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Sydney White / Amanda Bynes
Sydney White / Amanda Bynes
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Sorority Baskets

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Tulane chapter.

One of the various obligations of being part of a sorority is making baskets: elaborate assortments of snacks, stuffed animals, and other silly knick-knacks from one’s big, given to their little before reveal. While the thought behind this tradition seems genuine and pure, the grandiosity of this practice easily becomes toxic via the hundreds of dollars spent on unnecessary food and essentially useless decorations. 

Picture Big/Little week. New members excitedly buzzing, eager to discover which person in the pledge class above them will help guide them through integrating into their new sorority. The sorority houses are stuffed with themed laundry baskets full of candy and toys, each conglomeration corresponding to a new member. But, alas, not all baskets are equal. Some are overflowing with confetti and food. Some are full of heartfelt gifts likened to the little’s interests. Some contain hand-made artwork or notes of appreciation. Some have food laid out on the floor, attracting bugs. Each basket, a mere foot apart from its neighbor, begs for comparison. Whose is more grandiose?

It’s no wonder that baskets become a competition. Pressure is put on all sorority members to put together the biggest, most luxurious baskets so as to not disappoint their little. They’re expected to curate creative themes, finding silly or outlandish paraphernalia to compliment the disco or self-care tone of the basket. It goes without saying that some sorority members have the resources to spend hundreds of dollars on candy and toys to fill giant baskets to the brim in an effort to impress their little. It also goes without saying that this is not the case for everyone. 

Sororities are already elitist. Just to be a member, dues totaling in the thousands must be paid each semester. The additional hundreds spent in the Walmart and Target dollar sections are just the icing on top. This culture of pouring heaps of money into useless accessories is not only harmful to the mental health of the sorority members, as they compare their carefully formulated baskets to that of their peers, but is also downright wasteful. 

Imagine if all the snacks bought during Big/Little week were instead donated to local food shelters. Especially in a city like New Orleans, where rich kids live lavishly for four years in a city where poverty is systemic. Why are the multiple laundry baskets full of food being gifted to another student who most likely doesn’t need the extra meals? Imagine how much more meaningful that money could be spent. Why not donate it? Sororities are founded on philanthropies. Instead of members committing hundreds of dollars to nonsensical decorations that will likely be thrown out anyway, why not donate the money to the philanthropic organization the sorority stands for?

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Maggie Smart

Tulane '25

Hi! I'm a sophomore at Tulane majoring in Political Economy with minors in Public Health and Philosophy.