Downfalls of Greek life and why some say no

Joining a sorority is often seen as a a positive and enriching hallmark of the college experience. However, many others feel very content with their decision not to rush. The influence of rush on Hope’s campus becomes increasingly evident as Greek posters adorn the walls of dorms and classroom buildings are filled after hours with closed and open rush events. Many students avoid all the excitement, preferring to continue with their relativelynormal lives. Those who opt out give a variety of reasons for doing so. Some students feel that Hope Greek life offers less options than a larger university. Paige Donnelly (‘23) says, “I would [rush] if it was a big Greek school. If everyone was in [a sorority] I feel like you could find your people.” Donnelly pointed out that at some colleges sororities would all live together, but at Hope many sorority members stay in their separate dorms or cottages. For Donnelly, living separately from one’s sorority diminishes what she thinks of as the Greek experience. “It feels more like a clique than a home here,” she comments. Donnelly also felt turned off by the stress she felt was created by rushing. Her sister had had a great experience in a sorority at a different school, so Donnelly attended the general sorority introduction meeting Round Robin, which is a chance for prospective members to meet the sororities, but afterwards decided not to continue with the rush process. She comments, “They just stressed so many times at all the meetings that you can’t interact with someone who’s in a sorority this month. [The process is about] waiting for them to invite you, and it makes all these girls feel bad about themselves if they don’t get invited.” For Donnelly, some of the expectations and uncertainty for girls who were rushing created “unnecessary pressure.” Beverly Wong (23’) felt unclear about the sorority selection process. “I didn’t have enough information about it,” she says.

 

Wong feels that hearing from more people in sororities would have helped her with her decision, saying that “Maybe I would consider it with the influence of more people.” She says the only information she got about the different sororities on campus was from the sorority posters around campus, which gave little information and didn’t help her discern if joining one of the seven sororities on campus would be right for her. In the end, she didn’t attend any rush events. She says she is content with her decision and felt no pressure to rush. Other students don’t rush simply because they already feel plugged in on campus. Many find that there are lots of other ways for them to stay involved and be a part of a community outside of a sorority. One sophomore pointed out, “SAC puts on events every weekend and residence halls usually have hall events. If you don’t like either of those options, you can always create your own fun with friends.” Most students interviewed about Hope Greek life agree that it has the potential to be a very positive experience. This sophomore also said, “They’re a great way to be part of a community, but I think it is only appealing to some people.” One thing they all agreed on was the fact that none felt pressured to rush by Hope or their peers. At Hope, it seems there are plenty of opportunities for everyone to have a fulfilling social life, whether they participate in Greek life or not. That’s the great thing about college; there is something for everyone to get involved in.



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