Facing the Stereotypes of Being Greek

 

 

I’ve been in the Greek community for two and a half years now and I can’t help but look back at my time at Adelphi through the lens of a student in Greek Life. Believe it or not, going Greek can determine how people choose to view you. This is not a reflection of you or your organization, and for non-Greeks please don’t let this deter you from going through the recruitment process. In all honesty, the good outweighs the bad through and through (check out my article The Truth About Joining Greek Life), it’s just important for this to be addressed.

I know a lot of the backlash we face is due to both the presence of real events that have taken place within our communities across the country, but also the negative connotation given to us by the media.

The purpose of this article is to speak on those common stereotypes often applied to those who are a part of this community and face prejudice and/or discrimination solely because of their status as being “Greek.”

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From the day you sign your bids to your organization, you’re branded. This isn’t necessarily bad until the association with your organization becomes “slutty”, “weird”, “antisocial”, “rejects”, “mean” and in some cases they have been 100x worse (for the purpose of this article, I’ll keep this light so we don’t spiral down the rabbit hole that is the stereotypes of Greek Life). Then there are the not-so derogatory labels: “rich”, “smart”, “pretty”, “partiers” (depends on who you ask), etc. Everyone often has their own perception of the different Greek organizations, but truth be told, everyone has an idea of the organizations present on a campus INCLUDING the Greeks, ourselves. Believe it or not, this issue is present on all campuses.

Greek organizations often have the effect of grouping people. Based on one’s association, it can determine how you are viewed. So if you’re part of the “mean sorority/fraternity”, odds are, people will only see you according to this label. It’s almost as if your entire being is erased completely. People don’t get to know you before judging you. The label is what it is so you are “what you are.” 

In a world where our lives are viewed at a microscopic level, why contribute to the harsh criticism we already face from those who are not a part of our community? As cliché as it sounds, we will never be able to prosper if we stand divided. There will never be a day where we can prove that we are more than the stereotypes; that we have more to offer to this world than the life they deem for us. During our collegiate years we do more than a large percentage of the student body for our campuses and for the larger community. We learn leadership skills that give us the power to take on the real world and our philanthropic work saves lives. We have changed the world, each and every one of us.

As for the non-Greeks reading: please remember that we are not defined by these labels. If you want a real impression, talk to us, actually get to know us. A lot of the people who place labels upon others organizations more likely than not haven’t even had genuine interactions with them to form the opinion they have. So make your own opinions and you’ll see that there’s more to us than what we’re made to be. I did and I found a family.

To end this article, I want to highlight some positive and impactful things that members of Adelphi’s Greek community have attributed to other organizations on our campus as well as some self-defined accomplishments:

Alpha Epsilon Phi defines lifelong friendships.

Alpha Kappa Alpha is known for not only being incredibly smart but also incredibly involved.

Alpha Phi Alpha is known for their dedicated members.

Delta Delta Delta is incredible when it comes to philanthropy and for having the first diversity chair on campus, a position created by one of the members.

Delta Gamma is another organization where sisterhood is strong. 

Delta Phi Epsilon has some of THE friendliest girls on campus. Their bonds are like glue.

Delta Sigma Pi’s brotherhood is another one to highlight. Their brotherhood lasts past college and their networking? Incredible.

Delta Sigma Theta is recognized for their academic excellence and their leadership skills.

Delta Chi for being continuously supportive of their brothers and always being friendly faces on campus.

Iota Nu Delta may be relatively new but they’ve made their place on campus.

Kappa Sigma is known for their strong bonds and ability to recruit large numbers.

Lambda Upsilon Lambda has some of THE most dedicated members, collegiate and alumni.

Pi Lambda Phi’s dedication to eliminating prejudice, so much so that one of their members did presentations for other chapters.

Phi Mu may be new but they are taking campus by storm and that is something EVERYONE can respect.

Phi Sigma Kappa also does significantly well in regards to philanthropy.

Phi Sigma Sigma is known for their strong sisterhood.

Sigma Delta Tau is extremely supportive of other chapters. Okay, but have you ever actually showed up to an org’s event and not seen a cluster of them?? You’re lying if you say no.

Sigma Lambda Upsilon is known for their ability to bring energy into a room and for all that they continuously achieve in the Greek community.

Swing Phi Swing is known for having some of the most positive members. I can’t remember a time when their energy didn’t impact everyone in the room. They are also known for supporting people of color through their events and helping bring about cultural awareness on our campus.

We are more than what you see. We are more than what you hear. We should be measured by the way we make people feel.