In a world filled with mixers, theme parties, slutty dresses, prepaid bar tabs, bottom shelf vodka, and top tier makeouts, it’s hard to find anything wrong with being in a sorority. We’re like royalty on campus. We get thrown into a group of women who help make the transition from being big shit in high school to being big shit in college pretty seamless. We meet our best friends, and we experience sisterhood–and that’s pretty awesome. But among all the great things sororities have to offer, there is one adversary who we can all agree pretty much sucks: your standards chair.
Here’s the thing. If you have a problem with your standards chair, you are failing to realize that she’s an integral part of your chapter. If you’re regularly getting in trouble, maybe you need to take a look at yourself…is what I would have said if I was boring, judgey, and unrealistic. However, I truly do believe your standards chair–or the process of getting called into standards–sucks. She’s a fun-sucking bitch whose sole purpose is to punish you for living your life. She’s just like the police. She’s the fun police. But like the real police, the fun police don’t have to be all that bad if you don’t let them–nay, make them–be.
Throughout my collegiate tenure, I attended my sorority’s four formals, four semi-formals, eight crush parties, eight sisterhood retreats, two date parties, four Bid Day parties, and somewhere near 100 mixers in addition to fraternity events, and those were just special occasions. At many of the events, I danced on tables with girls, did body shots off of my friends, attempted (and quickly discontinued) keg stands, sucked down ice luges, and sang dirty songs (loudly) about brothers on sofas and the lights down low. I had a few wardrobe malfunctions, made out with a few boys (and one girl), and hovered over a few veggie trays with my little when I realized there was no one I wanted to make out with. Sometimes I threw up. Sometimes I blacked out. Sometimes I fell down. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t spend a few nights crying–and I’d be lying again if I said I never cried before I left the venue. I got rowdy. Arguably, a little too rowdy. In all this rowdiness, I was called to standards exactly once.
My point here? The solution to the standards problem is not “stop doing shit to get you called to standards.” Much like the real police, the fun police’s job is to serve and protect…your sorority’s reputation. If girls are regularly and boisterously tearing it down, there needs to be consequences. I think we can all agree with that, but that doesn’t mean every isolated incident is destroying your chapter. Too many of us use the standards committee as a way to execute weird vendettas you have against one another in an attempt to get each other in trouble. When the real cops get a complaint about someone, they can’t just ignore it, even if they don’t think it’s a big deal–but they’re not going door to door looking for a little bit of weed on a coffee table. Similarly, the standards chair is not spending her Friday nights creeping your Facebook in hopes of finding a photo scandalous enough to weasel a $25 fine out of you. She doesn’t have the time or the give-a-shit for that. However, when some scandalous pictures or whatnot is brought to her attention, she has to do something about it. In other words, you’re fucking tattling on each other and you need to stop it.
Standards has two jobs: make sure no one gets arrested, and make sure no one gets hospitalized. Beyond that, you shouldn’t elect girls who will go on witch hunts for girls breaking every single little rule–because on any given night, someone will break a sorority rule. There are a lot of them. Why would anyone join a sorority if she knew she’d be subjecting herself to essentially living with her parents for four more years? Do what you want, just be smart about it.
Sororities are about friendship, fun, parties, and, sometimes, breaking the rules. You didn’t call the cops that one time your big tried cocaine, so why would you tell your standards chair that the wild freshman was dancing on a table? Yes, you need to preserve the chapter’s reputation, but you do that by coming up behind your drunk friend and pulling her dress back down over her ass, not by snapping a photo of her panties and emailing it to the authorities. You should be protecting each other, not turning each other in. In doing so, you’re turning your sorority into a place where you have to look over your shoulder, because no one has your back. It’s catty, it’s mean, it’s unsisterly, and frankly, it’s worse for your sorority’s reputation than the girl bonging a beer at a party could ever be.