Meet The Girl Who's Changing Sorority Life
Start writing a post
Student Life

Meet The Girl Who's Changing Sorority Life

Senior Alexis Cain is the very first college woman with Down Syndrome to rush a social sorority on Murray State's campus.

Meet The Girl Who's Changing Sorority Life
Alexis Cain

When I questioned multiple different women on campus involved in sorority organizations, what sorority life meant to them, everyone's answers sounded the same: a clique of college women who are all connected by ritual—a sisterhood.

A sisterhood is something Alexis Cain, a Murray State senior diagnosed with Down's Syndrome at birth, wanted to be a part of. Cain is a part of the College to Career Experience (CCE) at Murray State and is also a member of Best Buddies: a program that pairs people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in one-to-one friendships with college students.

Just over a year ago when Alexis started bringing up her interest in sorority life, Alexis's mother Camme Cain, stated that she thought it was just that: Alexis talking about it.

"When she gets something in her head, she goes full tilt," Camme said. "All I've heard all summer is wouldn't it be great to have alllllll these sisters?!"

Alexis went through formal recruitment at Murray State, starting Aug. 12 and ending on Bid Day, Aug. 16. Formal recruitment is hosted by Murray State's Panhellenic Council which consists of four full days of meeting and getting to know each sorority, followed by an elimination process to narrow down which sorority you would want to receive a bid from. On the last day of recruitment, Bid Day, Alexis received and accepted a bid from the Beta Nu chapter of Alpha Sigma Alpha.

I got to personally watch and experience the very first college woman diagnosed with Down Syndrome receive a bid from a social sorority at Murray State University. The room exploded into a standing ovation, hugs, and lots of happy tears from almost everyone. I've never been a part of something so powerful and moving, and to be able to experience that was one of the most life-changing things to happen to me.The applause and emotion in the room was so powerful, and the thought of it still gives me chills. Here's a link to the video, posted by Best Buddies Kentucky, of the moment Alexis received the bid followed by a welcoming from her new sisters in her pledge class. (Click here for the video!)

Joining a sorority is a life-changing experience, and the importance of Alexis joining one of these organizations on campus is very huge. It will help people understand disabilities better and teach many people to open their minds more.

"Kids with disabilities get left out as their life goes on," Camme said. "It's sad, but true. Mostly they only have family that thinks about them, therefore, they typically get left behind; not many friends or places to go. Sure, they have Best Buddies and Special Olympics activities, but there's not much out there in the real world. It's just a fact. That makes a very lonely life for them if they don't have anyone other than family. Alexis feels very proud to be a part of this group of outstanding ASA young women, and I hope that their decision to accept her will change the attitudes of others as well for a long time to come. She makes you want to be a better person after you've spent time with her."

I was lucky enough to interview Alexis and see what she was thinking during recruitment and what her plans are after she graduates in December.

1. How do you feel about being the very first college woman with Down Syndrome to rush a social sorority at Murray State?

"It felt really good to know that the girls wanted me to join their sorority. They make me feel accepted and really welcomed me into their group already and they feel like the sisters I’ve never had. All summer I’ve talked about how it would be so great to have a lot of sisters, and now I have over 140! Not to mention extended sisters in other sororities too! It doesn’t get much better than that!"

2. What impact would you like to leave on your organization?

"I hope that they see what I can bring to the group. I want people to have open minds and help them to see and understand that because of my learning disability, I am really like anyone else. I have feelings, I like to help people, I’d like to have a job one day, and I hope that others will see that just because a person has a disability it doesn’t mean that they are that much different. No one likes hearing the 'R' word. It’s not very kind to say about another. I can tell that my sorority loves me already and are already my biggest supporters."

3. What do you plan on accomplishing after you graduate in December?

"After I complete my college program, Mom and I have discussed opening a business together. And not just a business that I can work at, but maybe other people that have similar disabilities or handicaps. Not all places want to hire someone that has a disability or a handicap because they might not be able to do the work as fast or as well as others. And also, meeting Taylor Swift and Nick Jonas is one of my biggest dreams to have come true someday!"

Alexis is one of the most down-to-earth girls I've ever met, and she's a wonderful friend that I'm always going to be grateful for. There are so many girls throughout campus that look up to her, and it's no surprise that they do. I'm so excited to watch Alexis grow, and I'm even more excited to watch sorority life grow and evolve with Alexis now a part of our Greek community.

And if you happen to know Taylor Swift or Nick Jonas, hook a girl up and help Alexis out!

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Student Life

Holidays With A Small Family

I wouldn't trade what we have for the world.

Matt Johnsn

When I was a kid I always went to my grandparents house whenever we celebrated any sort of holiday. We were a decently sized family and it was always a blessing to be in their house and surrounded by love during the holiday season. However, that all changed when my grandfather passed away and my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. The family then began to drift apart and life went on, and we ended up all celebrating our own holidays with other family members.

Keep Reading... Show less

Safe Spaces Or Regressive Spaces?

Turns out shielding yourself from ideas can be detrimental to your ability to learn


College is a place for people who want to learn. That is the primary function of any academic institution. Its purpose is not to coddle us, nor should the community always be in agreement with us. We are supposed to surround ourselves with a variety of viewpoints that challenge us to learn, not the same repetitive points of view that make us happy.

Keep Reading... Show less

Black Friday is back to being Black Friday

This year, malls are standing up against Black Friday beginning on Thanksgiving. Doors won't be opening until Friday morning.


Last week my twitter feed was full of exclamations of how excited people were that our local mall, Westmoreland Mall would be closed on Thanksgiving Day this year. For those who work during the busy holiday days and hours, a celebration was in order. For the die-hard deal finders and shoppers though, they didn’t seem very happy.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Is Thrift Shopping *Actually* Ethical?

There's been a recent boom in the popularity of vintage style looks and up-cycling thrifted finds to sell at, usually, an outrageous price. Is this ethical? Or does it defeat the whole purpose of thrifting in the first place?

Is Thrift Shopping *Actually* Ethical?

One day, I was scrolling through Twitter and came across a tweet about upper-middle-class class people thrift shopping. I personally was against the up cycling/re-selling trend because I thought it to be greedy. Then, I began to see more and more tweets, and then stated to see ones about those who buy thrifted, name brand items and sell them for what they're actually worth instead of the very low price they got them for.

Keep Reading... Show less

Holidays With the Family?

Should retail outlets close on holidays so their employees can be with their families?


For the past few years, having stores open on Thanksgiving has become a popular trend. The sales have started earlier on the day known as Gray Thursday. Now, the Mall of America has taken a bold stand and is closing its doors on Thanksgiving. They are very excited in giving the day back to their workers so they can spend time with their family.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments