Sammy Nickalls
February 04, 2016 10:58 am
YouTube / Alex Purdy

Just four days before Syracuse University students received bids for their new sororities, senior Alex Purdy did something unthinkable: She made a YouTube video explaining why she quit her sorority the previous semester. And the video has gone viral for a truly important reason.

The video, which has been viewed over 54,000 times since being posted on January 27, is titled “Why I Left My Sorority,” and starts with Purdy explaining why she initially pledged: After playing basketball all through high school, she “wanted to feel that sense of belonging and friendship, but in the college setting.”

“It was appealing to hear that [sororities are] full of women who encourage each other to be their best self, full of women who want you to develop intellectually, and full of loyal friends,” Purdy explained in the video.

However, Purdy’s experience was far from what she had been hoping. Some of her sisters in the sorority encouraged others to “dress sluttier at the next formal so the guys like us” and enforced a “no FUPAs” rule in the house forbidding women with “fat upper p*ssy areas.”

The main problem, Purdy said, was the “overwhelming lack of compassion for one another.” “One of the worst was hearing a sister talk about putting Hydroxycut, a weight loss supplement, in a Little’s basket,” she said in the video. “. . . It doesn’t feel good. It doesn’t feel good to even say out loud.”

“No one should be made to think that outer appearance, and what other people think, is more important than discovering who you are, and what you can give,” she said, calling viewers to raise awareness about this problem using the hashtag #sororityrevamp. “It’s time to reexamine what it means to be a sorority.”

Lots of people have been tweeting not only about Purdy’s video, but about the inherent problem within many (though not all) sororities in general:

The comment section of the video has also been, for the most part, in praise of Purdy’s brave decision to stand up for what’s right:

Youtube / Alex Purdy

She’s also received private feedback from women in sororities all over the country, from Massachusetts to Florida to California, she told the campus blog Daily Orange. “I feel so grateful that it compelled them to say something to me, even if it’s not publicly,” Purdy said. “I feel like there’s something in that shared experience of communicating, ‘I felt this way too.’ . . . Because no one should be made to feel like that.”

Class of 2015 SU alumna Teresa Sabga, who dropped out of the same unnamed sorority as Pudy did, told Daily Orange that Purdy would constantly stand up for other women in the sorority. “She would say things like, ‘We need to love one another’ and ‘There’s no compassion in this house,’ and they would literally laugh in her face,” Sabga said. “It is so, so messed up because it’s like, this one girl is trying to make a positive experience out of this, and you guys think she’s dumb and too emotional and. . . it’s really just ironic.”

But Purdy didn’t let their laughter hold her back. She’s out to change the way negative sororities operate and make them communities of love and encouragement. “I think once we hear more about what the problems were, it’ll be easier to work in groups to develop changes,” Purdy told Daily Orange. “I don’t have all the answers, but I want to try to find them.”

Check out the full video below to hear Purdy’s incredibly important message.

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