Sororities at UCCS fail to represent diversity of women

August 29, 2016

Jasmine Nelson

jnelso14@uccs.com

     As I cross campus at the start of every year, sorority girls extend fliers in my direction and eagerly ask if I’m interested to join Greek life.

     I decline the offer and move along, but not because I haven’t thought about it.

     The premise of a social fraternity for women is exactly what I wanted in a college experience: a lifelong group of friends with organized parties and events that expands your resume and provides hundreds of meaningful social connections at your fingertips.

     It’s an enticing offer.

     But I declined because I’ve had enough of the institutional social exclusion.

    After four, long, awkward years, hopefully we have all moved on from high school and made it to what is commonly referred to by congratulatory adults as the “real world.”

     The social structure of the film, “Mean Girls” shouldn’t be an unfortunate reality, but a bittersweet memory.

     As fair-skinned girls walk past the sorority tables on recruitment week, their paths are interjected by someone who could be their biological sister. Any divergence from this demographic is rarely approached.

     The effects of rejecting people on a superficial basis can be drastic. Loneliness, desperation to be “cool” and the lack-of-self-confidence plague many girls feel when socially rejected by their peers.

     So, at a rapidly developing academic institution, why do Greek letters transform a discriminatory clique into a valid student organization?

     I’ve found that one of the most fascinating things to experience in college is a perspective that’s vastly different from your own. But to be granted the honor of lifelong-sisterhood at UCCS it seems as though you must be preferably white and light-haired.

     And if you don’t fit in then “you can’t sit with us.”

     Not only does the recruitment process for sororities perpetuate a culture of detrimental women-against-women competition, but girls who don’t resemble Elle Woods closely enough don’t stand a chance of being recruited.

     As of fall 2015, minorities make up 31 percent of the study body on campus, but how many minorities do you notice in our sororities?

     Take a look at the contact pages online for the two sororities at UCCS.

     The Greek Life page on the UCCS website welcomes visitors with a statement reading, “Greek Life is greater and more positive than what you see on television. You have the opportunity to break the stereotypes…”

     The sororities at UCCS should “break the stereotypes” and stop passing up diverse women because they may look different.

     A social organization for women should celebrate all shapes, sizes, colors, cultures and personalities. Sisterhood should be an opportunity for all women at UCCS; no one should be afraid to make lifelong friends because they don’t look the part.

     It’s hard enough to get out there and break a glass ceiling in the “real world” without fellow women publicly deeming each other unfit for friendship at face value.

     Women should celebrate and learn from each other’s differences, because there are many, and that’s OK.