Sorority Poetry

by Colleen Coffey & Mary Koch

how-to-write-poetryThis powerful poem and story were submitted to us by a wonderful sorority woman named Mary.  She is a member of a chapter we work closely with.  We share it as a way to offer an inside-the-mind view of how many non-Greek women view sororities and sorority recruitment.  Keep in mind that it is written by a proud sorority woman who has some sharp critical thinking skills.  Ask yourself…

What part of sorority creates this perception?  Why do we recruit the way we do? (really, spend some time with that one) How does this apply to Phired Up’s messages of “People join People,” and “Be More Normal”?



Sororities by Mary Koch

White like pale ghosts except
for the overdone fake spray tan with
the perfect manicure
Like your body curves are going to make me say,
“I want to be you”.

Shrieking chants and cheers
when I walk in the door.
Like your rehearsed shouting
and your plastered smile
Is going to make me say,
“I want to be you”

Ask me all these questions
Like I don’t know, that my answer
depends upon my acceptance as your friend.
Like that makes me want to say,
“I want to be you”

Primped up with your pearls and curls
wearing these symbols upon
your puffed up chest.
Like I look at your fake Barbie style and say,
“I want to be you”

Dressed like robots ready for a battle
Like I look at you and your stuck up attitude and say,
“I want to be you”

THE STORY by Mary Koch

I came to college as a never joiner. I hated the idea of sororities and thought it was nothing but a bunch of rich, snobby girls who needed to feel better about themselves. I had no interest in paying money for friends and being told what to wear and how to fix my hair every day. I am an adult; I think I can make my own decisions. I did not need some girl who is insecure about her looks and her daddy pays for her every wish to tell me I am not pretty enough or good enough to be around her. I came to college as a girl who was determined to pave my own way and make my own friends.

Somehow, I met this girl, Sierra, in one of the clubs I joined that first month of classes. She came up to me and offered me a ride back to the dorm. Sure, why not, it would save me a fifteen minute walk.  She asked if I minded stopping at an intramural football game. Her best guy friend was playing and she wanted to say hello without staying for the whole game. We stopped at the football field, where I managed to meet at least twenty AOPIs and a whole fraternity without realizing it. Then the next weekend Sierra took me to a fraternity party. The next week we had lunch and I met more AOPIs. By October and I was having dinner at the AOPI house. When prompted about being a CR girl [a member who joins during continuous recruitment/non-formal recruitment], I responded, “no thanks, I can’t afford it.” Sierra and I kept in touch for the next year. She managed to take me to parties and events without me even knowing that I was with AOPIs. The next August I was presented with a bid. I turned it down! No way was I going to join a sorority. The whole semester Sierra spent recruiting me. She was able to find out what I needed and wanted and told me about how AOPI can provide that. I fell for it. I finally accepted my bid, after two years of being recruited. How did I go from being a never joiner to being one?!

Somehow I managed to become an AOPI sister without being formally recruited. I slipped in and instantly had a home. I found myself still questioning the sorority life style though. A few months after initiation, it was formal recruitment time. I was shocked. I had no idea about the amount of time spent preparing for the new girls on campus. I did not understand why we couldn’t just dress cute and talk to girls, yes talk, to girls when they came our way.  I seriously could not handle the yelling, cheering, shouting and plastered smiling. The skits were overwhelming and the constant “I love AOPi” got to me. I could not handle the judging girls based on their looks and thought that it was very wrong to do so. There was way too much stress and way too much drama for me. The thoughts that ran through my mind every day during recruitment were, “What am I doing here?” and “My mother was right, these girls are nuts!”

That is what prompted this poem. It represents my thoughts of being a never joiner mixed in with a little sorority lifestyle from an outside view. What girl in her right mind would look at a sorority depicted in the poem and want to be in one?

Through Phired Up I learned what is meant to be a sorority woman. I learned that this formal recruitment that I was thrown into was not what it should be. Cheers, songs, skits and judging on looks is outdated and somewhat barbarian. Recruitment should be more like how I was recruited and less like what this poem depicts. Phired Up stressed the importance of having quinine conversations with girls and truly making a new friend, just like what Sierra did to me. Thank you Phired Up, for putting an end to the barbaric recruitment that I never wanted to be a part of in the first place and the recruitment style described in the poem. I know that our chapter will utilize your lessons and reach our goals.