Although greek life can have a negative, pejorative, exclusive, and slightly scandalous reputation (which I’m not denying may be true for some sororities or fraternities), greek life couldn’t have been more opposite for me. As a post-grad, whenever I tell people I’ve met that I was in a sorority – and the President of one no less – I am typically met with an eye-roll or some joke about ‘buying’ my friends, doing the ‘sorority squat’, or getting too drunk at parties.
I have found that the words ‘greek’ ‘life’ are heavily loaded with a myriad of confused, projected, and misconstrued stereotypes. Sure, I am certainly not denying that there is a reason some greek organizations have gained this reputation – there have been many to be kicked off of campus, suspended, or even discontinued. And there have been many serious crimes, fatalities, and violations committed and fostered by the culture that exists within some greek organizations and the problematic behaviors of the members within them.
I think it is extremely important to recognize and bring a productive, meaningful, and helpful dialogue to the negative, violating, and unfortunate things that have happened within greek organizations and the experiences that have formed these widely believed stereotypes. However, I also think it is important to note and spark a conversation about the positive, beneficial, and empowering aspects, experiences, and acts of greek organizations who do not fulfill, perpetuate, or condone those assumed greek life stereotypes.
Which leads me to the central idea of this blog post: my sorority. The moments I stepped foot on campus at Emerson College, the ambitious, bold, and passionate sisters of Kappa Gamma Chi caught my attention. During orientation where all campus organizations are represented, Kappa Gamma Chi sisters were at the forefront of almost all of them. Their on and off campus involvement was extensive, impressive, and incredibly diverse. As a recent high school student, I was so impressed by how professional and accomplished they were with only a few years of experience out of high school. I craved to be a part of their philanthropic, professional, and career-focused sisterhood.
At a time in my life where I was starting to discover and boldly assert my feminism, I desired a group of like-minded and diverse self-identified women to journey through these identity and society discoveries with. I felt vulnerable in my independent pursuit to find my feminism, career path, and stronger sense of self but the missing ingredient was a sisterhood and sound system of support. Kappa Gamma Chi sisters were not only holding visible leadership positions for on-campus organizations but they were behind the scenes of our visual media arts, stage management, and broadcast journalism programs. Kappa Gamma Chi sisters were Gates Millennium Scholar recipients, outspoken activists in the Emerson and Boston communities, and aspiring public servants. As a freshman, I felt as though I had met my social and professional matches and felt a soul sister connection instantaneously.
I should also mention that I had never even considered greek life until I met the sisters of Kappa Gamma Chi (a statement you will hear almost every one of my sisters say) and realized how different Emerson College’s greek life culture was. Partying and social circles weren’t at the center of Emerson’s greek life, it may have been an addition but professionalism, community service, activism, and brotherhood/sisterhood were at the heart of my college’s greek organizations.
Every spring, Kappa puts on a week-long series of events to raise awareness, push for action, and inspire advocacy surrounding sexual assault and domestic violence prevention. Before coming to Emerson, I thought greek life just hosted mixers, ran 5Ks for charity with each other, and participate in gruelingly humiliating pledge processes. But Kappa Gamma Chi was different and it completely altered my perspective on greek life for the better.
My sorority provided me with formative leadership skills that prepared me for my first post-grad job as a high school teacher – a job to which I had no prior training or education in. My sorority filled my life with inspiring women who challenge me to be my best self, always. My sorority helped me foster and build integral professional connections with people I am still in contact with today. My sorority connected me to internships and job opportunities I may not have found without them. My sorority provided me with unforgettable, heartfelt, deep, and meaningful memories that I haven’t been able to replicate with anyone else.
And most of all, my sorority helped shape who I am today – in the best, most unique, and beautiful way possible. Because of my sorority, I feel like I’ve grown a larger soul and an even bigger heart. LIK <3