Tori Coyne
April 19, 2013 10:15 am

I’m sure by now you’ve seen the email (I think even my grandmother has seen this email) sent from a Maryland student to the members of her sorority. She went OFF on them about their behavior during Greek Week and how they treated the Sigma Nus and she uses some pretty choice—and offensive—words.

If you’re sitting there going “WTH is a Greek Week? If only there was a sorority member around to explain,” then you are in luck, because I just happen to be one. It’s a week of Greek Community Unity, a chance for all of the Greeks to promote their own chapter image and get to know one another better by competing in sporting events, penny wars, etc. And having been to a few in my day, I can say from experience that Greek Week is usually very fun. You’re paired with a fraternity and there are games and parties and t-shirts. It’s a grand-ole time.

Flash forward to this email. Her language is all kinds of wrong and she drops more f-bombs than an episode of Girls. If you’ve read it, you could be anywhere between outraged and entertained. Me? Well, I’m just disappointed.

I joined a sorority because I got a postcard in my freshman mailbox asking me if I wanted to join an organization that valued academics and provided a support network of powerful women and I was like, “Hells to the yeah! Where do I sign up?” It wasn’t until the first Greek Life info session that I realized the organization on the postcard was a sorority. I went with it because they seemed like great people. And I got everything that was advertised—amazing friends who encouraged me to push myself academically and socially. We may not all agree all of the time or have the same taste in clothing or music, but we are a sisterhood and a family.

So it’s always difficult when I see something in the media or a movie painting sororities in a terrible light. Sure, she was in a sorority. And yes, she is not the first—and most likely not the last—member of a sorority to send out a nasty email. But I hate that this fosters the idea that every girl in a sorority is some crazy, boy obsessed bitch. The sorority didn’t write that email, she did!

But in defense of this poor girl who has now been torn apart on nearly every single blog, I understand the message she was trying to get out there. Greek Week is essentially a seven day PR campaign for your chapter.  So I would be pretty peeved if my sisters were giving off the vibe that they didn’t care about meeting other people.

And secondly, it’s just plain rude to talk about wanting to hang out with one fraternity as opposed to the one you are paired with for the week. Maybe you’re saying, “Oh, T, you’re talking all soror-gal.” But let’s face it. If one of your friends said in front of you how much she would prefer being with your other friend Tina, wouldn’t you be pissed? If your friend was acting bizarre at a party, wouldn’t you take her aside to figure out what the heck was up?

I would be lying if I said I never got an email myself from one of our execs upset with something she read online or was sent in a text. It’s their job to uphold the values of our organization and remind us when we might be coming in the way of that. But there is a way to go about these things. Any emails I’ve ever seen are polite and never try to cut us down with words. They explain logically why they disagree with something and ask kindly if we could correct any problem—and by the way, these emails are generally infrequent.

So, I suppose as a sorority woman who loves her sisters and her organization, I ask you to not blame all of us—to not associate this one act of madness with the masses. I don’t think what she did was right. I don’t think anyone, sorority member or otherwise should speak to another human being the way she wrote in her email. But I think that some people are just like that. Some people think using hurtful words helps get their point across (I think it does the opposite) but that is not something unique to Greek Life. It’s just a person thing. This person happened to be in a sorority.

Featured image via Gawker.com

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