Saturday, September 22, 2012

What's wrong with being a sorority girl?

My first few months of traveling as a Leadership Consultant for Alpha Delta Pi have been primarily filled with recruitment visits. In preparation for the recruitment period, many chapters talk about what their sorority means to them and what they are looking for in their new members. A common theme I have found among the schools I've visited is that the women do not think of themselves as "sorority girls." In fact, they pride themselves on not being "sorority girls." To this, I have two reactions:

1. Most obviously: A) You are a woman. B) You are in a sorority. Therefore, you are a "sorority girl" (or, as I prefer to say, sorority woman).

2. More importantly: When people say they're not a "sorority girl," what are they really saying? They're probably saying they are not Elle Woods, right? (Although, Elle did graduate with honors from Harvard Law, so I'm not sure what's so wrong with being her....)

I understand why people think of sorority girls as blonde bimbos; that's how we are portrayed in the media. However, I always like to remind the women in the chapters I visit to look at our creed, and then tell me why they don't want to be "sorority girls."

What is wrong with wanting to serve mankind selflessly?

     What is wrong with being a courageous and confident leader?

          What is wrong with focusing on scholarship and relationships?

               What is wrong with striving to do your best in everything you undertake?

If being in a sorority were about clothes and make-up, I never would have joined. Luckily, that is not what being in a sorority is about ... at all. It's about forming lasting friendships with women who share the same values I do. It's about developing my own personality and character into a strong, independent woman. It's about philanthropy and community service and learning to value the needs of others. It's about realizing my own true potential and finding the motivation and support to live up to that potential. I firmly believe that if sorority women everywhere realize this is what sorority life is about—not all the superficial stuff that is shown on television—that understanding will lead them to achieve rich and useful lives.

Image via the Alpha Delta Pi Pinterest account
Edited to add: I'm linking up this old post for the "Greek is Greek" link-up (hosted Wednesday, August 7, 2013). Click the button below to meet fellow Greek bloggers and read about their sorority experiences! And if you haven't yet, be sure to check out Being Greek: A Sisterhood of Bloggers.

Carolina Fireflies


Anonymous said...

I completely agree, you said it best girl

Anonymous said...


Whitney said...

Totally agree (obviously!) I have been helping out with recruitment this weekend and I have loved it. I'm so proud to call myself a sorority woman, and I wish more people understood what that actually meant!

Jane said...

Yes! Thank you! I couldn't agree more. Why wouldn't someone want to be a sorority girl?

Melissa said...

I really love this post! I think the same can be said for any kind of involvement in school. I've learned just how important it is to get involved with an organization (or sorority!) that has the same values as you do. It makes the experience SO much more fun, that's for sure.

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Kate @ Daffodils said...

What an awesome way to explain a sorority (more than 'buying your friends', which is abviously not true!). Being an AXO at Auburn really shaped my experience and led to many friendship that I still hold dear almost a decade later. You are the perfect woman to be encouraging these young women during recruitment!

Cat said...

I love this post and I totally agree!

Unknown said...

I totally agree with you! I am a sorority woman myself. After I graduated from high school I went to my local community college and got my associates degree. Then I transferred to a four year university. In order for me to get campus housing I had to live in the freshman dorms. Plus, my college was a major commuter school and not very many people were on campus after classes were done. I joined a sorority to meet women my age and to make those lasting friendships. I am proud to be a Gamma Phi Beta and would never have done it any other way!