Perpendicular to the Laura Lee Blanton building lies Greek row. Ten fraternity houses and behind, eight sorority houses reside.
Incoming freshmen pass by the Southern-styled houses during move-in day and begin to wonder if they should rush.
As they adjust to college and walk around campus, they’ll notice t-shirts and tank tops stamped with Greek letters. During boulevards, the Greek letters will appear again across the Dallas Hall lawn, and flyers will be handed out to promote upcoming meet-and-greet events before rush.
And although 38 percent of students actually partake in Greek life (as of the spring 2013 semester), it is clear Greek life is prominent at SMU.
While rush does not occur until springtime, most potential new members to Greek life will start researching early.
The SMU website offers every link to each sorority and fraternities official website along with their colors, date of establishment and philanthropy. From there, students can look at each group and see what they are looking for in potential new members.
However, if one were to Google “SMU Greek Life,” sites such as Betches Love College and Greek Rank will state a very opinionated and distinct description of each house.
These stereotypes created by bloggers (who most likely never attended SMU) base each ranking on looks, popularity and how hard they party.
The pyramidal tier they categorize breaks up into three sections: top, middle and bottom. Top tier houses have the most genetically-blessed students with the most money, middle houses would hold good-looking students with a matching personality, and the bottom houses will hear the cliché “nice people finish last” so it goes.
Impressionable freshmen may take these blog posts too seriously. Since it’s highly unlikely they know exactly what every sorority or fraternity is like, why wouldn’t they take this to heart?
But for anyone who hasn’t taken a discourse and discernment class yet – you should never believe everything on the internet.
If you were to believe every stereotype you have heard in your life, how would you be seeing the world today?
With every stereotype that has been thrust upon us all since adolescence, we each face some type of adversity. Generalizations hurt. Whether it’s looks, gender, or race, labels have the power to control our mindset and our judgement.
Although stereotypes that we have been personally called affect us more, when labeling a sorority or fraternity in a certain way, you are not only closing off yourself to potentially making life-long friendships, you’re also hurting your own chances during rush if you are too focused on being in a “top” house rather than being in one you love, and one that loves you back.
The moral of the story is – be openminded your first semester. Don’t shut yourself out towards other houses, and get to know the members before making a judgment call.
Once you’re in a house, you’re in it for life – so might as well make that house your second home.
Nguyen is a major in business and minor in journalism.