Breaking The Greek Mold

Breaking The Greek Mold

How sorority women challenge stereotypes every day.

Jacquelyn Saunders

We all know the stereotype; the skinny blonde sorority girl who lives to party and hook up with frat boys. This image has been perpetuated in the media by films like House Bunny or The Neighbors 2 and to a lesser extent everyone’s favorite Legally Blonde (which, full disclosure, is one of my favorite movies of all time). Like many others, I was sold on this stereotype, at least until I joined a sorority in the fall of my freshman year. Since then, I have met so many women who break this shallow mold. Sorority women are not the satirized images you see in the media; their personalities and interests are so much deeper. Today, I am profiling just some of the women I have met during my time in Greek life, and hopefully their stories will inspire you to change your perception.

1. Caitlyn Aborn

Caitlyn is a senior English and educational studies student at Salem State University in the Iota Pi Chapter of Phi Sigma Sigma. She is the current Archon (president) of the chapter and has held many other positions in the past. Yet, there is so much more to Caitlyn. She is also an Admissions Ambassador at her university and a Desk Receptionist in the Residence Life department. On top of her two jobs, she is an ambassador for Love Your Melon, a nonprofit aiming to raise funds and awareness for pediatric cancer, and is a Dean List student. She also was in the Disney College program during her sophomore year and is still graduating on time, not an easy feat as the program adds an extra semester for many students. When asked what sorority women can do to break the mold? “Make more of a presence on social media and the media in general. A lot of stereotypes stem from movies with the wrong idea”.

2. Aubrey Haines

Aubrey is sophomore at Salem State University, majoring in social work. In the Iota Pi chapter of Phi Sigma Sigma, she is the fundraising chair, organizing fundraisers to donate to our local charity, Girls Inc., and our national one, the Phi Sigma Sigma foundation. Likewise, she is the philanthropy chair for Inter-Greek Council, an organization which unites all of the university’s Greek organizations. Like Caitlyn, Aubrey leads a busy life outside of the Greek world. She plays intermural softball, volunteers at Girls Inc. and the American Cancer society and follows her love of music by singing in choirs at the university. “I love singing and making music by myself and with other people. I’ve previously competed in national competitions and one international one”. She feels that she breaks the stereotype due to two things; her well roundedness and her integrity and compassion for others, which she showcases in both her job as a camp counselor and her major choice.

3. Ruthie Sterling

Ruthie is a senior studying English at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst campus. She originally went to Salem State before transferring and was also a member of Iota Pi and was the Inter-Greek Delegate and the Multicultural chairwoman. Ruthie’s main passion is her writing. She is currently working on completing a full YA novel for her senior honors thesis and in her free time runs writing workshops for teens and tweens at her local library. She is also very passionate about philanthropy and has shown this commitment in a great way. During her freshman year at Salem State, the day after her initiation to Iota Pi in fact, Ruthie shaved her head in a charity event to benefit St. Baldrick’s, an organization dedicated to ending pediatric cancer, much to the applause of her new sisters. Hear that? That’s the sound of the vain sorority girl stereotype shattering.

4. Julia Fitzgerald

Julia is a senior studying criminal justice at Salem State University, the only member of Phi Sigma Sigma in that major and is our Public Relations chairwomen. Julia is definitely not your stereotypical sorority girl. Besides being in a mostly male dominated field, she loves to dye her hair bright colors, which she rocks, and has multiple piercings. When asked why she breaks the mold, Julia brought up the common stereotype that sorority girls are wealthy, due to the fact we have dues. Julia is completely financially independent of her parents and works two jobs to support herself, some days not being able to afford groceries. Yet she fights on and her perseverance is one of her greatest strengths and the thing that sets her apart from the shallow stereotype of a sorority girl.

5. Renée LeBlanc

Renée is a junior at Salem State University studying psychology and dance. She is the Membership Recruitment Chair, a major role organizing all of our recruitment events. Outside of the Greek world, she is an admissions ambassador and a member of the Repertory Dance Theater, which on top of being in a major position and taking classes, creates a very busy life for Renée. Renée is passionate about working with kids and about running and dancing. When asked why she breaks the mold, she talked about her goal of getting a masters in psychology and not spending college looking for a husband, a common stereotype amongst sorority women.

None of these women are your typical sorority women and that’s my point; there is no average sorority woman. We come from all different backgrounds and beliefs and yet we unite together to form one strong organization. If we come together and show the world what Greek life is really about, I am sure we can break those stereotypes and create stronger organizations for our future daughters and sons.

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