I never pictured myself as a sorority girl. Like many other high-schoolers, the only things I knew about Greek life I had learned from the wild stories depicted on ABC Family’s Greek. The parties, the drinking, the frat guys, the beautifully over-the-top sorority mansions. I would listen to countless stories from my older friends describing their latest mixer theme or let them vent to me about the strain of rush week and pledge periods and it all sounded like a foreign language.
Well, needless to say as a wide eyed freshman at SJU I couldn’t help but notice the Greeks on campus. I saw them all sit together at DB on Tuesdays and Thursdays or walk around campus proudly sporting their organization’s letters. They set up tables in Campion advertising for their charity events (which I later learned they call philanthropies) and even had exclusive events for freshman girls to come meet the sisters.
November rolled around and it was time for students to sign up for rush week. All I knew about rush was that it’s long, stressful and you need themed outfits for the various nights. Grudgingly, my friends talked me into signing up, their reasoning being that if I hated it, I could just drop out. I was intimidated by the thought of being judged and scored based on my clothes and ability to hold a two minute long conversation. I was terrified at the thought of not being wanted and leaving the night feeling awkward or embarrassed.
After stepping out of my last rush party, I admit that Greek life at SJU had officially proved me wrong. I am not going to say rush is an easy time, because that would not be true. It is one full week of being launched out of your comfort zone, and yes you do need to wear specific outfits. What made it all worth it for me was the people I met. I had instantly clicked with the girls in my rush group, which made walking into the parties a little less overwhelming. To my surprise I loved talking to all the sorority sisters, and was relieved to find that many of them had reservations about rushing as freshman as well. I met people from my hometown, other pharmaceutical marketing majors, and girls that shared my interests.
As a small Jesuit school, Greek life here is very different from that of larger universities. We do not have official Greek housing and the community as a whole only makes up 13% of the student body. SJU is unique in that Greek life has a definite presence on campus, but does not dominate the social life here, giving students the choice of how involved they would like to be.
Alpha Phi has become such a huge part of my SJU experience and now I have 112 new friends who I can count on for anything. For anyone interested in rushing, below is a list of all on campus sororities and their philanthropies–
Alpha Gamma Delta (ΑΓΔ): The Alpha Gamma Delta Foundation
Alpha Omicron Pi (ΑΟΠ): Arthritis Research and Education
Alpha Phi (ΑΦ): Alpha Phi Foundation (cardiac care for women)
Phi Sigma Sigma (ΦΣΣ): Phi Sigma Sigma Foundation
Sigma Sigma Sigma (ΣΣΣ): The Robbie Page Memorial Fund