October 5, 2016

Collegiate Perspective: Destroying Sorority Stereotypes

As a society, we love to label people, places, and things. Some labels are positive, some negative, but why is it that sororities continue to be categorized negatively, more now than ever? Could we have gone too far with our generalizations?

Now, when I say “we” I mean all of us as a Greek community; we have witnessed first-hand that it does not matter who commits the negative action, but it matters that they are Greek and we as Greeks take the blame together. We fall together, but in order to fix it do we need to take action individually?

Call me crazy, but I think the future will be changed by our individual actions. Lets think about the stereotypes that we have fallen victim to:

Sorority girls aren’t the smartest
Sorority girls are always late
Sorority girls do nothing but party
Sorority girls don’t get good grades

The list goes on, when we wear our letters, we are immediately judged. These preconceived notions come from invisible tags that hang from our letters. If you are like me, you wear Alpha Phi everything, half my closet is lettered merchandise. When I wear my letters I know it is expected of me to hold myself to the highest ideals and understand that these negative labels do not define me. As sorority women it is our job to protect our letters.

We should wear our letters proud, and understand what it means to represent an entire group of women. We must wake up with the intention of conducting ourselves according to the highest standards.

We carry the responsibility, and in order to break the biases that others have, we must give them new ones. Here are my tips:
  •        Be on time
  •         Say “Please” and “Thank You”
  •         Be friendly and kind
  •         Remember the importance of academics
  •         Set priorities
  •         Build connections
  •         Leave lasting impressions
  •         Smile
The bottom line is that if we are women that carry ourselves with dignity and poise, people are going to begin to believe what they see, not what the stereotypes portray us as. The way that you represent yourself will pave the way for the ones that follow.  Lead by example, lead with pride. We have a new image to build, and it looks nothing like our last one.

 Yasmin Quintana is a collegiate member at California State University Northridge (Epsilon Upsilon). To learn more about Yasmin, click here.

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