College · Greek Life

Sorority Stereotypes

This past spring semester, I went through recruitment weekend to join a sorority on my campus. When I told my parents I was interested in accepting a bid I got a couple of different responses. My father, who didn’t really know what a sorority is, encouraged me to get involved on my campus and do whatever I wanted to. My mother as first was excited. Until she talked to my aunt, who informed her of all the sorority stereotypes that parents these days worry about when you go out for recruitment.

Greek life on my campus is pretty different than it is on other campuses. We don’t have houses that are specifically for the Greek Life community to live in. There isn’t a huge recruitment weekend of partying and hazing or any form of bullying for that matter. Greeks on my campus are actually looked up upon by the professors, for the most part. I understand the movies make sororities look bad, but as a member of one, just like high school, they are nothing like the movies make it out to be.

Here are some of the typical stereotypes people think of when they hear that you are in a sorority.

  • Paying for your friends.
    • Oh my is this a big one. Yes we have dues. Yes we have to pay them. No they are not spent on throwing parties. Yes they actually go towards our philanthropy work. Trust me, if I were paying for my friends that I’ve met since recruitment, it would be a whole lot more money.
  • Constant partying.
    • This one irks me simply because in my so far six months of being an initiated member have yet to go to a sorority party. For one, your chapter can get into a whole bunch of trouble if caught. For two, again, it’s just not like the movies. Just because you’re in a sorority doesn’t mean you party every night of the week, or even every weekend.
  • Getting bad grades.
    • I don’t really understand this one. Why do people associate getting bad grades when they are apart of a sorority which values intelligence? Even when receiving a bid, each sorority has their standards for intelligence with a minimum GPA requirement. My chapter has tutoring and hour requirements if you fall below the requirement during a semester, and not to mention academic probation.
  • Hazing
    • For some reason, years ago sororities were kind of known for hazing during the recruitment process. But it’s a new decade. Sorority recruitment is literally sitting down and getting to know each sorority’s core values and philanthropy work. You get to connect with some of the initiated girls and figure out if one of these sororities is the right place for you. The entire time, you are simply encouraged to just be yourself.
  • Initiation.
    • Since I just brought it up a little, initiation tends to be a huge one. People ask what the paddles are really used for. They ask if you’re going to get branded. Are you joining a cult? And so on. Initiation has a bad reputation pretty much just because the rituals are scared. No one knows what happens besides initiated members. This doesn’t mean that what happens during these rituals is hazing, bullying or anything of that sense, at all.

Now that I’ve discussed some of the simple and basic stereotypes, I hope that everyone can come to terms with how sororities actually work in this generation. They are barely ever what they are portrayed to be in the movies. Accepting a bid not only gets you involved on campus but also allows you to meet so many Greeks, even from other sororities, or fraternities. Being exposed to all these new people you tend to get even more involved. You met friends who are a part of this group or that group and they encourage you to get involved with it as well. Joining a sorority was just the beginning of my campus involvement.

I couldn’t be more thankful for my Greek family.

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