Morgan Legel | Columnist
It is Sunday, and a group of young women stand in the Reilly Room, waiting to see what’s beyond the doors leading outside.
Outside, there are seven different groups of women, holding seven different groups of Greek letters, representing seven different sororities. All of these groups are waiting for the women in the Reilly Room to exit and find their future sisters.
This is bid day at Butler University.
Bid day is the last day of formal sorority recruitment during which each woman finds out what sorority she can now call her home.
With recruitment recently ending at Butler, the question comes up of what exactly a sorority is and why these women decided to rush.
Merriam-Webster defines a sorority as “a women’s student organization formed chiefly for social purposes and having a name consisting of Greek letters.”
As Merriam-Webster describes it, a sorority can be seen as solely founded for social purposes. These purposes give rise to stereotypes for each house and how they are perceived in the campus community.
“Part of the reason stereotypes exist is because somebody sees something that aligns with something that is typically negative,” said Becky Druetzler, Butler’s director of Greek life.
Most of the time, these negative perceptions are conceived first, spread furthest, and heard loudest.
Still, none of these make the perception true of an entire house.
“The average chapter size for our sororities is more than 125, and to think that there is one descriptor to fit with that many students—regardless of if it is a Greek organization or any other—there are just too many variables,” Druetzler said.
With the negative perceptions of a singular member or small group being used as a descriptor for the entire chapter, women going through recruitment take these stereotypes into consideration when figuring out which house is right for them.
These stereotypes should not be as important as they are. It is clear they do not describe an entire house. They should not be thought of as fact, for there are far more principal issues to deliberate upon.
Philanthropy is an essential point of all sororities, and there is a whole day dedicated to philanthropy during the recruitment process.
However essential philanthropy may be to a sorority, many women going through recruitment do not take it as seriously as the stereotypes of each house.
Also key to sorority life is sisterhood.
Every sorority has a different feel, each one sharing a unique bond with its sisters.
Pre-existing stereotypes can often get in the way of seeing the true sisterly tie in each sorority house.
Whether you have already found your place in a house, plan on going through recruitment next year, or are perfect without a sorority, forget stereotypes.
These sometimes unfounded ideas most people around campus put so much emphasis on are merely negative perceptions of groups of people that could never define an entire chapter of women.
As for sorority women—like myself—ask not what your sorority can do for you through how outsiders see it.
Ask what you can do for your sorority by how it is seen through your own eyes.