80_512483406995_4569_nToday, the AKAs are coming out at Howard, as are the Ques, and probably a bunch of other folks.  I will be 35 this year — gone are my days of showing up on Howard’s campus just to see probate shows.  It’s a little unseemly to show up for a show to see some guys and girls you don’t know, even if one is an enthusiast of such things.

However, I do anticipate the many Instagram photos and YouTube videos which are sure to fill my newsfeeds in a few hours.  Special shout out to Calilivin09, a former Howard student who did a really good job at documenting all the probate shows/neophyte shows for their entire time there.  We underestimate the importance of documentation of these events, and thanks to the amateur documentarians, we can look, remember, compare, and smile.

The bad thing about YouTube is that for all the great neo shows that we’ve seen, we’ve also seen some pretty bad ones, haven’t we?  The point of my post is not to clown the worst probate shows ever, but to give all of you in Greekdom just a few tips that can prevent you from having a bad coming out show.

Believe it or not, you don’t have to have a probate show.  (Yes, I know they are called New Member Presentations now, but I’m still calling it a Probate.)

Yes, yes, I know on your campus everybody probates.  And I’m sure you’re thinking if your chapter doesn’t probate, you will be seen as wack, cat, skaters, etc.

Who cares?  The fact is your boys or your girls just might not be ready to present a perfect show in enough time.  You might not have enough talented step masters in your chapter to teach them.  Or maybe, just maybe, your organization has too many restrictive rules on probates to make it worthwhile.

You don’t have to explain to the public why you’re not having a probate.  At the end of the day, never put out less than high quality when it comes to presenting your new members.  If you can’t have an A+ probate, have an A+ alternative.

Ever been to a Cotillion?  No, I’m not saying have a cotillion instead of a probate.  But take the basic idea of introducing new members one by one in a formal way to the community and apply it to an event which would work on your campus.

Have a reception or a tea.  Get a multipurpose room on campus, have some nice food, dress up, and introduce your new people.  I bet your administrators and grad chapter would approve.

Looking for something less formal?  Have a crossing party and introduce the new members by letting them stroll into the party.  All you have to do is teach them one stroll.

Wanting to introduce your new members to the campus is valid, and your new members will certainly want to be introduced.  But please ma’am, and please, sir, know your limitations.  Where it’s time or talent or even challenges of finding flattering identical attire, know that a terrible probate will spell a terrible year.

A few years ago, a sorority I’m acquainted with had so many restrictions on probates that all they could really do was have an all-chapter step show.  The entire chapter dressed alike, marched out, stepped, introduced themselves one by one, stepped some more, and strolled out.  It was not only a debut for the new members, but a farewell for the seniors.

If restrictions are a problem, there are alternatives.

This is not a probate:

Nor is this a probate:

And this is not a probate:

Happy probate season, everyone!