Stop judging students’ Greek affiliation

Josette Corazza

As soon as I arrived on campus for pre-season during the summer, I noticed something concerning.

The girls on my team would bring up someone’s name and before anything else was said, they asked what sorority or fraternity the person belonged to. I quickly realized that this wasn’t just to clarify whether the girl being discussed was Jane D. from Kappa or Jane X. from Chi O—the girls on my team wanted to know others’ Greek affiliations, so they could form a quick opinion about them.

Since pre-season, I have noticed this same trend in nearly every conversation I have been a part of. I really dislike this social tendency and do not think that people should form opinions about others based solely on their Greek affiliation.

I decided to go independent and am very happy with my decision. When I tell people that I am not in a sorority, they react with surprise. They are unable to form an immediate opinion about me and are forced to get to know me before they can assume things about my personality. I wish that everyone at Washington and Lee had this luxury.

Instead, in conversation, people ask what fraternity or sorority someone belongs to and then construct a judgement about that person before they have even truly met. Being a part of a Greek organization does not mean that you perfectly fit the mold of what that sorority or fraternity is best known for. Everyone has the right to be treated as an individual and to be judged for his or her actions and characteristics, not the organization he or she belongs to.

The tendency for people to make hasty opinions about others based on what fraternity or sorority they are affiliated with quickly became one of my least favorite aspects of the Washington and Lee community.

I think that this propensity encourages a close-minded social scene and limits individuality. When students judge others’ personalities based on what Greek organization they joined, they lose sight of an important social skill — the ability to get to know someone before making judgements and forming opinions.

I think that this tendency is a lazy way to put others in a box and label them with a certain type of personality. I genuinely think that students here can do much better than this.

Every student at Washington and Lee was accepted to this university because he or she proved to be uniquely individual in his or her application. I think that judging each other based solely on our Greek affiliations inanely reverses and ignores our distinguished individuality.

I hope that people will learn to avoid the hasty generalizations and snap judgments that come along with this vapid social tendency. I believe that once this happens, our community will be a more sincere and open-minded place, and will match more clearly with the vision of Washington and Lee I held before I arrived on campus.