of students at Whittier. This fact is a testament to the ability of societies to continue to adjust and meet the needs of so many individuals as the times have changed. While the reasons individuals join a society are diverse, here are some common benefits cited by members for joining a society:
- Desire to be a part of a lasting organization at the college that is rich in history and tradition.
- Social opportunities throughout the school year and beyond.
- Opportunities to meet and develop friendships in an area which is not limited to extraordinarily specific activities, skills, goals, or demographics.
- To enrich college experiences beyond the classroom.
- Chances to meet and be involved with other members of the Whittier College community who can help me to grow in both the personal and the professional arena.
- Genuinely unlimited opportunities to plan interesting activities and events that span a variety of areas, from community service to cultural and intellectual pursuits to personal entertainment.