Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Life After Letters

I had never saw myself joining a sorority. It was never even an option in my head. When I was incoming freshman at Ramapo, I had the same ideas about Greek life that many others had. I thought Greek Life was only for people who want to party and participate in other forms of debauchery. Now that I have become part of Greek Life, my perception of the scope of what Greek Life is and what it can be has completely changed.  I now understand that for many people, their organizations is one of their main creative outlets and ways that they contribute positively to the world. I have learned that each organization stands for something different, and that it is not some strange homogeneous sea of letters and people. In essence, I have stopped stereotyping Greek Life and those who are a part of it.

Unfortunately, my vision of what Greek Life was is not some sort of fluke. The reputation of Greek Life across the country is not the best. Although is varies from campus to campus, there are still many prevailing stereotypes and misunderstandings nationwide. Now that I am one of the people who wear letters, I recognize how harmful those stereotypes can be. I do not want to be judged the same way that I myself have judged others. I want to be given a fair chance, because if given one, I can confidently demonstrate the unlimited beauty and potential of my organization.

This is not to say that all Greeks are angels. There are challenges in Greek life, especially the divide between what people call the "mainstream" and the "cultural" Greeks. There is still in many places a culture of partying, hazing, and other illegal activities.  It is not my intention to encourage people to turn a blind eye to the problems within the Greek community. My intention is to encourage people to look at the entire scope of Greek Life, instead of only focusing on the negative stereotypes or stories told.

Next time you see a bunch of letters, instead of thinking keg-stand, go up and ask that person what their organization stands for; what they say may surprise you.

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