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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Rushing to conclusions: Sororities prove to be more than stereotypes suggest

    Rushing to conclusions: Sororities prove to be more than stereotypes suggest

    The sound of a thumping bass echoes across campus as a DJ provides background music for what sounds like a nearing stampede. Groups of girls run by screaming at the tops of their lungs, trying to keep up with a few in front that carry signs with Greek letters.

    Over a thousand young women participate in sorority recruitment each year, enduring the blazing 100-plus degree weather, hurrying back and forth across campus to each event that makes up the week-long Fall semester sorority “”rush.””

    “”It was very overwhelming at first, but it was a good experience because you meet a lot of people doing it,”” said Laura Karz(a communications freshman and a new member of Alpha Epsilon Phi sorority. “”It’s even just worth rushing-even though you’re in the sun and it’s really hot-at the end even if you don’t do it, at least you meet one person in your recruitment group that you’re going to be close with.””

    But as with any application, there are inevitably some each year that don’t make the cut, and some learn throughout the weeks that they might end up having to compromise their choices.

    Mimi Jahpa new member of Chi Omega and a nutritional sciences freshman, said she didn’t end up getting into her first choice house, but in the end, she found herself making sense of the decision.

    “”It’s definitely stressful. A house drafts you, and you gotta wonder, like, ‘Oh, what did I do wrong? I thought they liked me,'”” Jahp said. “”But everyone says that the house you end up with is the one where you belong; you gotta trust in them as well as yourself to make the decision, and I think the way that it matches up you really do end up where you belong.””

    Emma Peterson), a history freshman who got into her first choice, Kappa Alpha Theta, said the process was slightly intense-having walked to over 10 sorority houses in only a few days and on the verge of losing her voice.

    “”It was all very fair; it didn’t seem like anything stood out to be like, ‘That doesn’t seem right,’ kinda thing,”” Peterson said. “”They did everything really classy and everyone was really nice, but it was a really hard decision.””

    But not all girls are satisfied with the final outcome and see the decisions in a more negative fashion.

    One girl said she did not end up getting into a sorority because she was “”blackballed”” by an already active member, who allegedly swayed the rest of the sorority’s decision to bid Proxy-Connection: keep-alive
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    r her membership. She declined to go on the record because she said it might hurt her chances if and when she decided to pledge again.

    Many of the students said they were well aware of the negative stereotypes that might abound with membership.

    “”I was kind of warned about the cheering and jumping and stuff, but it didn’t really turn out to be anything it amounted to,”” Peterson said. “”It’s not what everyone thinks it’s for-It’s not about the partying, it’s not about the ‘making friends for life’ thing; some girls join houses based on their philanthropies.””

    Marisa Trevino), a marketing senior and an active member of Tri Delta, said she thinks many of the negative views portrayed about Greek life come from misunderstandings about how the chapters work or because people might be na’ve about the diversity within houses.

    “”We’re human just like everybody else, and our chapter is so diverse that there’s women that have competed in beauty pageants, and some women are athletic and then there’s women that have a 4.0 GPA,”” Trevino said. “”And those are so many different stereotypes but were all in the same chapter house and we all-at the end of the day-we sit down and watch a movie or go out to dinner and have the same conversation and laugh and just enjoy each others’ company.””

    Jahp also expressed some confusion over the validity of the issue.

    “”How can one person represent a household of 100 or so women?”” Jahp said. “”You can’t just have one stereotype that just fits all those people.””

    Trevino said she joined a sorority because she said she had always been interested in philanthropic work, having been granted the President’s Award for Community Service in high school.

    After graduating, Trevino said, she plans to stay in Arizona, and most likely continue to travel between Sierra Vista and Tucson to help Tri Delta in the future as it works in partnership with St. Jude’s Hospital to raise money for children’s cancer research.

    Jahp joined based on a desire to do work with the greater community as well, she said.

    “”I regretted not getting more involved in high school, and I think I chose to do sorority stuff so that I could become involved,”” Jahp said. “”A lot of people focus in on the social aspects, but I also think that the philanthropy and the services they do are really important and that was something that I definitely wanted to be a part of.””

    In the upcoming weeks, the new members will be busy getting to know their Greek sisters, participating in leadership programs and educational sessions geared toward preparing the girls for a new experience all around.

    Active members will be taking their new members out to dinner and will be constantly accessible for questions so that “”not only their transition into Greek life can be easier but their transition as a freshman in college is easier.””

    Jahp said she is looking forward to forming a balance with having fun while in her sorority, and making the experience meaningful, but said either way she would recommend the experience to girls who might be thinking of rushing in the future.

    “”I think it’s a cool thing to go through and I think you just have to be prepared,”” Jahp said. “”If you go into it not knowing what to expect it’s a little bit harder, but I definitely think it can be fun.””

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