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Social fraternities and sororities discuss establishment, negative stereotypes

This past October, the Greek community celebrated its centennial year on Colorado State University’s campus — both Sigma Nu fraternity and Gamma Phi Beta sorority have been on campus for 100 years.

Lexi Schroeder and Natalee Randolph, current Gamma Phi Betas, pose with their Gphi alumna grandmothers for the centennial celebration. (Photo courtesy of Natalee Randolph)

Nationally, it is rare that chapters make it to their centennial celebration. Greek chapters can get kicked off campus for a variety of reasons ranging from hazing scandals to liability issues. Even though fraternity and sorority life at CSU is trying to gain a sparkling reputation, according to Panhellenic President Lisa Tate, there is a reason the Greek community is always in the spotlight of negative publicity.

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“There’s a stigma associated with fraternity and sorority life that we are the only organization that hazes,” Tate said. “In reality, many other organizations do, too. The difference is (that) we hold our members accountable if they haze, so it gets more publicity.”

These issues, however, did not hinder the GPhis, one of the few national chapters to have a centennial celebration.

“The moto of Gamma Phi is that we strive to inspire the highest type of women-hood,” said CSU Gamma Phi Beta president Emma Kintz. “We handle ourselves well internally and make sure to hold ourselves in very high esteem.”

Kintz makes sure that Gamma Phi Beta stands proud to these standards. Kintz said rebelling against the stereotypical “sorority girl” reputation is very important to the chapter’s success. 

“I hate sorority stereotypes,” Kintz said. “For Colorado State specifically, they could not be farther from the truth of what sorority life is like, we do not haze under any circumstances and I believe that that goes for all Greek life at CSU.”

FratsSororities chart
Chart of social sororities and their years on Colorado States campus (Chart by Allec Brust)

Publicly punishing chapters that go against Greek protocol is not the only reason fraternity and sorority life has a negative reputation, said Sam White, a new member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity.  He said there are other reasons why people judge fraternities so harshly.

“Before I joined a fraternity, I was against Greek life and wanted to be independent,” White said. “The media really impacted my idea of what frats were like. In movies, they inaccurately show how cruelly fraternities treat their members, and I have not experienced anything like that.”

White said he does not regret joining his fraternity, and believes being in a fraternity will benefit him greatly in the future.

The Greek community has made its impact on CSU for the past 100 years, and is continuing to grow. New chapters are added, chapter sizes get bigger and houses become more diverse as time goes on. Kintz said she believes that the future is bright for Gamma Phi Beta as they continue to grow.

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“We strive to be diverse, inclusive and inspire the highest type of women-hood,” Kintz said. “We are always looking for those core values in certain individuals that will better our sorority as a whole.”

Collegian Reporter Allec Brust can be reached at news@collegian.com or via Twitter @brustyyy.

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