By Carina Sorrentino
I would like to begin my response by saying that I am prepared to explain my rebuttal in the most objective manner possible.
First, let me start by introducing myself. I am currently the Treasurer for C.O.C.O.A. House, Head of Administration for The Idol, a Co-Social Chair for Sorum Council, a waitress at a local restaurant and a member of Sigma Delta Tau.
The letters I wear on my body every Wednesday (or any other day I see fit) do not overshadow any of the prior roles which I have adopted during my time at Union College.
Furthermore, perhaps sharing my story will give you some insight as to how Greek life, when appreciated for what it truly is, is one of the best things that has ever happened to me.
Did I want to rush? Like you Shannon, the answer is no, I did not.
I had no idea what Greek life was, and no desire to be a part of it, but fortunately I had friends looking out for me who urged me to give it a try, because they felt as a person I could truly benefit.
I went into rush under no pretenses, knowing not a single girl in any house.
And while the process of rush may be admittedly goofy (yes, we sing), it is a reflection of any real life situation in which first impressions count.
When you go to a job interview, go on a date or meet a person in any facet of life- the way in which you present yourself will always be relevant.
And I can say in all frankness that physical appearance is not a factor. I am the first to admit that I am not a 10 as far as looks go, and when I was given my bid to my Greek affiliation I was even chubbier, had a perm and little confidence.
But when I talked to girls during rush, I was myself. Nervous, giggly, intimidated- but honest about who I was.
I would also like to identify that the initial point of your article seemed to be a focus of how women at this school have less options when it comes to Greek life.
However, it saddens me that you seemed to stray from this. By your fourth sentence you were saying you “hate it.”
By your conclusion you were typecasting those in Greek life by what they chose to wear, comparing the women to “Mean Girls,” calling our processes fake and saying that the reasons for joining were hypocritical.
You are forsaking so many other categories of means to socialize at Union.
Sports teams, club teams, Minervas, fundraising organizations, clubs — the opportunities are endless if you take advantage of them and want to get to know others.
While you may not have meant “overgeneralize,” Ms. Hughes, I can say quite safely that you did.
I don’t own name brand clothing, I don’t wear the same styles as every other girl at Union, we don’t all come from the same background — and it is by not recognizing this that you have made your greatest mistake.
You have stated that by spending time with one another we become “increasingly more like one another and less like our original selves.”
This could not be further from the truth. The differences that my sorority sisters and I share have all helped one another to learn.
We have all learned about the different human conditions in which we all exist and to care for one another regardless of our differences.
We have learned to open our eyes, and I would go to argue that Greek life fosters an acceptance that those who have not participated simply may not understand.
I never felt that I was in danger, I never felt I was harmed. I have never felt safer than in the halls of my sorority house.
I have many friends who are not in Greek life and they respect my decision to participate, just as I respect theirs not to.
There are not bitter feelings, and why would there be?
If you are happy not being in Greek life and so confident in your decisions, why does it feel so satisfying to try and cut those of us down who are a part of it? I take no satisfaction in making fun of people who aren’t Greek, why would I?
I would say, Shannon, that if you are so sure of yourself then you should not be trying to diminish the value of others based on the decisions they have made. I did not want to rush, but I am certainly happy I did.
I have met some of the most intelligent and incredible people at Union, not only in my sorority, but in the Greek community which I feel privileged to have branched out in.
Greek participants are not just letters.
We are athletes, leaders, intellectuals, writers, artists, hard workers, human beings — we are individuals.
Individuals who have united under a common cause: we want to expand our networks and be in an environment which feels right for us.
I feel that every human being is seeking just that — the environment in which they thrive.
I am happy at Union. I am happy as a leader, worker and sorority girl, and that is something that I will never be made to feel bad about.