Recruitment reflections on Greek Life at Lawrence

Maya McDonald

Recently, the negative aspects of sorority life have been prominently featured in movies, TV shows and even theatre. The media depicts sororities’ members as vapid, brainless, superficial women who spend more time drinking than studying for their upcoming statistics exam. When many people think of sororities, they imagine Elle from “Legally Blonde” walking into a pink, sparkly house full of peppy girls with fake tans and giant hair. I have to admit that before coming to Lawrence, I was one of the people who bought into generalizations like these.
Before I transferred to Lawrence, I attended larger public universities where sorority life was prominent. I was immediately frightened by the seemingly drone-like women who wore the same shirts and lived together in their tidy little mansions on campus. I couldn’t keep track of the Alpha Delta Omegas or Kappa Beta Chis, and I never dared to sit by the flock of sorority girls taking up the back section of my lecture halls.
I was most frightened by the intimidating recruitment process at these universities. I heard the rumors about hazing rituals and stories of girls who painstakingly dedicated the semester to a chapter only to get booted by the end of the year. I never understood why any self-respecting woman would go through a process so horrifying and demeaning, so I figured sorority life would never be for me.
When I transferred to Lawrence, the same ideas I had formed about sororities were still present in my mind. As I began to acquaint myself with students in my new classes, I started to realize that many of the women I admired most were involved in sororities on campus. I was completely shocked.
As a new student I was very aware of the “Lawrence difference,” so part of me wondered if sororities at Lawrence were different too. Out of confusion and wonder, I decided to attend some recruitment events to see if my observations were in fact true. After showing up at a few events, I was amazed at how poised, genuine and kind the women were from all the sororities on campus. As adamant as I had been previously about never joining a sorority, I became convinced that I had found a supportive community of girls who could really become friends I would have for the rest of my life.
I never thought I would admit this, but joining a sorority was the best decision I made since coming to Lawrence. It’s true that sororities are not for everyone, but I do believe that they are wonderful organizations for support, guidance and genuine, lasting friendships. Women in all sororities at Lawrence are intelligent and creative – truly some of the more compassionate women I have ever met.
It’s hard to break the media stereotypes or ignore the frightening stories heard about chapters from larger schools, but Lawrence is different. If you’ve always wondered about Greek life, or even thought you would never be the type of girl to join a sorority, I would encourage you to come to a Greek event and see what sororities at Lawrence are all about. Coming from a formerly adamant anti-sorority girl, I think you will be pleasantly surprised.