The Realities of WC Sorority Rushing

By Emily Harris

Elm Staff Writer

 

For anyone who isn’t involved in Greek life, you’ve probably gained most of your knowledge about it from movies and a few TV shows. “The House Bunny”, “Greek”, “Sorority Row”…all having very different premises, and all of them taking creative liberties when representing sororities and fraternities.

My first thought goes to the opening scene of “Legally Blonde,” showing a sorority house full of luxuries, over-excited college girls, pink, and more pink. I’ve barely scratched the surface of what it means to be a member in my experience thus far, but I have definitely made some realizations about pledging that are positive rather than negative. Obviously I can’t get into the details, but I will take this opportunity to dispel some ideas about Greek life, at least from what I’ve experienced.

First of all, no one is out to get you. In a lot of movies, sororities are portrayed as conniving groups that want to be better than everyone else at any cost. I can definitely say this is not the reality here at WC. The groups I met during rush week wanted to do their own thing and had enough respect for the others not to harass them in any way. No one has time for petty drama, because they’re dedicated to their own organizations. There’s no desire to tear anyone else down because that affects Greek life on campus collectively, not just individual groups.

Another preconceived idea is that members treat their pledges horribly. Again, not true. I have remained mentally stable, fully clothed, and uninjured throughout my pledging process. No one has made me feel unsafe or uncomfortable, because the truth is everyone wants you to be there and they care more about you than having a laugh at your expense.

A theme throughout movies with college settings is that Greek organizations are strictly about socializing, and academics are barely even a part of it. Of course, no one really wants to watch a movie about a bunch of guys in a frat house doing their homework, but the stereotypes brought about by movies like this affect how people view organizations in real life.

I have found the complete opposite to be true. Even as a pledge, I’m expected to keep my grades up and let everyone know if I have big tests or projects coming up. Weekly study hours are set up for new pledges so there is designated time to focus on school work. To me, that doesn’t sound like a group that is solely focused on social aspects of Greek life. There are academic expectations for each member, and that is why these groups should be respected, and are by people who really understand what they’re about.

Conformity may seem to be the ultimate goal of a Greek organization, but as a pledge I’ve found that a sorority can act as a place where people just want you to be yourself, no changing, no alterations, no improvements necessary. I don’t need to project a certain image to be respected by the sisters of AOII, because they have made an effort to care about me, and not who I appear to be. I have no reason to believe this is untrue of any other Greek organization on campus, and even if someone might seem like a “typical” frat guy or sorority girl, there’s probably more to their story than you think.

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