Excessive partying, materialistic values, and hazing are just a few of the multitude of stereotypes that come to mind when many people discuss Greek Life. From news media outlets, to modern day movies, the fire surrounding negative Greek Life stigmas is continuously being fueled, the flames growing higher and higher. While there are select incidents that support these negative notions, the vast majority of Greeks are putting in the extra mile to rise above stereotypes. Growing up we have always been told to read a few chapters of a book before judging it. Here are a few starting chapters of our own:
#1 “Sorority Girls Are Airheaded”
“My sorority has some of the most intelligent and passionate women I have ever met, who I am proud to call my sisters. We not only strive individually to achieve our goals, but together as sisters we push each other to aim high and do better every day. Our girls continue to be involved inside and outside of the classroom. Greeks from all campuses are making their mark each and every day. It can be easy to have a stereotype in your mind about 'sorority girls' based off what you see and hear online. (I even came in with a few before rush week!) However, it is important to keep in mind that stereotypes are just that, stereotypes.”
#2 “We Pay For Our Friends”
I am paying for my letters, for the continuation of our chapter’s traditions, our ability to be an active force in our community as well as our ability to celebrate our sisterhood through social activities such as banquets. I am also paying for a connected alumni network to provide me with more opportunities than any other organization I have been in. I am paying for the support system that got me through some of the hardest moments of my collegiate career as well as some of the best. I’m not paying for my friends but I’m paying to be in something greater than myself. These women have shaped my life for the better and no price can be put on the value of sisterhood.
#3 "Greek Life Organizations are Notorious Partiers"
"Each member of Greek Life is unique in their own way by being involved and pursuing what they’re passionate about. It’s up to us to support our members of our organization who branch out and defy the stereotype of being notorious partiers, by diving into something and giving it their all. I can think of so many of my own sisters who give their all to things such as theatre, health and fitness clubs, figure skating, photography, art, education, graphic design, event planning and so much more."
#4 “Sororities are Selective Based on Race and Economic Status
"I often hear people discussing race and economic status stereotypes of sororities and how shallow they think we are when choosing our sisters. This couldn’t be further from the truth. We don’t care where someone grew up, what kind of car they drive, or what kind of clothes they wear. We don’t judge anyone based on the color of their skin or the nation of their origin. We welcome our sisters based on the values we all share and the friendships we build throughout our memberships. I am proud to be in a sorority of unique and diverse women that makes up and can't wait to continue to stand up to these stereotypes every chance we get."
"The most common statement I hear regarding sororities is 'Sorority girls pay for their friends.' Well, if that is the case I can tell you I am not paying nearly enough!"
#5 “Getting Initiated Is Like Joining A Cult”
"The main aspect of joining a sorority is finding a sense of purpose, family and self. A cult is formed for one person to gain a sense of power over others and becoming a uniform population. In contrast, a sorority is formed to establish a sense of unity among a diverse group. In a sorority, individuals are supported for their various interests and beliefs leading to a strengthened sense of self rather than a more conformed individual."
Now that you have read a few of our chapters, I sincerely hope that you think differently when dealing with Greeks in the future. I challenge you next time that you are discussing Greek Life to speak of the positives that this community brings. Let's stop fueling the fire and defy the odds.
This past fall semester Phi Sigma Sigma Iota Zeta Chapter had nine incredible women graduate, each of which who brought their own attributes and qualities to the sorority over the past few years. Here are the future plans and a few inspirational words from three of these women:
Ali’s future plans include moving down to the cities and applying to grad school, her end goal being to get her master's degree in Social Work. When asked how Phi Sig has impacted her life, Ali responded by stating, "I have met so many amazing people through this organization and Greek life as a whole and I am forever grateful for that.” Ali advises younger Phi Sig members to take advantage of the opportunities offered through this organization, but remember that there is more to life than just the sorority.
Meghan is beginning her new job as a Strategy Coordinator at Hailey Sault located right here in Duluth, down by Canal Park. In the future, she looks forward to working with nonprofits and health care organizations. When discussing how Phi Sig has impacted her life, Meghan explained that she saw it as both “a huge motivator and also a comfort.” In addition to this, Meghan strongly impacted the Iota Zeta Chapter in 2016 when she held the position of Membership Recruitment Chair. Megan's advice to underclassmen is to broaden your limits by pushing them and not being afraid of them.
Jessica is entering the workforce as an Event Coordinator. This being said, she has not officially landed her career yet, but hopes to work in either the Twin Cities or Duluth. The major way that Phi Sig impacted Jessica was by helping her further her career, as an Event Coordinator, by becoming co banquet chair. In addition to this, she described herself as gaining a new layer of self confidence from speaking in front of the chapter and at banquet. Jessica advises underclassmen to go to everything that one possibly can and most importantly, to “take each day-by-day”.
We have been incredibly grateful to have been impacted by these ladies over the past few years. From their leadership skills, to their immense love for the chapter each sister has went above and beyond to be the best that she can be. We wish them all the best of luck and can not wait to see the impact they make on this world.
Maggie Sem & Emily Levin
Our blog is updated by our Public Relations Co-Chairs. Maggie and Emily are dedicated sisters and students. Read what they have to say about our recent events!