If you were in a college soroiety or frat can you share? What do you think of them?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by SomewhereOutThere, May 5, 2015.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I've never been in one (or college either). It would never have appealed to me to get picked for my looks and race (let's face it, few sororities are mixed race) and money...and I don't like to follow the crowd. But some people who were in them think they were a lot of fun. Since I've never been in one, and the topic came up a few days ago, I'm going to ask here if anyone was in one and if it is as snobby as I perceive it to be (I could be way wrong) or if everyone drinks a lot and if you are told which boys to date and not to date...all the stereotypes you hear, but can't really know about if you have never joined one. If you have/had a child who was in one, do you feel it was good for him/her? How does he/she feel about the experience now?

    Any feelings about them, negative, positive, or neutral?

    Any thoughts at all?
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I wasn't part of that scene. Not even allowed at the Uni I went to. The Uni admin saw them as nothing but a problem.

    Now, people who are "in" on these things, and who do well at it, end up with a built in "old 'boys' network", the kind of stuck-like-glue support most of us would really love to have. But it comes at a huge cost, not just to those who are shut out of the "club", but also to those in it.

    Kids who have rich parents who have their own support networks of these sorts, tend to drive the Uni level clubs. One-on-one, some of these kids aren't bad, but in a group? I wouldn't want my kids involved.

    If I remember right, DDD was part of one - and enjoyed the support for long after. I don't know anyone else. But I do believe the whole system has changed in the last 30 years at least.
  3. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    My only experience with them was decades ago when I was in college. They may not all be the same but ... I had a very dear friend who really wanted to join one particular sorority. Her father owned a very successful radio station and they lived in a big beautiful home in a very expensive neighborhood. These girls were all over her, buttering her up, like it was a contest to see who could be the nicest to her. Then suddenly one day they just dropped her like a hot rock! The invitations stopped, all of them avoided eye contact when they passed her like they didn't even know her. Of course she had no idea what she had done wrong, she was so confused and just heartbroken. She finally asked one girl in the sorority that she had known slightly in high school. The girl told her that they had definite plans to ask her to join. But then one girl mentioned her last name, thought that it sounded like it might have had Jewish origins (it did), they discussed it and decided to drop her! So she decided that she could get along just fine without being in a sorority! And I did too!
    • Like Like x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
    • List
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    That's sort of what I figured, but keep the experiences coming in.

    I thought they were sort of like mini-country clubs in college, but again I have no experience with them and certainly would never had wanted to be in one if I'd gone to college nor would they have wanted me. I refuse to exclude people due to race, religion, hair color, body shape, etc. And I don't like exclusive clubs of any kind.

    I have a neighbor who was in one and she is devestated because her daughter rushed, but nobody wanted her. I just sort of listened and then made some excuse to get away as soon as I could. Her mother is gorgeous even in her 50's. Her daughter takes after Dad and is shorter and a little chubby, although she is pretty. She lisps a little bit. Her mother is practically not talking to her now. She told me that she tried so hard to explain to Elsa (not her real name) how to act and dress and even walk to get at least one invitation and she feels her daughter's college experience will be diminished because she won't be in a sorority. The father was there too and he didn't say anything. You could tell he felt ill at ease with the way his wife was talking. They don't have a lot of money either. They live in the same apartment complex as I do. Mom said her parents were willing to pay for it. They DO have money.

    Ugh. Her attitude made me sick. Made me wonder what is so great about a sorority that this woman thilnks her daughter won't benefit socially in college because s he won't be in one. Too bad. She seems like such a sweet eighteen year old who always waves and smiles when she is outside walking her dog...oh, well.
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I grew up as a professor's kid in a college town. The college was, and still is, the major employer here and the driving economic force in this town. My mom had students from frats and sororities in her classes and at one time wished I would meet and date a 'nice' boy from a specific frat. She knew several members as advisor to a club and liked them. They had great manners, good grades and seemed like good people. I told her flat out that I would not EVER even go on a blind date with someone from that group.

