By Abby Ford
We are at a place, where I don’t believe that we can continue to sugarcoat things. Being a part of any student organization has its challenges, but the challenges faced by sororities and fraternities are extra special. We need to have real and honest conversations (and actual conversations not a smoke and mirror show) about the tough things we experience in our organizations. It’s hard, and I know that, but it’s time we actually truly challenge ourselves to be better and do the things we preach about doing to the world.
I want to write to sorority women about our future. My sorority has taught me amazing things, and I’m guessing yours has too.
I know I’m talking to the leaders who care. I know the women who will read this and share it with their chapter leaders will probably nod along in agreement. But it’s time for women like us to take action. Will you read along as I rant a little and preach to the choir?
History. We were founded during a time when social meant something completely different than it does now. Let’s stop using the argument that “we need to keep partying because we are social organizations,” because let me tell ya, it’s a load of bologna. Our founders did not risk everything for us to solely care about how we look, or the way we are perceived by men. They risked EVERYTHING so women had a place to come together, love each other, support each other, challenge each other, and make them all around better humans.
Care and Concern For One Another. No one can make you care. You have to realize that on your own, and that’s hard. We join something bigger than ourselves, and that’s tough to wrap our minds around when we first join. We actually need to give a s#*t about each other… that doesn’t happen instantly… things take time and that is okay. We all may have a different reasons to join, but at the end of the day, we make a PROMISE to each other to help each other through the ups and downs that life and college throw at us.
Be kind. The world is a tough place. Kindness is lacking everywhere you turn, to the point that people are so astonished when others show them small, simple acts of kindness. We continue to treat each other like trash, and constantly compare ourselves to one another in our own chapter, and every other chapter on campus. Imagine if we actually were as kind to each other as we like to preach about to others — what if we actually loved our sisters through the good times and bad, actually stopped to say hi and get to know each other. What if kindness was the default in sorority, not the anomaly? (I know that’s hard to read, but I’ve talked to too many sorority women this year across the country who agree with me to not write it down.)
We Are Part Of The Problem. We cannot continue to blame the men for everything, when we continually perpetuate the negative behaviors that persist in our communities. We feel sick to our stomachs when people say negative or untrue things about us, and yet we turn right around and categorize the men and frequently talk about all the parties and date functions we attend with them. We know we are aware of problematic things, and we have consistently made the choice to turn a blind eye, or even worse perpetuate it even further.
We Are The Solution. There is nobody in a more powerful position to transform sorority (and by the way, fraternity too) than the young women running our chapters and councils across the country. We must continue to challenge ourselves and our sister pals to be better.