Living in a Sorority House: Expectation vs. Reality

Living in a Sorority House: Expectation vs. Reality

It may just blow your mind.

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Living in a house with 47 other girls may sound like one's worst nightmare. However, what happens on the inside deserves its own TLC series. Though it doesn't fit the stereotypes, it's just as, if not more entertaining.

There are a lot of stigmas surrounding sororities in general, as portrayed in the media. Harvard shutting down sororities and fraternities have highlighted Greek life all over the nation. This is a very serious subject that takes away student rights, but I thought I'd address it in a very light-hearted fashion.

I highly encourage anyone reading this to look into the situation, but for now, I'll talk about the hilarious reality of living in a sorority house. Nevertheless, I wouldn't trade my quarter-hoarding, frequently-scaring, food-stealing, hard-working housemates for the world.

Expectation: We share everything-especially cute clothes

There's this stigma that a sorority house is a montage of girls running from room to room rummaging through closets for the perfect outfit. This is false.

Reality: "Bitch, that's my sweatshirt"

In reality, I'll see my roommate walk out of our room in my large men's sweatshirt and a messy bun. This is a daily occurrence, not us making cute outfits for each other.

Expectation: We take hour-long showers full of leg-shaving and singing

People think that sorority houses are full of pretentious girls who strive to have smooth legs and volumptuous hair. My showers are fast and full of fear.

Reality: An easy target

Showering in my house means you will either have cold water poured on you, the lights shut off, the curtain torn down, or a rubber rat thrown at you. I am at my most alert in the shower and I clean myself as fast as possible.

Expectation: We have elaborate pillow fights 

Just like the movies!

Reality: We have virtual fights

SuperSmash Bros is a staple in this house. These are the only fights we're having to be honest.

Expectation: We make sure we look presentable at all times.

The mainstream is that sorority girls don't leave the house without a full face of makeup and perfectly quaffed hair.

Reality: Wearing mascara and jeans is a transformation like no other.

When someone does so much as wear jeans instead of sweats on any given day they will hear forty plus girls say "Oh my gosh why do you look so nice? Do you have a presentation or date or something?"

Expectation: We sit and gossip about frat boys all the time

Okay so maybe this happens occasionally. But we have way more intellectual conversations, I swear.

Reality: We talk about existential crises and current events

The amount of times we stay up way too late talking about the universe or how we're going to solve world hunger far outweighs the gossip, which makes me have some hope for our generation, especially my smart friends.

Expectation: We only eat organic greens and rice cakes

This goes along with the whole image thing. People think that living with 47 girls would make you health conscious and super into counting calories. It is quite the opposite actually.

Reality: Infinite McDonalds and Taco Bell trips

This is self explanatory, thankfully we try to drag each other to the gym.

Expectation: We have parties all the time

A common misconception is that sorority houses host parties. HA! Try telling our house mom that. The houses are kept immaculate (except for our rooms). But otherwise, parties are still not our first priority.

Reality: We are actually quite lame most of the time

This isn't even just for all the adults reading this. We really do our homework and study a lot. We also watch a lot of movies, and like I said, SuperSmash Bros.

Expectation: Sorority girls never repeat an outfit 

In my broke dreams.

Reality: Quarters are like gold around here

Quarters for laundry are worth more than dollars around here. Doing laundry so we can re-wear our favorite leggings and trusty hoodie is imperative.

Expectation: We are cliquey and exclusive

Catfights?

Reality: We all cozily squeeze in one room more often than not

How many girls can you fit into a 12x10 bedroom?

Expectation: We pay for our friends

If we're going off of technicalities...

Reality: Hey, at least they're worth it

My friends are worth it. Not to mention the leadership experiences and philanthropy and service we do.

Expectation: We do each other's makeup for fun

I thin the only time I've done someone's make-up, they wiped it off.

Reality: "Why tf are you wearing makeup?"

When we are going to the store, to class, or to eat, we're always mad at that ONE friend that put makeup on because the rest of us feel like shit.

Expectation: We hate all other sororities

OMG Kappa Apple Pie is so annoying...

Reality: We actually hang out a lot

We all have friends in other houses all over campus. Who wouldn't want more friends?

Expectation: We have superficial friendships

"Superficial girls with superficial friends"

Reality: Best friendships

In my experience, I have some real ride or die friends-the opposite of fake. I have made the best friends in the world, and living with them is the craziest, most amazing experience.

I don't care how cliche it is, but living in a sorority house with all of its scary realities has been the best experience of my life. I'd rather be scared shitless 12 times a day and get woken up by my friends every day than live in a "normal" household. And although I didn't talk about it, yes, we do all synch up. Interpret that as you wish.

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Just Because You Can Throw A Ball Does Not Mean Your Rape Is Admissible

Why are university athletes more likely to commit sexual assault?

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I wish rape didn't seep into every sphere of my life. But, like ink, it has.

Interpersonally, my childhood friend was gang-raped by members of the University of North Texas basketball team. As uncovered in an investigation, her circumstances were not isolated, unlike what it says in UNT's initial statement. I am proud to know my friend. I am proud to stand with her. However, I am ashamed at the situation and the commonness of her suffering among students just like me, on college campuses.

Politically, Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education, promotes new fortifications for students accused of sexual assault. Basically, the rules would reduce the legal classification of harassment while offering protections for those accused of wrongdoing. In my emotions, I firmly believe in the American ideal of being "innocent until proven guilty". However, even in a crime so entrenched in emotions, I must look at facts. Facts say that the falsification rate of rape is the same as most other crimes, somewhere around 5%. Therefore, I believe that DeVos' proposal would tilt investigations in favor of the committer and significantly lessen the number of victims who would have the assurance to come forward and tell his/her story. In a campus-setting, where 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men are sexually assaulted, her "solution" adds gasoline to a country-wide fire.

