Sorority life is too often judged by both males and females alike. It seems like everyone has harsh things to say about it. Some view sorority life as anti-feminist, while others view it as the best journey a female can take. After hearing all these views throughout her life, Florida State freshman Coral Hooper recently became part of Greek life. After going through the recruitment process, she was welcomed into the Alpha Gamma Delta house with open arms. This interview essentially picks apart the basics of sorority life and everyone’s stereotypes surrounding it, both good and bad.
Her Campus (HC): How did you become interested in Greek life?
Coral Hooper (CH): I have two answers to this question – one that I used when talking to a recruiter or someone I want to be professional with, and my less clean-cut answer. The first, which I got really good at repeating because I was asked at least a million times during recruitment, is something along the lines of “both of my parents were involved in a sorority or fraternity, I am looking for a sisterhood to lean on, I really want to get involved in the community and sorority philanthropies are a great way to do that,” and so on. However, I had some other draw that I couldn’t place my finger on. Was this an aspirational thing? Did I want to have this curated image that many women in sororities have?
HC: How has your view of Greek life changed throughout your life?
CH: My introduction to the concept of Greek life came from the letters on my mom’s childhood bedroom door that read “ZTA.” All I knew was that my mom was part of a huge group of girls in college, and I honestly didn’t really care. Then, as I grew up, I absorbed some of society’s views on Greek life, both positive and negative, through media and conversations I overheard, and my general opinion wasn’t so hot. But going through this process has given me a greater appreciation for Greek life culture while further illuminating the uglier aspects that I had a vague idea of previously.
HC: Was recruitment a culture shock?
CH: Yes. Recruitment actually helped me learn how to make small talk because there was so much of it. The sororities did their best to make everything welcoming and beautiful, and it was, but that world was bizarre to step into. I was not used to having so many consecutive conversations, knowing that every one of those interactions you are having has such high stakes.
HC: Have you found that there is a different judgment cast upon you when you mention you are part of a sorority?
CH: It depends on the person. One of my old friends from high school kind of did a double-take at me when I mentioned I was going through recruitment., Other than that, it has not affected how anybody has treated me as far as I can tell. That might be because there are so many Greek life members at FSU that people generally know a wide variety of personalities that can be a part of a sorority or fraternity. Thankfully, I have yet to be treated differently because of my affiliation with my sorority.
HC: Do you believe that men still have a position of power within fraternities and sororities?
CH: Honestly, I haven’t felt any male influence in my sorority experience whatsoever. During recruitment, our counselors advised us to avoid the subject of men altogether unless we were talking about a family member or some other situation where a man would be involved in showing our values. We were also technically not allowed to socialize with men during recruitment because they wanted us to focus on the recruitment process and finding where we belonged.
HC: Do you believe you are supported in the sorority?
CH: Yes! The AGD house is like a refuge to me. I know that during meals, I can sit next to anyone, and I will be welcome. The house has study rooms and resources to get help if I need academic support. I really have never felt out of place or uncomfortable in my sorority, and I am confident that I could ask any of the members for help or advice, and they would oblige.
HC: What are some of the values associated with your sorority?
CH: The official core values of Alpha Gamma Delta are leadership, scholarship, service and sisterhood. What’s cool is that I can see those values taking shape in the way the members treat each other, the opportunities for involvement available and our philanthropy events for fighting hunger.
HC: In your opinion, what is the best part about being in a sorority?
CH: I really love eating at the house. I joke that my sorority dues are my expensive meal plan. Our meals are delicious, and it’s a great way to meet some of the women in a casual environment. We can also just hang out at the house and do homework or chill out if we feel like it, so just existing at the house doing everyday stuff is definitely my favorite part.
HC: What do you think about the anti-feminist views surrounding sororities?
CH: I think that most of the negative ideas about sororities are largely based on misinformation and sensationalism. I’ve heard seen sororities being compared to cults, I’ve heard that sorority women are stuck up, that all the girls hate each other, that they party too hard, or any other generalization that could possibly be made about a group of women. I haven’t personally encountered anything like that in my sorority, and obviously, sororities aren’t a monolith, so making blanket statements is never going to be accurate.
While it is true that sororities do have a negative past, with many being called out for racism, classism, homophobia, etc., we should not judge the women that are trying to make them better and gain valuable experiences out of them. The whole point of feminism is to support all women (racists, homophobes, etc., not included), not just those who fit your ideal.
Due to COVID-19, this interview was conducted over the phone for the safety of all those involved.