People love to hate on sorority girls. Maybe it’s because we don’t talk like normal human beings. Maybe it’s because people assume we’re shallow or dumb. Or maybe, just maybe, we’re simply misunderstood. Regardless, we’re used to the flak we get from the general public. It doesn’t make it suck any less, but we’re used to it.
That being said, no one should have been surprised when Southeast Missouri State University’s newspaper, The Arrow, completely bashed the sorority recruitment process earlier this month. BREAKING. Not everyone gets into sororities. Alert the press. Call page six. The article was a completely biased account about “almost half” of PNMs being “left out” of the recruitment process. Of course, what she meant was that a ton of girls didn’t sign bids on Bid Day, because they either didn’t meet the GPA requirement or because they dropped out of recruitment when the sorority giving them a chance “wasn’t the one they wanted.” So it’s okay for PNMs to reject the sorority, but not for the sorority to reject the PNMs. Seems fair.
Graduate Assistant for Greek Life Liv Plumlee, however, turned heads and shut mouths with the incredible response she posted to the newspaper’s Facebook page. Read it in full below.
Recently, I read an article in the Arrow regarding sorority recruitment and the number of women who received (or more bluntly- did not receive) bids. I am so appreciative and, as always, humbled that your writers view Greek Life events important enough to the campus community to make the front page of your paper. However, the choice for you to write a skewed and one-sided article (while so typical of the media) leaves me disappointed in the Arrow’s ability to report news. Please allow me, as the Graduate Assistant for Greek Life, former Panhellenic president, former chapter president, and a person well versed in the subject, to paint for you a better, more clear, vibrant, and exponentially more accurate picture of the process of Panhellenic Sorority Recruitment and sorority life.
First allow me to enlighten you as to how sororities choose their members: They have standards- this is how they choose. We are living in a time when our young adults have a tendency to feel entitlement. We were given participation trophies in school, 14th place ribbons, and bred to feel that competition is a negative beast that should be dealt with inclusively- trophies for all! I fear for the kind of leadership our country will see as a result of this societal shift. However, as sorority women, we value competition and view it as necessary for growth. Competition is a character-building, process that offers an opportunity to gain necessary life skills apart from the Utopian world our society has raised us to expect. Thank goodness for sorority women and their support of healthy competition.
Panhellenic women value leadership, stewardship, scholastics, service, and friendship among other things. While choosing women to invite into their chapters, these are the elements they are looking for. The commitment required to be a part of such sisterhood is a testimony to the type of women residing in our Greek Community at Southeast. It takes a disciplined woman to balance sorority life- not all can handle the time commitment, ritual reverence, standards, and academic responsibility asked of each member. For all of this and more, I respect each of them- the women of Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Xi Delta, Delta Delta Delta, Gamma Phi Beta, and Sigma Sigma Sigma. These are my Panhellenic sisters, and I am deeply proud to be counted among them. I trust and respect their individual recruitment processes as they decide the future members of this Panhellenic sisterhood.
Please understand, also, that your article title “Sorority recruitment at Southeast leaves out nearly half of women who registered,” is shamefully misleading. Recruitment does not “leave out” women. The great majority of women who registered but did not make it to Bid Day made an individual choice to drop out of the process. They were not left out- they chose to walk away. As for the rest of them, many were grade cuts. Speaking on behalf of the Panhellenic women at SEMO, I unapologetically support each sorority’s decision to cut potential new members whose grades (or any other factor) do not reflect the standards of the chapter. As for those who chose to walk away from the process because they did not like the sorority they matched with throughout the week, I say this: I would rather be in any Greek organization than in no Greek organization at all.
The life skills I learned throughout my four years as an active member are skills that cannot be taught in a classroom. Time management, leadership, rallying the troops, boosting morale, instilling pride, respecting something bigger than myself, working with others, understanding differences, self awareness, overcoming subjective challenges, standing up for beliefs, and an infinite number of others are the invaluable skills I learned throughout my experience.
Thank God for Greek Life and the women who make up Southeast Missouri State’s College Panhellenic. These are the women who donate blood, raise awareness for causes, and donate thousands of dollars to several charities (not just their own philanthropies). They are the first who are called to service for the community and the first to be criticized by the community. What a double-standard they resiliently face.
I respectfully ask that you reconsider your word-choices for the next article you submit regarding these hard-working women. I ask that you consider all aspects of each story, Greek or non-Greek, so that the community can have a more accurate picture of the news you have to tell.
Image via SEMO Greeks