Bullying is a buzzword in the media. We hear about it all the time and it seems that everyone wants to take a stand in the fight against bullying. This is a fairly new movement, with the first news stories of bullying breaking primarily in the last few years. But hazing, that’s age-old.
Seniors kidnapping freshmen, older team members destroying the property of younger team members, forcing new members to perform embarrassing acts and subjecting them to an array of humiliation and mental torture. From this description, it seems difficult to tell the difference between hazing and bullying. Each act involves power, both involve the establishment of a dominant player, but most importantly—both involve absolute degradation and humiliation of a “weaker” prospect.
In a few months, you will finally step into the first party of sorority recruitment week. You have put a lot of thought into exactly what you are going to wear that day, right down to the special bracelet that was the perfect finale for your outfit. You will have ironed your clothes (which you don’t often do) the night before, and you even cracked open some special new makeup just for the occasion.
Your skin is clear, your eyes are bright, and you smell good. You just got your hair done two days ago, in anticipation of recruitment, and today for some reason, it was on its best behavior for you. It works. Everything about you works. You look great, and you feel great. That smile on your face? It’s 50% nervous anticipation, 50% excitement, and 0% fear about your appearance.
Imagine your reaction when you realize the sorority members have not put as much energy into preparing to meet you.
In America, we see that almost 750,000 college students have become members of a sorority or fraternity, a Greek letter organization. There are universities where Greek participation even has reached to a staggering 80 percent. It’s not only on university or college campuses where some so many students (sometimes over half) are Greek organization members that this aspect is dominant.
There are more than 120 American schools where more than 25% of the student body is a Greek club member. Also at colleges with a relatively low Greek involvement percentage, the pressure to become part of a chapter can be big for many students, and it may be dominating the school’s social scene.
Greek life, often criticized for its partying, drinking and exclusivity, has become a greater indicator of success, class, and social status. Students who have joined must, on top of their ever-increasing college costs, be able to furnish all costs associated with a Greek organization such as recruitment fees, annual membership costs, clothing expenses, and contributions for social, community, or charity events.
Since Greek Life originated, the organizations have been met with vehement critics, but it is good to understand that Greek Organizations are involved in so much more than merely extracurricular activities. They have become a way of life.
Greek Organizations have been fighting for their existence for centuries and throughout all sorts of hardships. Sure, member and chapter numbers have been fluctuating over time, but Greek Life has survived all major periods of chaos and tragedies such as the Great Depression, The Civil War, The Revolutionary War, World War I & II, The Vietnam War, and the upheaval and turmoil of the 60’s & 70’s. Through the years, we’ve seen several attempts by universities and state governments to shut Greek Life organizations down or disband them, but the fraternities and sororities have survived, and are sure to continue to do so.
During the weekend of October 7-10, 2016, the Regional Directors of Alumnae met at Kappa Headquarters. Along with trips to Jeni’s ice cream, and a lunch with Fraternity and Foundation staff, they accomplished a great deal including setting a theme for this biennium: “You can get there from here”. I know this post is a little overdue but still, read it with pleasure!
The team focuses on empowering Province Directors of Alumnae and Alumnae Association leaders to lead their provinces and associations. Training tools ranging from a new Alumnae Association Manual to online training opportunities for newly elected Alumnae Association Presidents were created. The team also enjoyed the preliminary planning of Associate Council Seminar 2017. Province Directors of Alumnae surely enjoyed “packing their bags” and participating in a weekend of learning and fun at ACS.
This spring, a predator or predators have been using Facebook and other social media networks to contact members of NPC groups. Several Kappas across the nation have been affected. The perpetrator will typically introduce him or herself and try to build a relationship. In several instances, the perpetrator has identified him or herself as an alumna member of an NPC organization.
Often this progresses into the student being asked to do things that are inappropriate, ultimately asking the student if they have a webcam and to set-up a meeting with the webcam or to share nude pictures of themselves.
Kappa Kappa Gamma would never instigate this type of communication, and the Fraternity does not have an alumnae/new member mentoring program.
One of the highlights of interning at Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity Headquarters is the opportunity to visit The Stewart House Museum in Monmouth, IL. with Kylie Towers, Simpson, Archivist/Curator. Our purpose was to help with various projects around the museum, but we also had the chance to take in the local sights.
Our main project was doing an inventory of all the engraved bricks on the patio. We initially thought it would take two hours, tops, to catalog all the bricks by row, name, year, etc., but we were so wrong.
Over the course of three days, we spent about five hours logging the details into a spreadsheet, finishing up the last few rows by the light of our citronella candle and a flashlight. We have a greater appreciation for personalized bricks, and we’ve even decided to buy our own! Continue Reading
College Life and the Greek System
Most U.S. colleges include sorority and fraternity houses on their campuses and these groups are labeled the Greek system as all these houses are known by a few Greek alphabet letters. There are Greek organizations dedicated to a particular academic field or profession, for example, law, journalism, or medicine, and we also can find many social Greek organizations.
Sure, many of the negative stories about sororities and fraternities and sororities are true, and there are quite a few known excesses, but sororities and frats are not only about all-night-long partying. Greek organizations are also known for great community service activities. There are lots of money-raising events for charities, and members do much volunteer work in local soup kitchens or other community and charity organizations. They additionally organize numerous food drives on their campuses to support local agencies. These events are great resume builders, and employers see participation in Greek organizations as a plus. Among other things, it means that you have some measure of discipline and that you managed to maintain decent grades in college despite your extracurricular commitments. Continue Reading
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the history of Greek Life and the origin of organizations that we today know as Fraternities and Sororities. This information may be helpful to understand the history and traditions of Greek Life.
During the second half of the 19th century, there were several students who started to form their own organizations for discussing and debating literature and current events, mainly as a reaction to the strict culture and often limited curriculum that was presented by their colleges.
These students wished to learn more about a wider variety of subject areas and topics than were addressed in their classrooms. They wanted to study more academic subjects in greater detail than was possible in the time allotted during their courses, and they wanted to express themselves in a free manner. So they started their organized literary and debating societies. There were actually quite a few universities that fostered these liberal organizations and encouraged their students to learn how to best think for themselves.
Sororities were started as a great way for female students to build their own communities at campuses that we usually male-dominated.
Sororities are still serving as places for gender solidarity and community building at many universities and colleges.
Sorority sisters may often be found bonding over shared academic, social, cultural, or religion-based interests, and sorority members will generally also in community service or charity projects, fundraising activities, and formal dances.
Generally, joining a sorority comes with a serious price tag, such as recruitment fees, annual membership dues, and various costs for clothing and many activities.