I was very disheartened after reading the Collegian’s article “CSU’s sororities face decreasing retention rates, while fraternities retain, increase membership,” published Oct. 12. I have been a member of a sorority here on campus since the fall of 2015 and I feel the article severely misrepresented sororities.
First, in the drop statistics, the piece fails to mention how many of the people that left were seniors who graduated. I know for our sorority, we had at least twelve seniors graduate last semester, so of course our numbers went down. However, it was not due purely to unhappiness with their decision to pledge. Those who do drop usually don’t fully understand what is expected of them after pledging. Much of these misunderstandings can be attributed to pop culture representations through movies and TV.
A lack of understanding about what sororities really are is also propagated through articles such as these. One of the people quoted in the article said they didn’t want to pay for friends. I can assure you, this is not what a sorority is. I am not paying for my friends in any way. In fact, even without the sorority, I believe many of us would have found each other through common interests.
Sororities here on campus use a values-based recruitment, meaning we recruit based on what each woman believes in, what their morals are, and how they try to live each day. The result of this, is that we end up with chapters whose members belong together, and not just because they paid the dues.
Another source in the article said she ‘wasn’t getting anything out of being a member, but, as with any organization, you get what you put in.’ I wasn’t very involved my freshman year, but when I made more of an effort to attend events, the benefits of membership far outweighed the cost and time commitment.
The double standard on this topic is the biggest thing that angers me. As with any large commitment, prioritizing is key. Student athletes have large time commitments, and those on club teams also have to pay high dues, but no one has researched why people stop their participation in sports.
Overall, I love my sisters and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. We all make each other better, each encouraging high standards in one another. I would really hate for this article to discourage people from going through recruitment. For so many of us, we haven’t found just a group of friends, we’ve found a home and a family.
A Concerned Sorority Woman