    Their manners are a sham. The grades come from test banks and people paid to help them write papers, meaning to write them for the student for serious $$ (I know this for a fact because years later when I had some expenses I couldn't ask my folks to pay, I wrote those papers.) and they had zero morals about anything. One of the wildest guys I ever knew, who was generally up for ANYTHING esp anything sexual, dropped out of pledging this group because of the disgusting sexual things they did to ANY female who happened to be around when an urge hit. Underage girls, unwilling girls, date rape drugs, filming things and passing the films around like baseball cards, NOTHING was truly off limits. They simply bought their way out of things. I had a classmate who was engaged to a member of this group when her fiance drugged her and let every member of the group have her. Then she was 'sullied' and he broke off the engagement a month before the wedding in an ugly public way (at her church no less).

    This was the worst group, but most of them have at least some of these problems and they feel fully entitled to do whatever they want. Hazing is illegal so now it is called 'voluntary initiation rituals" but if you decline and are not Mary Lou Retton, you are out.

    Sororities are also pretty sick, in my opinion. Back when I first went to college I worked at a Kinko's and worked on copying pledge manuals for many sororities. Girls are told how to do everything from what color to dye their hair, what brands of makeup and clothing they can/can't use, who they can date, etc... They are vicious in tearing each other down, many of them TEACH girls how to become anorexic or bulimic and see nothing wrong with this. I never could figure out why anyone would want to be part of this.

    I worked with several girls who had been in sororities. One quit after being vice pres of her sorority after they ridicule and harassed her younger sister and then threw her out because she was 'too fat' and 'ugly'. She was astounded at the lengths her 'sisters' went to in order to destroy her sister. This sister was a model for many local and state publications, was not even close to fat, and was just a really sweet person. It took her several years of therapy to cope with the abuse of just five or six weeks of pledging a sorority.

    When I went to school out of state I avoided the Greek system. I could have pledged an gotten in as my childhood BFF's mom was eager to help me. I wasn't really a joiner, so I didn't ask for her help. One of my friends was a super smart but rather geeky and awkward guy. Not handsome, but a very caring and sweet person. Four members of a sorority appeared to take a liking to him. They buttered him up for about a month, going out with him, inviting him places, telling him how handsome he was. Then they invited him to a dance as one girl's date. He was told it was formal, so he rented a tux, bought a corsage, really went all the way. At that dance they pretended they didn't know him an that he was 'forcing' his attention on them. Several frat boys beat the living heck out of him. He spent two days in the hospital for injuries. Then when he went back to his dorm these girls set out on a hate campaign against him. He almost succeeded in killing himself two weeks later. He eventually got a degree from another university, but he was never the same. He NEVER even approached these girls or tried to speak to them until they poured on the charm and worked to convince him that they were interested in him. They targeted him to see if they could destroy him, just for fun. I know because I heard them laughing and bragging about it later. They thought it was great fun, especially after he tried to hurt himself. they thought he should have succeeded for DARING to think they might like him in any way.

    My childhood BFF adored her sorority. I met some of the girls and they seemed nice but vapid. I never did get the attraction, but her sorority was better than many that I have seen. but few are really nice groups in my opinion. I have just seen them do too many ugly things a nd feel they were completely entitled to do these things with-o consequences. The sorority that targeted my friend didn't even get a warning until an active dropped out an told the cops some of the things they had done and she had photos and notes to prove what they were doing. They did get some criminal charges but their parents bought them out of trouble with the DA and with their organization.

    I have no use for these groups and would not contribute to one of my kids joining a traditional Greek sorority or fraternity.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Wow. Thanks, Susie. That says it all.
  7. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    When I was in school the first time, there were sororities. It was a very small school branch of a public university. The women in the sororities did not look or behave in any of the ways I expected. I remember them selling perfume in the Student Union. I remember friends of mine pledging sororities, and one of them needing to have every kind of candy on her person at all times in the event one of the sorority sisters wanted that particular kind.

    She seemed to enjoy it.

    The other friend, I lost track of. So it must be true then, that sororities are self-enclosing kinds of things. I would love to have had that kind of support. It would have been a very good thing for me to have had that, for sure.

    I was living on my own, in an apartment, working two jobs.

