A Day In The Mind of A Girl Called To Standards

It’s a typical Sunday afternoon. You’re wearing a stellar ensemble comprised of whatever you had on last night and a pair of sweatpants. You’re laying in the middle of your living room floor begging your equally motionless roommates to make the trek to the kitchen and bring you food, or at least an advil. As you’re watching bad TV and trying to decide if you have to pee badly enough to actually get up, it happens. You get an email informing you that you’ve been called to standards.


They never tell you what you did wrong, either. It’s always like “*** sorority has called you to a meeting with the standards board regarding an issue that occurred at such location on Saturday evening.” Balls. Your first defensive thought is “what could I have possibly done?” and then you realize that the answers to that question are infinite. You could have done anything, so the more important questions are “what could they have possibly found out about?” and “who the fuck told them?” You frantically search your memory for any possible misdemeanors and soon realize your memory is categorically empty. Damn that eighth shot you took at the pregame. It’s time to call in reinforcements.

You call for a mandatory roommate meeting that will be located on the couch, which is convenient because all five of you are sprawled across it half-dead anyway. Between all of your half-memories, you’re able to piece together that you are either in trouble for stealing the pledge class paddle from the fraternity who hosted Saturday’s pregame, a possible conclusion drawn when one of you found it in your bathtub, or because eboard got wind of the “Who won homecoming!? I’m sorry, bitch, whooooo wonnnn homecoming? You’re bottom-tier and you don’t matter” you shouted at some uggo in a different sorority who totally deserved it because she was talking shit about your float. Perhaps you could have handled it a little more gracefully, but I mean, can you really get in trouble for defending your letters? As for the paddle, how can they even prove it was you? Aside from the evidence that is literally sitting in your lap, they have no proof, and whatever, you’ll give it back, maybe. Whether or not you think you deserve this hearing, you have no choice but to go. With no intention of getting up to spare your roommates from hearing the same story again (because this is the only thing that matters right now), you call the most brilliant person you know, your big.

After about twenty minutes of begging the question “but is that, like, really that big a deal?” and her repeatedly telling you “I mean, in real life no, but in like, sorority life, kind of” you develop a plan of action. You will not speak until spoken to, you will not admit to anything until you’re accused of it, and you will not even THINK about sassing them. You will play the innocent victim you aren’t.

You remain moderately concerned all day, but focus most of your anxiety on being mad at whomever told on you. Bitch. Who tattle-tales? This attitude continues until you’re in the living room waiting with the other “bad girls” making a stupid “what are you in for?” joke. You’re really hoping that someone here did something worse than you did, so if they decide they’re in a terminatey mood (which is absolutely unheard of, and you’re totally over-reacting), that it won’t be you they decide to cut loose. You have never been more panicked in your life. This is so stupid! Yes, that bitch was in your rival sorority and you totally believe every one of the drunken words you spoke, but it was SO not worth your sorority. Why did you do that! What were you thinking? You weren’t thinking. You don’t want to lose your letters over this! You love everything about your organization so much, your colors, your mascot, the way your letters are juuuust a little bit cuter than everyone else’s. You start thinking of reasons you’re an exemplary member of your chapter, and come up with “I’ve never been in trouble before and I go to study hours sometimes.” You’re totally kicked out. Your heart sinks down to your uterus, your palms are sweating, your hair doesn’t even look as shiny as it usually does, and then they call you in.

You walk into a room filled with people who are, under ordinary circumstances, your friends, but the lighting in here makes them seem absolutely villainous. You have never seen Ashley without a smile on her face before, and it’s just eery. They discuss how plenty of people overheard you yelling at the other girl, which you know they would have found hilarious had they been there, but now, your membership is on the line, you’re sure of it. You admit that you remember an altercation brought on by the other girl defaming your chapter’s good name, but you don’t remember what you said. You start crying. Oh my God, are you really crying right now? You can’t even tell if they’re looking-for-pity tears, if you’re really just that sad, or if you forgot to take a Xanax before your meeting, but you can’t get a handle on your emotions. You’re dismissed from your meeting, and endure the worst part of the whole process: the deliberating.

After ten minutes of dry-heaving among the annoyed girls who are regularly called to standards, and ten more agonizing minutes of trying to make your face look less puffy while your mind races, they call you back in. You have to be a sober sister at the next event and apologize to the girl. That’s it? You freaked out over NOTHING?! Basically.

Let this be a lesson to you, to never misbehave get caught misbehaving again, and chalk it up as a rite of passage that will now allow you to adequately coach your little through her first standards meeting. Walk out of there, breathe, and then smile, because you remembered you got to keep the paddle.


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Veronica Ruckh

Veronica (@VeronicaRuckh) is the Director of Total Sorority Move for Grandex, Inc. After having spent her undergraduate years drinking $4 double LITs on a patio and drunk texting away potential suitors, she managed to graduate with an impressive GPA and an unimpressive engagement ring -- so unimpressive, in fact, some might say it's not there at all. Veronica has since been fulfilling her duties as "America's big," a title she gave to herself with the help of her giant ego. She has recently switched from vodka to wine on weekdays. Email her at

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