Recruitment can be pretty cutthroat, that’s no new news. We demand that it’s dry. We demand that our girls practice for hours and hours every day. Literally, we make them practice how to talk to people. We wake up early. We have to look beautiful. We have to wear jewelry, but not too much. And no perfume. And the right shade of nail polish. And we have to be perfect for two weeks so we can finally find people to be ourselves with. It’s weird, fucked up, and should honestly change. We should run recruitment similar to the way fraternities do. But we don’t. In fact, it seems as if things are only getting more intense.
UC Davis is reportedly banning sorority girls from being seen in public with boys during recruitment this year. Seriously, girls are not allowed to be seen with 50 percent of their peers, because it might influence a PNM’s decision of which sororities she’s interested in. The following email, in all of its unprofessional, ungrammatical glory, was submitted to us by a UC Davis student after it was reportedly sent to all recruitment officers within the Panhellenic system at UC Davis.
If we’re being completely honest, it seems all but fabricated. You can’t go to certain restaurants after 9 p.m. because people around you might be drinking even if you are not? Certain organizations are not allowed to show another one support? Even unaffiliated men are off limits? “Sorry. You’re not allowed to hang out with your boyfriend or your brother in public, because, well, recruitment.” Bogus. Does this include class? Surely there are boys in your classes. Are you not permitted to sit or study with your friends because of this rule? Are you required to miss anniversaries, birthdays, and date nights because of recruitment?
Our tipster points out:
[This mandate] is also assuming that all girls are even interested in men. There are girls who are openly gay in the Greek community. One of my best friends is one of them. She can’t understand how Panhellenic can stop girls from going to dinner with their boyfriends, brothers, and friends, while she can seemingly go on as many dates as she wants. This assumption that girls make decisions based on men is not only heteronormative, but also sexist.
I am on a sports team. I work on campus. I have friends in my major. Yet I am supposed to spend the next week pretending I don’t know any of them out of fear another sorority girl will see me speaking to a man who “looks college-aged” and report me. Many of my male friends are only just now getting back to Davis from a long summer, and instead of greeting them as any normal person would, I have to walk by them pretending not to know them. Having to explain this to my friends from sports teams was not only confusing, but down right embarrassing. Each conversation ended with “why are you in a sorority?” Recruitment is all about promoting Greek Life, yet all the girls on my team think this is ridiculous.
Get it together, UC Davis. And Jenny, hire someone to proofread your emails.