    I might have enjoyed that kind of circle of women friends...or maybe, appreciation of other women is only something that happened for me after what happened to my kids.

    Remember how I grew up.

    When I went back the second time, after the kids were ~ after what happened to all of us ~ I was a member of two Honors societies. I didn't have to do anything, like register or pledge or anything, to do that. I liked that, and found it valuable. That was not as intense as a sorority would have been, but it is a kind of identification of ourselves with those who are like us.

    So I think a sorority would be a fine thing. I would not have been comfortable cutting people up just for the sake of it. On the other hand, I was very different, very arrogant and messed up, as a young woman.

    I was never intentionally mean.

    Speaking from the perspective of now, I would do it, I would try to be invited and join and have that experience.

  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    What if they excluded girls who were of certain ethnicities or religions or who were heavier?

    I think the honor society is different. You earned it!!
  9. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    They probably do it differently now but I remember how as a freshman we all made those little "get acquainted" visits to the different sorority houses during rush week. You would go in and one of them would sort of target each girl, being super friendly, asking you about yourself. Then if they liked you, you'd get invited back for another social event. But if you listened carefully, most of their "friendly" questions were just thinly disguised attempts to find out how much money your family had. "What does your father do?" "Do you play any sports? Golf? Tennis?" (Translation: Does your family have enough money to belong to a country club?) I got several invitations to come back but I had already decided by then that I wanted nothing more to do with it.
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Donna or anyone, why does the money matter? Or your race? or your looks? I guess I'm not getting the point.
  11. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    It matters in a sorority or fraternity. The way you get a tight-knit cohesive group is to be the "same" on multiple fronts. That includes income level, expected lifestyle, culture (and therefore to some extent ethnicity), education, etc.

    Does it matter in real life? No.
  12. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    Yes, it does matter to them. It may be a little better now than it used to be but it still matters. Especially the $$$.
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    These groups are very devoted to the almighty $$ and to the Us vs Them mentality. The sororities are especially brutal on pledges emotions. Pledge Handbooks for the fraternities might have been 30 pages, but for sororities they were closer to 300 or more. I worked at a Kinko's my first year in college and that was one of my first tasks - copying and binding these handbooks. The bigger sororities used 3" thick binders for them. The rules are ridiculous and mostly serve as reasons to justify kicking someone they decide they don't like out without having to actually say that they are too fat, too poor, not white enough, etc....

    I actually joined a fraternity the next semester. It is an actual official Greek organization, but it is TOTALLY different than the general Greek organizations. It is a co-ed service fraternity. Our primary goal was to make the world a better place. Everything centered around volunteer work with the campus, the larger community and the Boy and Girl Scouts. To pledge you had a set list of tasks, some were silly, many were hard work, and everyone had the same list. Your skin color, ethnicity, finances, relatives and status had no bearing on anything. You did have to do 50 hours of community service in a single semester though. What you wore only mattered if it was part of the work (no clubbing clothes to a Girl Scout function, no fancy clothes to clean up a slum area, no risque slogans to Special Olympics, etc...). It was an amazing experience, I met some of the best in this world, and I learned more about myself and what is important to me than I ever dreamed I would.

    We did not haze or humiliate anyone in the group. We did silly things but if you were not comfortable doing something, no one made you feel bad about it. If someone tried, others would stop them and let them know that it wasn't acceptable, period.

    We did get heckled and harassed by the other Greek organizations, and many said we were not 'really' part of the Greek system We either ignored them or quietly did our thing and proved them wrong. We didn't care about what most of the Greek system cared about so their stupidity toward us was easy to ignore.

    We organized badge days where 200+ Girl Scouts came onto campus and earned a badge in a day, we were troop leaders for Boy and Girl Scout Troops, we cleaned up highways when groups that had 'adopted' them abandoned their commitment, we organized days where dump trucks went to the worst areas and volunteers cleaned up the curbside trash like old toilets and couches. We worked as escorts to help people cross campus at night safely, we were on call designated drivers on major party nights with MADD and SADD, we built ramps and fixed up houses for people who couldn't afford it, we ushered theater events and concerts and read to kids and did just about anything you could think of and more. If any of you have seen Austin City Limits, a country music program that was on PBS for years, we worked crowd control, ushered, and filled in for many positions during filming (and saw AMAZING performances!) and did many more things.

