Breaking stereotypes in Greek life


File Photo/The Lion’s Roar

The Phi Mu sorority awaits its new members at 2018 Fall Bid Day. Hollywood has created stereotypes about Greek life, but these tropes do not always stand true.

While the main objective of Greek organizations is to involve students in campus activities and help them achieve academic success, these organizations are often stereotyped otherwise.

Stereotypes such as hazing culture can often ruin the face of Greek organizations.

Jaimie Jakes, president of the Collegiate Panhellenic Council and a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority, discussed the misleading stereotypes about Greek life.

“The stereotypes that we get at Southeastern are basically the same as other schools,” said Jakes. “The people outside of Greek life likely to look at Greek life as seen on television. Some believe we participate in hazing, and that is not at all the case. We take pride in the fact that there is no hazing in our Greek community. People also think we are the stuck up, rich kids that join an organization to pay for their friends. ”

Jakes attributed the birth of these cliches to portrayal in entertainment.

“Non-Greek members are going to base their thoughts on the things they see on television, which is nothing like Greek life here at Southeastern,” stated Jakes. “I also think the recent hazing activities that have been going on at other universities definitely causes the development of stereotypes.”

With all the stereotypes, Jakes shared what she thinks current fraternities and sororities can do to stop the misjudged thoughts.

“People are going to believe what they see,” explained Jakes. “So, showing that we are organizations that raise money for great causes and support the community could help stop the accusations. We do what we can to try and stop these stereotypes by setting up tables in the union or around campus to raise money for our philanthropies. We also hold many philanthropic events that are all for amazing causes, and maybe if non-Greek members participated, it will show that we are all here to help out charities and important causes.”

Jakes’ favorite part about Greek life is the way all students are connected through their shared beliefs.

“Greek life is made up of the people with similar ideals, values and beliefs,” said Jakes. “We are all here because we have a passion for helping the community and raising money for our charities. We strive to be a change in the world, and we can do it better as a large group. It is a support group that you will always have no matter what. Regardless of the chapter someone is in, there are always people there for you. Greek life also helps us academically.”

Brianna Carter, president of the National Pan-Hellenic Council and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., talked about her experience in Greek life.

“For me, Greek life is creating a wonderful, life-long sisterhood with strong, intelligent African-American women,” discussed Carter. “I always have someone to eat with, study with, laugh with and much more. We are all working to continue to reach our goals. Greek life is a moment to give back to my school and community through service. Greek life is a time to encourage one another to be great and do better on and off campus. Greek life creates daily opportunities.”

Carter believes that she has acquired personal and professional skills after joining a Greek organization.

“Since being initiated, I have established a lifelong sister,” stated Carter. “I am able to give back to this campus and community. I have developed professional skills that would help me in the future. Networking is a great aspect of Greek life.”

Those interested in Greek life can find more information about individual chapters and recruitment opportunities on the university website. Greek Week, which is a week of competitions and events every spring semester for Greek organizations to bond and boast, will be held March 31 – April 4.