Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

The push for sisterhood

Natán Murillo

There is a common misconception about the structure and function of sororities created by exaggerated media content and misinformation. Many jump to antagonize sororities, claiming they are only for white women or bent on creating an elitist, exclusive atmosphere. Although everyone has different experiences, the primary purpose of sororities is sisterhood, philanthropy and lasting relationships.

It is necessary to address the historical background of sororities. Women have long been denied the right to an education, so once they had the opportunity, they followed their male counterparts in forming sororities on campus to discuss crucial issues and form camaraderie. 

While sororities were historically predominantly white, strides toward diversity have created a shift in their image. UT’s current Greek life community reflects the evolving times, encouraging participation from people of varying backgrounds.

“The more diverse people, the more people of color we have, the more we can grow,” said Ria Arabandi, a neuroscience sophomore and Panhellenic DEI Task Force director. “(Sorority members) who might not be as educated can learn and become more open to different types of people.” 

Sororities can make a large school like UT feel smaller by easing the process of finding and maintaining friends. Since sororities have many events like chapter meetings, formals and philanthropy activities, you ultimately spend a lot of quality time with members. 

Being part of a sisterhood can be beautiful and rewarding. Sororities in the University Panhellenic Council and Multicultural Greek Council offer unique opportunities for college students to find supportive women-centered communities on campus where they can participate in philanthropic missions, foster leadership and make lasting connections. 

“You can always go through rush and decide this is not for me,” Arabandi, a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma said. “It really does not hurt to just kind of put yourself out there and try to make your best friends through it.”

Each sorority offers a big-little mentorship experience where each younger member is paired with an older girl. Upon arriving at UT, many first-year and transfer students find that having a role model can make navigating college easier. 

“While there are pairs that are more based on your academic interests, there are also pairs that are just based on your social interest,” human development sophomore and Kappa Delta member Lizzie Pittman said. “So, there’s a lot of opportunities for mentorship.”

Each sorority has its own philanthropic mission, in which it raises money and spreads a positive message by hosting events, collecting dues and volunteering. During the recruitment process, girls have an opportunity to understand the purpose of each sorority’s philanthropy and narrow down the causes that most closely resonate with them. 

“Our philanthropy is NIDA, which is the National Eating Disorder Association,” says Arabandi. “We raise a lot of money for it through our philanthropy. During West Fest, we have a Kappa Kappa Gamma/ Pi Beta Phi carnival, and we will donate the money to NIDA and they help provide food and education around the country.”

Leadership opportunities are commonplace in sororities. There are many ways to take advantage of these opportunities, ranging from roles such as an executive board member or taking less pressing roles like chairing a philanthropy committee. As a member of Alpha Chi Omega (AXO), I took on leadership roles as a member of the UPC DEI task force and the AXO Silent Auction Philanthropy Committee. 

For those considering going through the rush process in the future, there is no harm in trying it out. It’s not for everyone, and that’s more than okay. When I went through recruitment, I had many inhibitions. Still, after talking to many girls, I discovered the community is full of curious, intelligent women championing themselves and their sisters. 

Shenoy is an economics sophomore from Houston, Texas. 


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