Anonymous Sorority Member: Potential Members Must be Informed

There is never a perfect answer to whether or not an individual should join Greek Life. Potential New Members (PNMs) should be informed about hazing policies, culture, and recruitment as they make their decision. Before members are even initiated into an organization, they must first be selected, or given a bid. Even from the start, whether or not girls are given bids can become a major determinant of self esteem. A study reported that women who went through the recruitment process and received a bid experienced a rising ranking from an average of 24.99 to a 25.35 on the Rosenberg Self Esteem scale. Women who did not receive a bid experienced a significant drop from 27.74 to 26.32. It is important to note how the group of women who did not receive a bid originally had higher self esteem scores than the group that did receive a bid. This occurrence of clear differences in self esteem levels proves that PNMs must be aware of the situation they are engaging in during the recruitment process. Recruitment is just the start.

I saw almost every emotion under the sky on sorority bid day this spring at Elon University. There were girls crying because they were happy, sad, or frustrated. There were girls screaming with joy and excitedly chanting their sororities letters. It was honestly one of the most confusing days of my life. I wanted to be happy that I had been invited to join an organization that was a perfect fit for me, but so many of my friends were overwhelmingly disappointed with the results of their rush process. FSL portrays sorority recruitment as a fairytale, but I think universities must present PNMs with the reality of the process. Strictly from a numbers perspective, FSL advisors must have understood that not all of the girls who had signed up to rush would receive bids. FSL at Elon should be aware of the study I previously mentioned so they can properly address self esteem issues over the course of the rush process.  

Hazing is another aspect of Greek Life to take into consideration. It is unfair to say all fraternities haze, but there are still cases of extreme hazing taking place on college campuses today. Andrew Lohse was a student at Dartmouth who experienced an unimaginable hazing process. If he had been informed that the fraternity was notorious for their hazing, he may have decided not to join the organization. Similarly, a Pennsylvania State University student recently passed away on account that hazing had been involved in the accident leading to his death. Greek Life councils, Greek organization executives, and faculty advisors must make PNMs aware of events like these. Ultimately it is the PNMs’ own decisions, but they should be informed if an organization will physically and mentally abuse them though hazing techniques.

I have several guy friends who have been viciously hazed, both at Elon and on different campuses. I also have guy friends who were not hazed so I know hazing standards depend on the organization. Although, hazing can happen in sororities as well. I am aware of hazing happening in sororities here at Elon, and I know for a fact that certain girls regret joining organizations because they were unaware that they would be hazed in the organization. I think it would have been healthier and safer if PNMs knew the facts about hazing in each organization because it would allow them to make a more informed decisions on whether or not they should join Greek Life.

Informed PMNs are able to understand the possible negative outcomes of Greek Life, but also see the potential Greek Life has to offer. Greek Life provides friendship and life-long bonds. It is also researched that Greek Life members are just as likely to excel academically and be involved in campus cultural events. In addition to that, fraternity men do not show higher rates of sexual assault compared to non affiliated men on college campuses. These studies do prove that Greek Life can be beneficial for students to take part in.

Once a PNM is given the facts it will be easier for him or her to make an informed decision about whether he or she should participate in a Greek organization. For this to happen, universities must be willing to release the facts and the history, both good and bad, to students. Delayed recruitment is also helpful for students to make the right choice. Delayed recruitment provides students the opportunity to become acclimated to campus before joining an organization. This way, they have more time to meet people in different organizations and figure out the objectives of each one. It really depends on if a person deems their personality as one that can align with the organization they wish to join.