On Jan. 23, I was scrolling through Instagram and noticed many sorority girls were posting pictures with their sisters with the hashtags “#hearherharvard” and “#withoutmysorority.” These posts exemplified their favorite moments with their sisters and how their sororities have pushed them to become better women. Out of curiosity, I searched the hashtags and found that Harvard has been in the process of banning singlegender social clubs at the university since May 2016. This has caused an uproar in the sorority community of Harvard and is a meaningful reason for the hashtags.
Alpha Phi, Delta Gamma and Kappa Alpha Theta have announced they will continue to recruit women during the spring. According to The Harvard Crimson, single-gender club members may not be eligible for campus leadership positions, varsity athletic team captaincies and college endorsement for prestigious fellowships like the Rhodes.
In contrast, the women of Kappa Kappa Gamma have disaffiliated themselves with their national organization and become a gender-neutral group called the Fleur-de-Lis.
Women of Alpha Phi, Delta Gamma and Kappa Alpha Theta at Harvard later sent out Facebook posts pleading for women to post about why their sorority was important to them. The sororities wanted to enforce the importance of “empowering women-only spaces.”
As a sorority woman, women only spaces are important to me. Unlike most people, I did not start out in my sorority by going through formal recruitment; I was a snap bid after bid day. I found my home away from home at my sorority. I also found that sororities are not just glitter and t-shirts. They are not just “stack pictures” of bigs and their littles and swaps. They are not just a name. A sorority is a group of women who come together to empower one another and make each other better women. Sororities offer women chances to hold leadership positions. They offer women chances to give back to their communities. They offer women a lifetime of friendships— and no, we did not buy them.
“While Harvard’s sanctions claim to support women’s right to make their own decisions, these sanctions actually force women to choose between the opportunity to have supportive, empowering women-only spaces and external leadership opportunities,” Harvard Delta Gamma Woman wrote in a post Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018.
Harvard Delta Gamma perfectly described the hypocrisy of Harvard’s decision. Harvard claimed to be opening more conversations; however, men and women can have a conversation with each other while being members of different social groups, right?
There are so many misconceptions about sororities when there are so many things that make them worthwhile. I am not trying to tell anyone that going Greek is the most important thing in the world, but I am trying to tell people that we’re sick of the stereotypes. We are expected to meet strict GPA requirements and we are all completely original women.
So, “#HearHerHarvard” when she says her sorority matters because contrary to what you believe, it pushes her to become the best version of herself she can be.