Madeline LePage recently was elected president of the Panhellenic Council despite only being a sophomore. But she said youth has its benefits.
People tend to get less involved as they get older, LePage said. I still have new member enthusiasm and optimism.
LePage, a member of Sigma Kappa, is originally from Canada and moved to the United States when she was in high school. She said she hated being in this new country at first.
Then she began to do American things, LePage said. For her, sorority life is an extension of all those other American things.
I just loved it, she said.
Like many fraternity men, sorority women said they sought more than glitzy formals and wild parties.
Senior Jill Gorsky, a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, said when she arrived at GW freshman year, she was searching for the type of close bond she had with her high school friends.
I was looking for my identity, a great group of girls to share things with, she said.
Gorsky said she found that and more in Kappa Kappa Gamma. But she said recruitment is a delicate balancing act.
You’re trying to build as strong an organization as possible but you don’t want to hurt people’s feelings, Gorsky said. But you still need to choose who will contribute the most.
As for critics, Gorsky said the Greek-letter community gets an undeserved reputation.
I don’t think the bad outweighs the good, she said.
Unlike LePage and Gorsky, Sigma Kappa member Annie Hards had no plans on joining a sorority. But she came from California and said she needed something to serve as a sort of family unit.
Every stereotype people had about sororities I (accepted), some of them I still do, Hards said. She added that she overcame these concerns because she connected with the women in Sigma Kappa.
Each girl is so unique and they are not a cookie-cutter sorority, Hards said.
She said sororities tend to get criticized in the media for perpetuating unreal standards for women.
It’d be nice for the media to find sororities who aren’t like that and do really great things, who don’t always dress alike or travel in packs of 20, Hards said.
Shara Lokitz, a Phi Sigma Sigma member, said the best thing for women to do if they are unsure about sorority life is see the organizations for themselves.
You might love it, she said.
She found great satisfaction in helping her sapphire sister, the equivalent of a little sister, develop in the sorority and on campus, Lokitz said. She added that they bonded because of a mutual fascination with Days of Our Lives.
I don’t have any sisters at home, and now I have 60 of them, Lokitz said.
But Lokitz said Greek-letter members need to reflect on their own actions and not necessarily blame the media for stereotypes.
You have to take into account that you’re representing your sorority or fraternity at all times, she said. You don’t want to tarnish your own reputation, so don’t do it to your brother’s or sister’s either.