The 10 Commandments Of Being A Sorority Girl, As Told By A Non-Sorority Girl

The 10 Commandments Of Being A Sorority Girl, As Told By A Non-Sorority Girl

Sorority girls are a species of their own.

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In the world of Greek life, there are plenty of rules and guidelines for frat boys and sorority girls to follow strictly. I know maybe two of the real ones, but it seems that there are several unspoken rules that any outsider can see. Here are a few:

1. Thou shalt refer to any fellow sorority member only as "sister."

It doesn't matter if they were your roommate, your friend, your cousin, your professor, or even your mom; if they become part of your sorority, they are only "sister" from now on. In every single story you will ever tell, they will exclusively be sister from this point forward.

​2. Thou shalt always boost your sisters' Insta posts.

Turn on post notifications because it's in the job requirement to always make sure that no sister posts anything without a proper "YAASSSS, QUEEEEN" in the comments. Even if she's not in it, she should know that her pics of Niagara Falls are ON POINT.

3. Thou shalt stock up on Greek t-shirts and wear them frequently.

There is seemingly no event that is off limits for making a t-shirt for. Blood drive? T-shirt. Movie night? T-shirt. President got her wisdom teeth out? T-shirt. Wear those boys everywhere.

​4. Remember bid day and keep it sparkly.

Bid day seems to be a holiday like no other. Bathe yourself in body glitter and welcome the new sisters. This is a day that is not to be reckoned with.

5. Thou shalt not be seen without a sister.

You now have 20+ best friends to choose from. Do NOT go anywhere without one of them. Whether you're just going to get your mail or you're headed to a concert, make sure that you have a sister with you at all times.

6. Thou shalt not be seen without Greek letters.

Usually, this is displayed on a tote bag that should be carried at all times. If you're one of the four sorority girls in existence without a Greek letter tote bag, display your letters on a t-shirt with a pocket that features your Greek letters instead. A laptop sticker may also suffice in a pinch.

7. Thou shalt never refer to another Greek organization by its full name.

This is a language all its own that I assume must come in a Greek life handbook. It is not "Tau Kappa Epsilon" it is "TKE" but pronounced "Teke." It's not "Sigma Phi Epsilon," it's "Sig Ep" and you'll look like a fool if you should choose to talk about the Sigma Phi Epsilon party you're going to later.

​8. Thou shalt have a discussion with each sister about your "side" for pictures and plan accordingly for all group shots.

If this means all getting in a line and looking to the side to accommodate same-sided sisters, so it shall be. There is not a pose in existence that cannot accommodate the respective side of each sister.

​9. Thou shalt not dislike thy big or littles.

I don't know how it's possible that every single sorority sister should be able to be matched with someone that inevitably becomes their best friend, but this is the way of the world. I have yet to see a little that doesn't like their big or vice versa. I am interested to see if such a pair exists in the real world.

10. Thou shalt always throw up your letters in photos.

No matter where you go, make sure the world knows what you're representing. Whether it be on vacation or just a concert or festival, throw up those Greek signs, sister. Be proud of the organization you're representing.

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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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Truth Is, Friendships Run Deeper Than Greek Letters

It's the letters that make you friends, but the memories and bonds keep you together.

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When you open your bid card you see Greek letters and run to your new sorority, you have a feeling something great is going to come out of it; however, there is so much more than you could have ever expected.You rush down Anderson lawn and begin to meet only a portion of the girls that will soon become your best friends and girl gang.

When I first got involved in my sorority I was excited, but I was like, "Oh my gosh, they seriously expect us to be here all of these days and pay if we aren't?!?" Through the long events though and sisterhood bonding, you become so close with girls you wouldn't have seen yourself bonding with bid night.

You all wear your two or three letters that represents so much meaning within your sorority and you meet through your letters, but you know you'd still be friends even without seeing each other once a week for dinner or more for anything else. I may have found these friends, also known as my new girl gang, through my house, but our friendships are deeper than two Greek letters now and I couldn't be more thankful.

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