No one’s perfect, not even the quintessential sorority girl. We all make mistakes, do dumb things, have regrets, and that’s only exacerbated when you’ve got an abundance of alcohol, estrogen and strong opinions. But which of those faux pas are forgotten by the time breakfast rolls around and which will forever ruin our reputations?
I reached out to our panel of sorority women to weigh in on that very question. They’ve been to a lot of events, parties and chapter meetings. They’ve seen it all, so they know what they’re talkin’ about. You new to a sorority? Thinking about joining? An older member with an exec board position? Listen up – we can all learn a little something from these ladies.
Colleen Burke: Kappa Alpha Theta, University Of Tulsa
At one point or another in college, everyone is bound to have a “bad night,” which usually results in your own mini-version of “The Hangover” the next morning (“I left my phone where?!….and why am I only wearing one shoe?!”). However, one of the biggest faux pas a girl can commit (Greek or non-Greek) is to earn the title of a repeat offender.
A repeat offender has one crazy weekend after another, “unbelievable” story after “unbelievable” story, most of which she thinks are “hilarious.” This, of course, is all from her perspective. Her friends, the ones left to clean up the mess from her drunken escapades, will tell a different story.
The hard truth is that you are only allotted so many “bad nights” before you do permanent damage to your reputation and you become “that girl.” Often this mistake is made by underclassman (namely the freshmen), who do not realize that the people who they continuously embarrass themselves in front of at the various parties, also happen to be members of the very clubs (student government, the campus newspaper, university tour guides, honor societies, etc) they may eventually want to join. And while a repeat offender may not remember them when she submits her application for review, you can bet that the president of abc or the secretary of xyz will remember all those “bad nights.”
Obviously, I could tell people not to act like a drunken fool, but that
makes me look like a hypocrite goes without saying. I think the worst sorority faux pas is to get really personal and emotional in front of the chapter when you’re in a leadership position. A big part of Greek Life is the opportunity to lead and learn how to do so effectively. But effective leaders do not get catty, throw their friends under the bus, or act like a child when they don’t get their way. I can’t tell you how many of us lost respect for our president when she lost her cool at a chapter meeting. It changed the entire dynamic of our house, not to mention our personal relationships with her.
Megan: Chi Omega, Purdue University
When I was on Panhellenic last year, part of the perks during recruitment included getting to walk around to different chapters during the parties for all the rounds. But there was one thing in particular that was so awkward it made me cringe: when the rusher only smack-talked other chapters. SO awkward. I can see it on the poor little PNMs face: she just sits there and awkwardly smiles, nods… and remembers NOT to pref your chapter for the next round of recruitment. Tsk, tsk.
Kellyn: University of Michigan
Do NOT be the drunk girl who can barely even stand up, whose clothes are falling off, and who is spilling her drink on everyone. Not only will everyone at the party be annoyed with you, but it also makes you and your sorority look really bad. Just keep it classy so you never have to wake up by the toilet with a long list of awful Facebook pictures to untag.
Don’t sleep with someone else’s boyfriend (or recent ex), whether that’s a girl in your chapter or a girl in some rival chapter. Look, we all know girls talk, and girls scorned talk a LOT. Do you really want the entire Greek community to think of you as some skanky boyfriend stealer? Yeah, not a good look on anyone.
Rachel Cerrone: Chi Omega, Indiana University
The worst thing that a girl in a house could do, in my opinion, is advertise herself as easy. Once, when I was hanging out at a frat party, a VERY drunk sorority girl and a VERY drunk frat guy were in the middle of the dance floor, gyrating and kissing in ways that I never want to see again at a party. It was so bad, the DJ cut the music and people had to escort them out, her skirt falling off and his shirt buttons ripped open. Ladies, please don’t act slutty at parties; guys don’t like it and people will remember you and your house for it. You always want to maintain a respectable reputation.
What do you think is the worst thing someone can do for their reputation? Sound off below. Maybe we can start a “don’t act a fool” revolution!