    If anyone has a child or young relative/friend who wanted to be part of a group with proud traditions, history and a track record of all the good things the Greek system is supposed to be about, I would share info happily. The hardest part of switching universities for me was leaving this group of friends. There was not a chapter at the school I transferred to and I missed it greatly. It is a national group and now there is even a chapter at my university.

    What we did, and how we treated each other, is what I expected a brotherhood or sisterhood to do and be. It isn't what I saw in traditional Greek organizations, but that is their loss.
  14. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I of course do not have experience with Greek system of US colleges, but I do have experience of more or less exclusive social clubs during Uni.

    The main social club systems of our Unis are based either of part of country you come from or your major. If you are from that part of the country or you have certain major, you can join, no other requirements. Almost everyone joins to one of their major, but many do not join the ones that area based to region. One that comes with the major has lot of services etc. related to your studies, for example archives of old exams are kept by them (and those are not considered cheating in our Unis but professors usually encourage using them as a study guide. Some even plainly give you possible questions beforehand (of course that tends to be 30 possible essay topics that cover the whole material and random four will be in the exam. But it still helps you to prepare.)) Ones based on region are almost purely social.

    Then there are more exclusive ones. Either based on a hobby or interest (usually not too exclusive), but often just social ones (often much more exclusive, some even 'secret societies' with invite only) and some that have to do with ethnicity. In my Uni only gender segregated clubs were men's and women's choirs, though they did some projects also together.

    Both me and hubby were part of many of those and have to say that connections, especially the connections made on more exclusive or smaller groups, have been invaluable for us. Especially the ones that were made in social groups that were ethnically divided. We are minority, not the type that shows necessary in appearance, but for example the name is a dead give away. And while we can not claim to be an underprivileged minority, it is something that limits our choices. For example our sons would be total idiots, if they would let their minority show in early morning cab queue. Or well, if they really fancy a blooded nose, then letting it show would be a good idea. And while I have never been hit because being minority (mainly because I'm a woman), I get dirty looks often and people may verbally attack me at public. I have also been spat at and so on. Having those connections, both during the Uni and after it, to others from the same minority has been important both socially and also in finding jobs etc.

    Ache already has lots of useful connections through being an athlete, and being an athlete also somewhat overrides the handicap of being minority, but for Joy, if he ends up to local Uni some day, i will very strongly recommend taking part of those social clubs, both more and less exclusive and especially ones for our minority.

    Kind of funny though, one of the main thing our minority gets slammed at is, that we are connected and that we practise cronyism and at the same time it is that outside pressure that makes us stick together and support each other.
  15. pasajes4

    pasajes4 Well-Known Member

    I went to a very expensive private Uni. I was able to go because of massive scholarships. I was looked down on due to my lowly status. I was referred to as " that poor Townie".
  16. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I suppose that is the whole purpose of a sorority or fraternity, isn't it. To exclude others and, by doing so, elevate the self. To agree to help one another, but not the excluded them.

    So, depending on how they are structured, these organizations are actually very bad things.

    You are right, SWOT. It is like an organization devoted to taking everything good away from anyone not "with" us and making those good things happen for one another, instead. That is human nature, though. Religions do the same, and are done to the same. (Boy, are we having a look at that, these days.) There are those who believe that, secure in the excess of enough food, enough joy, enough clothing and music and education for the first time in all of Time, human nature will change. I think we are seeing that. People are speaking out instead of accepting that they are "the other guy" because of race or educational status or breeding. With the advent of internet, we are seeing public outrage over things that used to be secret.

    Maybe that is the changed thing, and not human nature, at all?

    We do need to speak out about victimization. It is hard to see it in the things we have always taken for granted.

    Good thread, SWOT.

    Thank you.


