I struggled with beginning to write this piece. I know firsthand how badly cliques can hurt. I know what it feels like to have a group of girls want nothing more than to see you hurt. I was bullied by cliques all through school, and I thought that when I went to college, things were going to change. I thought that in college, women would be more mature. After all, we’re all out on our own and we’re all adults now, so why would we need to put each other down like that? Aren’t we above all that? I was excited when I joined my sorority. More than 60 new sisters who wanted nothing more than to promote friendship and love? It sounded amazing. Except I soon noticed something: sororities are FULL of cliques–exactly the kinds of cliques I grew up hating.
I’m not stupid. I know that any time a large group of women get together, cliques are going to surface. It’s okay to have a specific group of sisters that you’re closer to than anyone else, but it’s not okay when those groups start fighting. Cliques can ruin a sorority. They can ruin its reputation, they can ruin its recruitment. They can tear your sorority to shreds.
When cliques develop in a sorority, it’s only natural that every clique wants to be in charge. This means that when recruitment comes around, every group will search for girls who will build up their base of support. They look for girls just like them, which means that really great girls may get voted down because they don’t fit into the image that one group of girls has decided that they want. You could also have multiple groups of sisters voting down girls who fit into cliques that they don’t want to grow. Essentially, you could miss out on having a GREAT group of girls for no reason.
But on top of that, if your sorority is at war within itself, other people are going to see that, and they’re going to judge your entire organization based off of it. It’s going to give girls a terrible first impression. Girls today have a sixth sense for when you’re being fake, so if you’re pretending, they’ll know. They’ll know and they’ll judge you, your chapter, and your organization for it. And what are girls exceptionally good at? TALKING. They’re going to tell their friends how fake they thought you all were. And then your chapter will become the laughing stock of your campus.
So let me challenge all of you this week: go out with a sister who’s not already in your friend group. Get together for lunch, go shopping, do something with someone you don’t hang out with regularly. If every girl in your chapter got together with a girl she didn’t know very well, it would bring your chapter so much closer together. It would help your chapter grow and thrive in a way that you’ve never seen before. Yeah, getting to know people can be a little awkward, but isn’t it worth it if it helps your chapter?.