Lately, there have been countless debates over the effectiveness and presence of Greek organizations in college communities all over the United States. Many argue that Greek organizations are more detrimental than beneficial to college students, and only put them in harms' way. I can totally see where these opinions stem from, as sometimes members of sororities and fraternities abuse their power within the system.
Just last year, we lost a student and friend, Max Gruver, as a result of fraternity hazing; this type of tragedy is what paints Greek life in a bad light. Yes, I absolutely agree that internal logistics need to be reevaluated, and some things need to change. From this though, we learn how to properly take action against hazing and make sure nothing like this ever happens again. Students, especially those in the LSU Greek community, are making strides to make sure we never lose another life to this recklessness.
On a more shallow level, Greek life is often criticized as a superficial outlet for buying your friends. Many times we hear people speak out against sororities especially, because of what they are portrayed as in the media. One student writer at LSU's Daily Reveille even went as far as to say that sororities are "barns full of cookie-cutter cattle doused in glitter and blonde hair dye waiting to be used by frat boys for whatever debauchery their daddies can afford." Wow, right? And yes, that's an actual quote, ripped from the pages of the school newspaper.
Those that have been a part of Greek life, and even those who haven't, would stand to defend the ideals that sororities uphold. I can promise you that sororities are not at all what they are made out to be in the movies — with the dumb, blonde stereotype standing prominent. I am proud to be a member of a sorority, and a Greek community in general, that supports a full inclusion policy of people from all different races, religions, social backgrounds, major, and cultures.
Not only has being in a sorority helped me to break out of my shell and meet people at a gigantic university (one, might I add, where I'm hundreds of miles from home), it has helped me to step up and develop as a young woman, student, friend, and leader. I'm only in my second year at LSU, and being a part of the LSU Panhellenic community has shown me an endless amount of ways to make sure I'm the best version of myself.
I attend study nights on a weekly basis, participate in philanthropy events and charity work (last spring, WE BUILT A HOUSE for Habitat for Humanity), and I am taught how to step up and be a leader for my chapter (last week, I attended a leadership seminar called "Good to Great" to prepare me for holding a role on my sorority's executive board).
To be blunt, I wouldn't waste my time being a part of something that wasn't giving back to me.
A sorority is ultimately an investment, and I wouldn't be paying dues to an organization that didn't value me as well. Every day that I walk into my sorority house, I know that I am wanted and loved, and the women in that sisterhood make me be the best version of who I am. My sorority has given me a sense of comfort, a plethora of networking opportunities, and the best people I will ever meet. I've even found the girls I want to be in my wedding party one day.
I wouldn't trade my sorority for the world, and I'm so glad I took the leap and joined.