Don't Be A Skeptic, Join Greek Life At URI

Don't Be A Skeptic, Join Greek Life At URI

Your not-so-typical "why you should rush" article.

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To all the skeptics out there... Here are some reasons why you have to rush!

I promise you will find your best friends/sisters for life

Before school even started I knew I wanted to be a part of Greek Life, especially because it's so popular at URI. I persuaded my skeptical roommates to rush, we all enjoyed the process, and ended up in the same sorority! So far I have met the most amazing group of girls that I personally fit in with more than other sororities at my school. The second semester of my FRESHMAN (yes, freshman) year, I moved into my sorority house (as did my roommates) and roomed with my big.

My roommates and I weren't compatible to live together in a forced triple. It was uncomfortable to be in such a small space in the first place, but some people just can't live with each other and THAT'S OK! I met my girls (blonde) Courtney, (brunette) Courtney, Ashley, Kirsten, Franki, and Madison. Me and brunette Court were in the same rush lines, but I wasn't really friends with the rest of the girls in the beginning. Now I can't live without 'em! A few of us are living in the house this fall and we are going to FSU, lemme tell ya! Franki and I are rooming together and already have our bedding/decor/color scheme etc. all planned out. As you can see, we all found our place, and you'll find yours too!

You get to develop relationships with older girls and FIND YOUR BIG!

I'm a lucky-ass girl because even though my rooming situation didn't work out first semester when I moved into the house second semester I GOT TO ROOM WITH MY BIG! It was fun AF and I literally LOVE her (shoutout @alionell AKA Ali Schwyter AKA MR. 305 DALE). Yeahhh, she's pretty f*cking dope and the best big...no biggie. Now you'd think that living with 60 girls is a bit crayyy... it is, HAHA but so much fun nonetheless.

Me and my big at Big/Little reavealInstagram @gabbynrogers

It's really not stressful, it's EXCITING and SO WORTH IT!

Rush is about a week long, with fairly long hours (around 6pm-midnight on Friday and 10am-8pm on Saturday), but that's because you can't see all the houses in one day so it's split up. Also, there are breaks in between some houses for lunch and a WELL-NEEDED nap. There are three rounds, pref day, and bid day of course...literally my favorite f*cking day of the YEAR, I'm not even joking it's the best day ever. I'll link some pics below...our bid day theme was "Birthday Bash" and everyone looked so cute!

Bid Day after we found out what sorority we got!Instagram @gabbynrogers

You're going to be a part of something so much bigger than yourself and it's the best feeling to be able to say you are a sister of "_____" chapter

If you can't tell by the letters on our shirts in the picture above, we are all Sig Delts! I'm going to be writing another article on what it means to be a Sig Delt, but for now, I'll say that my first year alone has been so incredible! We do so much fundraising for our philanthropy Prevent Child Abuse America (PCAA). It feels so good to help children and families who are really in need.

If you're skeptical of rushing, don't be! There are so many amazing benefits to being in a sorority. You get to meet new people, you get to build relationships with girls and make memories together that you'll never forget, and you won't regret a second of it.

What you put into the experience/journey is what you are going to get out of it!

And if you're planning on attending URI...rush and you won't regret it, I PROMISE YOU! Trust the process.

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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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An Open Letter Of Love For The Alpha Omicron Pi Sisterhood

Founders Day was January 2, and I have so many words to describe my love for this sisterhood.

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Dear Stella, Jessie, Helen and Elizabeth,

I never pictured myself becoming a member of a Greek organization. I signed up for recruitment with my friends because I thought it would be something fun to do. Little did I know, I would find a home within my chapter. You created this organization in 1897 with an everlasting bond and it changed the lives of thousands of women across the world. I am forever indebted to you because I have never felt more loved than I do when I walk into our house.

I have been changed for good because of Alpha Omicron Pi. I was welcomed into a loving chapter of over eighty women, giving me the sisters my parents never did. I can rely on these women for anything I may need, even if it is just a comment on my Instagram post. Together we are able to influence positive change within our community through philanthropy events and other activities. I have never seen a more dedicated group of people than my sisters at our philanthropy events. I am inspired every single day by these women and their dedication to change the world, one child at a time.

Alpha Omicron Pi has taught me to inspire ambition. I strive to help others and inspire them with the love I have for my chapter. I have learned how to be a better student, a better friend, and a better leader. Being in a sorority gives you the opportunity to improve yourself in all aspects. Through leadership roles, or just simply by being present, you are always given a chance to create a beneficial situation for yourself. Having an environment of women who love and support you is so important. Knowing you have people all across the country who hold the same values dear is irreplaceable.

We all are meant to be sisters and you made that possible. So, thank you for creating this sisterhood. I am so grateful for every sister you have given me and I wear my letters with the most pride and alpha love in my heart.

Love,

Your Sister

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