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Sorority Stereotypes and Why They’re Bullsh*t

You’ve seen the movies, you know, the ones about wild times in college and the stereotypes of the people who go there? The nerds who live in the library, the goths, the jocks, the prodigies who should’ve gone Ivy League, the frat boys, the hipsters, and perhaps the stereotype with the most negative connotation: the sorority girls.

Sorority girls are labeled as rich, skinny, blonde, caucasian, clad in all Lilly Pulitzer, in pursuit of a “MRS degree,” and probably drinking Starbucks or getting ready for a frat party. Sure, there are girls you probably know that fit this bill, but many sororities are representative of women empowerment, sisterhood, and diversity. So next time you see a girl wearing her letters proudly, remember that the following stereotypes portrayed in movies like “American Pie” and “Neighbors 2” are fictional and should stay that way.

Myth: “Sorority girls only care about partying and sleeping around.”

Fact: Most chapters on campus have very strict standards when it comes to sisters showing respect for their sororities. Between philanthropy, chapter meetings, sisterhood events and schoolwork, who has the time to party every day? Does the average sorority girl really party more than any other college student? After all, most students share similar academic commitments. The stereotype that sorority members party more probably stems from events like mixers, hosted tailgates, formals, etc. Although they’re advertised publicly, sorority life is composed of so much more than partying and mixers. Also, please leave the slut-shaming behind… this stereotype seems to apply to not only sororities, but Greek Life in general. Even fraternities can agree that the promiscuous stigma placed on college is an unfair assumption within the Greek community. A member of Lambda Chi Alpha, Dan Turner, addresses this stereotype and says, “I was hesitant on joining a fraternity based on what I had seen in the media. Going into rush, I thought that I was going to be forced to hook up with a girl from each sorority, or drink enough to be hospitalized, or some other hazing that’s assumed. It’s more about having a group of guys to lend you support and it opens so many different opportunities.”

Myth: “All sorority girls look the same.”

Fact: To put it simply, sorority house ≠ Barbie Dreamhouse. The girls that make up a chapter can differ in race, hair color, interests, style, etc. Of course, there are always going to be girls that replace the true meaning of sisterhood with a shallow understanding of what it means to be in a sorority. This “sisterhood-bond-feeling” is even felt during recruitment when girls come into the sorority house for the very first time. Elena Wilson of Kappa Delta remembers, “Walking into KD, I felt a connection with my sisters that was never based on what color hair they had or what they were wearing. I could just see myself feeling right at home along with hundreds of other girls who had ambition and a character that I could relate/look up to. It’s a feeling that’s truly indescribable.”

Myth: “Sorority girls are dumb.”

Fact: Most sororities have strict GPA guidelines that must be met by every sister. The girls are often working towards internships either associated within their chapter or major. Many are on the Dean’s List, while also taking as many credit hours as every other student and balancing the same amount of work as well as sorority commitments. If anything, sororities encourage the girls to put their education first by establishing a required amount of study hours. Additionally, the all-sorority GPA on campus is often equal to or higher than the overall collegiate GPA. Let us remember that all but 3 presidents and inspiring women like Katie Couric, Condoleezza Rice, and Sara Blakely were involved in Greek Life. Take notes from Elle Woods, everyone.

Myth: “Sorority girls pay for their friends.”

Fact: Yes because mixers, sisterhood retreats, sorority merchandise, and formals cost nothing… Fun events like mixers, date functions, and sisterhood retreats are created to help sisters mingle and form connections to last a lifetime. It seems that sorority girls become friends easily, especially because of rush, weekly meetings, and sister hangouts, it’s hard not to become close with the girls that you spend the majority of your time with. Bree Smith of Tri Delta agrees that these bonds are priceless, “If I’m paying for my friends, then I’m surely not paying enough. I would never put a price tag on the relationships I have with my sisters…never.”

Myth: “Sororities are cults.”

Fact: After this video made its way onto the internet, many people have attempted to negatively compare sororities to cults. Should women in sororities be ashamed to show pride in an organization that they hold to a high standard? How is it any different from collegiates representing their school that they selected to attend? An anonymous comment was left that summed up the love and pride one feels for their sorority, “I am a member of a philanthropic organization. I am a member of a family. I am a member of a support system. I am a member of a 24-hour comedy club. I am a member of a house. I am a member of a service team. I am a member of a study group. I am a member of a council. I AM a member of a sorority. I AM NOT a member of a ‘cult.’”

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