  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I think that if the groups were not allowed to keep people out due to not having perfect bodies, not being rich or not being the right race/ethnicity then it would be ok. How you socialize is a choice.Clubs and groups that are limiting in how you can behave and who you can hang with are not for me. Or any group. I like to be myself and I need solitude. And, I'm glad my kids are with me on this...of course, race and money would exclude them from most. But if it weren't so limiting and encouraging of bias, it could be good for some people who like to live in packs.

    But from what I gather, it is ok to be an all white club (no Jews either) and you need to have money, which I don't understand unless you have to contribute some to t he club.

    This young girl really tried to please her mom and get into a sororiety and when she didn't it was like her mom, who already seemed rejecting, turned it up a notch. Did not sound healthy to me. But again that is not something I have k nown first hand or who ever have been interested in. So I thought I'd ask.
  18. tishthedish

    tishthedish Active Member

    Oh my. I came from a lower, lower middle class area. Only 3 kids in our entire graduating class were able to go to college. I stayed out a year to work and save. I went to a state school. My first year in the dorm my room mate was a senior. The other girls on the floor were mostly juniors and seniors as well. I loved my room mate and neighbors but because of the randomness of my being placed on that floor meant I would have to start all over again the next year at this huge university. They suggested I go for Rush. In the entire Greek system in this particular university there was one sorority that sounded like the ones described above. Our house on sorority row was modest. The girls were diverse. They varied in height and weight etc. Pledging meant we had to meet each girl in the house and meet her request. It was usually a trivia question about the national sorority or to bring a poem on friendship. Our top secret initiation consisted of having to wear all white, meet at the house at midnight where we were blindfolded and taken to a secret place(it was a local church) and once inside our full membership was toasted with kool-aid and a huge buttercream cake. (I could be kicked out for telling you this) I lived with the same girls for 3+ years. I had bad luck with boys and always had someone to watch Love Boat and Fantasy Island with. Each sorority/fraternity has to have a philanthropic cause. Ours was Special Olympics. I especially appreciate the awareness as my grandson is now a participant. Twice a year we did events to fund raise. All of us worked concessions at the football games to raise money for house improvements. We all had house chores we had to do every week or twice a week. We sat down to dinner together every night and said grace before we ate. There were some girls I like better than others. And to tell the truth, it was cheaper to live in the sorority than it was to live in the dorm. I can't speak to costs today.

    This was a school of 28,000 students. I came from a really small town. I was glad to find my niche. I am still friends with many of them especially in this day of FB. Three of those girls are my first string when it came to the crises that brought me to this site.

    Fraternities include some binge drinking in their pledging. My son was in a fraternity. During pledging he told them he wouldn't be drinking because he was on medication. They honored that, but still it scared me.

    In short, stereotypes are stereotypes. They serve no one. I'd tell anyone to research the houses carefully. Look at their national organizations. See the principles they were founded on. Each house on campus must answer to their National Headquarters. No one wants to be a part of a place that they don't want to live. Did I get asked back to the fancy house? NO! Nor would I have been happy there. There is a Rush system and some people are disappointed. But this is no different than a competitive sports team, dance squad, job interview, National Honor Society (yes, you have to be invited to be in that, I wasn't much to my mother's chagrin). Just my two cents. My experience was positive. Truth be told, I'm more Poison Ivy than Ivy League.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • List
  19. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks for t he honest assessment, Tish. I was curious more than anything because I know nothing of them first hand and only person I know who was in one is a snob. That just made me wonder.

    I am not a club joiner so I"m sure it would not appeal to me...however YOUR sororiety, where you didn't have to be perfect or lily white sounds really cozy and fun. I always picture sororieties as one race, not inclusive, stuck up and rich. It is nice to know that this is just a stereotype. I asked because I wanted to learn. I appreciate your teaching me.
  20. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I have met older women who never grew out of this mindset.

    Years ago when I was learning Spanish, already in middle age, I went to a conversation group in the community. A nice lady, a nurse, invited me to join her and another woman to practice our Spanish at a cafe. When the other lady (older than me) met me she was cold and rude. The nurse took me aside and said, X doesn't like you and doesn't want you here. After that I didn't have anything to do with either of them.

    That to me is Sorority.

    Tish, I loved Love Boat