Why some women choose to leave their sororities

After receiving bids, new sorority members are faced with time constraints and some choose to leave Greek life. Tyler junior Sarah Beth Rogers left Kappa Alpha Theta to join Young Life. Branson Hardcastle | Multimedia Journalist Photo credit: Branson Hardcastle

By Emma Whitaker | Reporter

Young women drop out of sororities at Baylor every year. While Baylor’s sororities aim to create a welcoming community, it is inevitable that some women feel lost in the cracks.

The Student Activities Greek Life page says that “being involved in a fraternity or sorority is one of the most fulfilling and meaningful experiences offered to Baylor students.” When a man or women gets a bid from a Greek organization, they begin the process of initiation. At the end of this process, through rituals and recitations, men and women become initiated into their new community.

Through this process, men and women devote hours of their week to this organization, all with the promise of belonging with their newfound brothers and sisters and having fellowship within their new community. Young women often come to a crossroads, struggling to choose between their sorority and other activities.

Boulder, Colo., junior Lucy Walters felt this way. She would get fined for missing events in her sorority, Chi Omega, in place of attending church activities. It was becoming a financially challenging.

“I found that when I wore a shirt with my sorority on it, I would feel secure in it. I’m secure in these letters that I’m wearing. When I got rid of them, I realized, ‘Oh, I’m just a normal person.’ God did deep work showing me how those letters were never my identity,” Walters said.

Walters said she felt, without her Greek letters, she was free to re-evaluate her life.

“I had felt prideful in my letters, and once I had them taken away, I found a lot of freedom personally in fully understanding my identity,” Walters said.

According to Walters, it’s hard for young women and men to go against a commitment made to an organization. Even if the commitment was made freshman year, it seems resolute. The decision seems finite. However, Walters said did not feel judged by her previous sorority members, but accepted for her choice.

Church activities are not the only reason for dropouts. Baylor graduate and former Chi Omega Megan Woodrow explained how, while she was thankful for the experience of sorority life, senior year and a busy schedule forced her to make tough decisions about how to spend her time. “I dropped out because I started working part time senior year and was taking a heavier course load so had to prioritize,” Woodrow said.

Other young women drop out simply because sorority life was different than their expectations. Tyler junior Sarah Beth Rogers de-pinned from sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta, and joined Young Life.

“While I did and still do have some friends from my sorority, I mostly just found anxiety instead of rich friendships,” Rogers said.

Sometimes the huge sorority gatherings can be overwhelming to newcomers who are trying to find their place within the organization.

Woodlands senior Kathryn Gettys, former Pi Beta Phi, said that while it may not have been a right fit for her, she believes sororities can create lifelong friendships.

“My experience when I was apart of the sorority, and even my experience rushing, was really positive. I think at the end of the day, what was important for me to realize, and what a lot of freshmen don’t realize, is that it’s just not for everybody — and that’s okay. I really loved all of the girls that I met and have maintained a lot of those relationships to this day,” Gettys said.

Gettys goes on to explain how college is all about discovering how one best thrives.

“College is all about finding your nook, where you fit, not trying to force yourself into a mold that other people fit into,” Gettys said.