Educationally, Brock Turner, a swimmer at Stanford University received just six months in county jail after being found guilty of five felonies, all of which amount to him raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster. In defense of the light sentence, the judge said, "the more time (Turner spends) in jail, the more severe impact" on his future, who wanted to go to the Olympics. Never mind the future of the victim.

First off, rape culture, a sociological concept in which sexual assault is pervasive and normalized, exists. And while it exists everywhere, I can only speak with any authority on the campus setting, where hook-up culture is both catalyzed and camouflaged. Here, the area that needs the most treatment is in the locker room, on the court, or on the field.

Student athletes are proportionally the greatest perpetrators of sexual misconduct.

While a tiny 3% of male students are athletes, male student athletes are responsible for almost a fifth of sexual assaults on campus. And that is just the events that are reported, (just so you know, about 3 out of 4 go unreported). However, the NCAA has no policy that lessens a student's athletic eligibility in the face of sexually violent behavioral patterns. If you have allowed these numbers to simmer in your mind, you can see that this is unacceptable.

Why are university athletes more likely to commit sexual assault?

Most experts make cultural and institutional arguments.

Culturally, student athletes are not seen as "normal" students – rather, they provide a service to the college. Where most students get something from the college, student athletes give to the college, and we should be so lucky to have them grace us with their presence. It is a part of the status quo: high-status students on campus are athletes, especially males who play the most popular sports, like football, basketball, or baseball. These students carry social privilege.

Obviously, athletes are not naturally ethically worse than other students. I am simply saying that absolutely no one is immune to the culture that surrounds him/her, and we have a weird culture.

On average, athletes are more likely than other students on campus to buy into the cross-cultural concept of robust masculinity, which, in extreme cases, can lead to increased sexual aggression. Don't just take it from a non-athlete like me. Even Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, an NBA champion and a former UCLA basketball player, declared the cultural privilege from which he benefited.

"I'm especially aware of the culture of entitlement that athletes feel... they strut around campus with the belief that they can do no wrong."

I am not going to sugarcoat the point that we all know well: football players are comparable to celebrities on campus, which has dangerous implications for a certain untouchability in mindsets.

Institutionally, colleges are as inclined to protect the perpetrator over non-athletic peers. A Senate report concluded that administrators tend to do three actions to protect their athletes, and therefore, their brand.

1. Higher-ups at the school discourage victims from reporting to police outside of the university. In this method, they let the campus police "handle it" and not report to less-biased city forces.

2. Admins downplay an assault's severity, making it less 'criminal', more unintentional and of an event to "move on from".

3. The athletic department can work with the administration and strategically delay proceedings while athletes finish their season.

If these three things are not enough as far as systemic ethical transgressions go, when athletes are found responsible for sexual assault, they may face small consequences.

Just to pull an infamous example from my home state of Texas, Baylor University continues to wrestle with how to deal with battery; I don't need to go over the sheer amount of claims that they were conscious and compliant to most allegations of assault involving their student-athletes.

So, not only is our mindset messed up, but the administration who is supposed to protect us is similarly bungled.

Obviously, athletes are not bad people, only people that are subject to their environment and protected by their talent. But crime is crime. The unnamed victim of Brock Turner said it well as she argued that being "an athlete at a university should not be an entitlement to leniency, but an opportunity to send a message that sexual assault is against the law" no matter your status.

Throwing a ball does not make someone above the rules.

Yes, I realize that my words have become trite. Scary articles, documentaries, and books about the sheer magnitude of sexual crime in college abound. But I see my seemingly-repetitive diction more as a reflection of our fallen collegiate system, rather than of myself.

With my article, I only ask that you keep fighting for victims like my childhood friend, for the classmate who sits next to you in lecture, for yourself. This institutional and social discrepancy of "athletics above all else" happens at more universities than I had the breath to mention.

Your first step is taking a searing examination at the failure of American universities to grapple successfully with campus rape in the systematic pattern of protecting student athletes more than other students. The next steps follow naturally. Take part in the activism at your school, encourage survivors, and productively confront the problem. Fear not, the policies will change with your effort.

Politics aside, we are in a time for you to continue speaking the truth, even if your voice trembles.

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10 Things I Learned From Joining A Non-Traditional Sorority

Joining a non-traditional sorority may not be normal but it can have its benefits.

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When I started college, I had no intention of joining a sorority. However after hearing my friends talk about the amazing time they were having in their sororities I decided to try and join one. After multiple failed attempts at joining a traditional sorority, I finally found my forever home… in a non-traditional sorority. And after talking to my friends in traditional sororities, I found there are a few things that are different.

​1.  Every time you mention being in a sorority, you get a million questions of which one and people don’t seem to understand when it is not a traditional one.

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2. You get to know all your sisters extremely well... almost too well.

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3. You don’t have to drink to have a fun time.

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4. You can’t find your sorority letters anywhere unless you special order them.

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5. It tends to be cheaper to go the non-traditional route.

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6. Big/Little is just as important for your sorority as a traditional one.

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7. There are secrets… a lot of secrets. But it is so worth it.

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8. There is very little drama but when it does happen everyone knows everything.

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9. Your sisters will become your best friends and your big/little will be even closer than that.

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10. No matter where you go you will see a sister and know her name.

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