For one reason or another, people drop out of Greek life. While I was one of those girls who became more involved and fell more in love with my sorority as time went on, I always urge people to stick with it, because I truly believe there is a rainbow at the end of every awful E-board.
Don’t get me wrong. There are some truly awful executive boards who abuse their power because they’re 20 years old and don’t know how to handle 150 other 20-year-olds, but it’s not permanent, and there are measures you can take and people you can talk to if your chapter is stuck.
One Pennsylvania sorority girl (who seems to be a new member based on her post) took to Reddit — the antithesis of all things Greek — when her organization went power hungry and fine happy when she expressed her desire to deactivate from her chapter.
Her Reddit post:
I have been trying to deactivate from my sorority. When I joined, it claimed to be different from other sororities and for a few months we were. Now, it’s completely different. The exec board is made up of awful people and they make “casual” racist jokes about minorities on campus and in general, they curse people out, and they force us to choose between them or academics, constantly. For example, several of us had lab and we were told last minute that we had to attend an arts and crafts workshop. Professors don’t allow you to miss lab unless you’re on your deathbed so we told them that we couldn’t paint that night.
We were all fined $100. There are times when we have questions about something, like the dress attire for a certain event, and we’ll be told by the exec board to “shut the fuck up” because those details will come later.
I hate being a part of this and so I wanted out. When I arranged to meet with the president, I was told that I had to pay hundreds in dues to quit. I was told that I would also have to order shirts (that are expensive) with our letters on them, but I wouldn’t be able to keep them. I would just have order them. I would also have to order the pin of my colony that I wouldn’t be able to keep either. Those pins start at $100.
She said that I would also have to return everything that has the letters of the sorority on it, although I paid hundreds of dollars for this. I even have to give back a pen that I was given when I got in. It ran out of ink, and I probably threw it away.
I also have to pay all of the dues for the rest of the semester even though I don’t want to be in it anymore and won’t be participating. I’m being fined left and right for missing events like a Disney movie night over a meeting that my professor told me that I couldn’t miss with him.
The board has told me that unless my balance with them is at $0 and I do all of the above, I also won’t get my transcript when I graduate (so I can’t apply to grad schools).
I could maybe understand if they used our dues to pay for some of the things we did, but they don’t. Every outing, we have to pay for. If we buy clothing with our letters, we have to pay for it. We don’t have a house and because the only thing that we do is watch movies like Tangled and Home Alone, and occasionally ice-skate, lots of people have been suspicious about the cost of dues.
I’m sorry that this is so long, I just feel trapped and powerless right now.
A few issues are at play here. First off, it seems like the chapter elected a dogshit e-board. If you care even marginally about your sorority, you will not make elections a popularity contest, because if the women who come into power are not fit to do the job, it can make your year miserable. It is important to remember to vote both on the individual positions, but also on whether or not an e-board can work together cohesively. If half the e-board doesn’t get along, vote the slate down, of course. But if the entire e-board is comprised of a group of best friends, you should also vote the slate down. A group of really close-knit girls should never be in power together. They need to get along, but you need voices representing the whole chapter, not just one clique.
Secondly, if you are ever in a situation where you feel e-board is taking advantage of you, you need to know the rules before complaining so you know what you’re talking about. Consult your by-laws, always. Talk to a former chapter president or executive or even just an involved older member you trust if you’re uncomfortable, with something and need help learning the rules. It may even be beneficial to talk to an advisor, but when there is a lot of corruption, be wary of your advisor’s relationship with the board.
In this case, the girl seems a little confused on the rules which is complicating the situation she’s in with a corrupt e-board. While she will have to return anything she has with letters on it, “even a pen,” as is common practice, she will not have to continue to order things before she deactivates. The sorority can not withhold her transcript, but she probably will have to have a balance of zero to ensure she’s paid for her time in the organization, else it make go to collections. Class is always an exemption from sorority events according to all by-laws, because the world would lose its mind if they found out it wasn’t.
As far as the finances go, it’s hard to tell where the money is going sometimes, as is true with any business. The only option I see for this Redditor is to get off Reddit, which will continue to fill her head with anti-Greek propaganda, and get in touch with Nationals..