Anonymous Sorority Member

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"Wait, There are Sororities at Columbia?!": An Inside Look at Columbia Greek Life

1/24/2012


An important aspect of my college wardrobe is the sorority gear that quickly began to accumulate after I joined a sorority freshman year. And it isn't just me. Girls all over campus are always sporting Greek gear - from Bid Day t-shirts, to long-sleeve tees advertising upcoming events, to sporty pinnies supporting philanthropic causes, to comfy sweatshirts with appliqued Greek letters. It surprises me how often, when wearing one of these items, I am asked, "What do those letters mean?"

I'm from Texas - land of big college football games, week-long recruitment marathons, and sorority mansions. EVERYONE, it seems, understands Greek. In contrast, at a school like Columbia and in a city like New York, Greek Life organizations are so often overlooked, at best, and at worst, grossly misjudged. Panhellenic Recruitment is next weekend, and women across our campus are considering whether or not they want to join a sorority. It is likely that they too are wondering, "A sorority… what is that?"

A sorority is, by definition, an on-campus social organization. However, this definition is quite over-simplified. Through joining a sorority, one gains much more than a social network. Sure, the parties and people are a fun, special part of being Greek, but there are a lot of advantages that aren't immediately obvious. Being in a sorority encompasses so many parts of my life on campus - from providing academic support, to creating a professional network, to offering outlets for community service - and it will continue to be an influential part of my life even when I graduate this spring.