Find an identity outside of Greek life

By Morgan Harlan | Assistant News Editor

Greek recruitment is a defining moment for many college students — especially for freshman girls. Baylor rushes later than other universities, holding recruitment in the spring semester rather than the fall. This extra semester can cause freshman girls to constantly be on their toes. Slipping up or “making mistakes” during the first few months of college carries more pressure when it means sororities are watching.

Freshman year is the first time in your life that you are fully independent. It is a time to try new things, find new friends and have a couple bumps along the way. The precedent that upperclassmen sorority members are watching and judging doesn’t give freshmen enough room to grow into their new skin.

There are many great aspects about Greek life, including the community and the connections it offers — not to mention the social events of formals, university-wide philanthropy events and all of the instant recognition that comes with wearing your letters.

Greek letters are found everywhere around Baylor’s campus. Computer cases, backpack pins, t-shirts and even custom-made jerseys allow members to be easily recognized.

Sorority life has become more of a form of branding at Baylor rather than a group of inclusive women. Certain letters now define your characteristics, activities and set up an open forum for stereotyping.

Some sorority chapters at Baylor carry stereotypes, such as being Christian, party-focused or geared toward the highest GPA.

For example, online websites like “Greek Rank” allow anonymous users to rank their school’s Greek chapters. These websites include discussion forums that openly debate and criticize women in Greek chapters based off looks and which fraternities are interested in their members. This same forum is open to discuss fraternities.

Joining an organization should be fun and empowering. Choosing to enter Greek life should not be a platform to tear others down. All nine sororities on campus choose around 100 girls during formal recruitment in the Spring. The 100 new members do not perfectly fit any predisposed mold.

My advice to freshmen and other girls rushing is to ignore stereotypes and preconceived notions. Pursue a Greek chapter based on your personal experiences and not based on the student opinion. Or, maybe don’t pursue Greek recruitment at all and join a club that fits you.

The reality of the situation is — no one will remember what Greek letters you wore. They will remember how you treated others. Join an organization because you identify with the members and feel a purpose, not for an aesthetic of Greek letters in your Instagram bio.