In working in IT, I often scour online news sites and blogs during the day to give my eyes a break from my work here and there- somewhat to keep myself apprised of happenings in the world, but also for a little entertainment. Today I came across something that rattled me a little bit, especially after my roommate and I have been chatting here and there about an upcoming alumni event we’ll be attending for our sorority that we were both members of in college. I found this article on a letter written from a sorority president of a sorority at the University of Maryland. Another article about the alleged author of the letter can be found here. The letter outlines the author’s frustrations with her fellow sisters and their social standing with a fraternity they were paired with for “Greek Week”, laced with a ridiculous amount of profanity that I haven’t even seen in working with groups of men in my profession or in groups of my guy friends.
I wonder about the validity of the letter first and foremost, and hope that it’s fake. Any member of the Greek community at any college should hope that it’s fake. When you see “Greek ranking” sites where members of a given Panhellenic/Interfraternity council bash each other and spread hate, you should hope it’s all fake. When you see students getting killed at ridiculous frat parties on larger college campuses and not being helped my their brothers and sisters, you should most definitely pray that all of it is fake. The day a group of people gets together to bring themselves and others down to a level where nothing but partying and social status matters, we should be thinking about what we’re doing wrong as a nation to raise children who become adults who act in this way.
As I read the letter and numerous outcries online in response to it, I reflect in a thankful way for my sorority experience during college, because it wasn’t one of bitchiness, classless behavior, and bad taste as the stereotypes often hold.
I served as Chapter President of my sorority and am proud to say that none of that letter or it’s underlying content is reflective of my experience in my sorority. If you put a room full of women together, you’ll almost always get some of the gossip and drama that comes with being a collegiate woman. There were days where tension was high, there were days where people weren’t reflective of their best behavior, myself included. Same goes for any group of people- my coworkers (who are all men) have their moments as well. The main point here is that drama is part of human nature and is a part of life for both men and women.
During my time in my sorority, there were moments of conflict and they were to be expected, but I gained some of the most meaningful and thoughtful friendships I’ve ever had in my life. We truly worked toward bettering ourselves beyond the stereotypes that people hold on sorority girls. I still have strong friendships with my sorority sisters, even a year out from graduation- and share an apartment with one of my sisters who I know I can count on and will always be a big part of my life. At the end of the day, even after disagreement, there was one thing we could all agree on- you could always count on your sisters to have your back. In returning recently to chapter events I’ve been invited to by current sisters in the chapter, I’m proud to report that true sisterhood and friendship is still alive and well, and thriving.
I believe in Alpha Delta Pi. I believe that my sorority is more than a ritual or a symbol; that it is a way of life. I believe that the principles established by our founders in 1851 are enduring attributes, exemplifying the highest ideals of Christian womanhood. I believe that our motto, “We Live for Each Other,” expresses the true spirit of fraternity; and that by living this motto my life will be enriched by true friendships and unselfish service to mankind. I believe that the privilege of membership in Alpha Delta Pi brings the responsibility to do my best in whatever I undertake, always remembering that leadership requires confidence tempered with humility and courage blended with tolerance. I believe that I must strive to become a well-balanced person by following the dictates of the four points symbolized by our diamond-shaped badge: first, strengthening my own character and personality; second, watching my attitudes toward my fellow-beings; third, recognizing the value of high educational standards; and fourth, developing faith and loyalty. I believe that these four guide-posts, guarded by the stars and friendly hands clasped in the Adelphean bonds of friendship, will lead me to achieve a rich and useful life. – Caralee Strock Stanard
No one is perfect, but this is surely something beautiful to aspire to live by.