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February 08, 1970 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1970-02-08

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a

special
report

the

Sunday

daily

by
debbie
that

tber 23 Night Editor: Jim Neubacher

February 8, 1970

girI's

diary of so
the realitie

'N E

Monday, Jan. 12

EFORE I STARTED rush, I thought,.
sororities were absolutely horrible. I
as unable to "think of anything good about
rem. The last thing in the world I thought
might do would have been to associate
yself with one of them.
I was completely alienated by the tradi-
onal images, of sorority life. Everything I
uld think of which was associated with
rorities turned me off.
First of all, I hated the system. It seemed
'ossly unfair that blacks and Jews were
:cluded from all but "their" houses. Be-
des, there was no such thing as a poor girl
the sororities of my mind.
I found the rush systeni repugnant. The
ea of going to all those houses, talking to
eir turned-up noses for a few moments
nd their judging whether you were good
hough for them was totally obnoxious.
The idea that each local house is virtually
introlled by its national affiliate and also
r the local and national Panhellenic Asso-
ation made me feel that there was no
>pe for improvement of the individual
>uses.
I felt that living in a sorority house would
a very limiting situation. A girl would
mly come into contact with certain types
people-removing herself de facto from
e rest of the world.
And besides, I thought the girls in sorori-
es were the last people on earth that I
ould want to be limited to. I thought they
ere all superficial snobs, interested in fra-
rnity boys, TGs and Saturday night dates.
I was positive that they had less than
interest in anything at all serious. I
adn't met any Greeks at political meetings

Tuesday, Jan. 13
I WENT TO the meeting and I thought I
had proved my point. All the girls there
seemed to be concerned with their own little
petty thing. We spent almost an entire hour
learning the rules of rush.
. You must go to at least ten houses
and not just any ten houses. There are five
sets of houses and you must go to two houses
in each group. There are mixers (otherwise
known as first set) then second set, then
third set, and finally, after two weeks of
these parties, come Final Desserts.
After each party, the girls in the house

rority
s of a
were actually interesting people
streotypes. Often the topics of
sation were the same old soroi
boys, parents, parties. But eve
some real thinking would turn
One of their favorite qu
"Where do you live?" Then
them East Quad, and yes, I
Residential College and every
while it would lead to a modera
provoking conversation;aboutF
amazed me to see that theret
girls who were seriously inter
same issues I was.

The very first house I went to almost made me forge
hies forever. A Villager-type cheerleader was lecturing
all the good things in her house. I heard all a b o u t tI
sweet housemother, the rooms, and then she said, "T
here is really gerat. And we have two colored cooks, So
Clara, who sometimes let us snitch cookies if we arer
them." I almost puked, but that was just one house.
;{.. .r;.;... m ai~ie a ii : '?r{{ '.""";",:" rr?}sa i'??r"i R"}wa:"c,"r}} ;...{rXrfr.:^{??3r{{? ;i {;

get together and talk about every girl who
came to the house. They, in all of their
infinite wisdom, after talking to the rushee
for maybe ten minutes, decide whether you
are good enough to be invited back to their
house. You have to meeta lot of people so
they will know who you are-when you de-
cide someone's fate you should at least
remember her face.
Most of the rules and restrictions are
absurd. The structure is unnecessary. The

WAS REALLY amazed that
rush after the first night.I
through the week I realized I w
curious about sororities.
The more houses I went to, th
differences I recognized. The
typed images were giving way
ties of my experiences. As it h
first house I went to was one
But there actually were better
At a few of the houses, gi
and stared at me trying very
small talk. It was pretty ba
couldn't believe that someon
through~rush in jeans. And m
terribly interested in their hous
shocked them. They were what
ined sororities were like.
But then there were some h(
felt almost comfortable. Som
dressed the way I was and we
off by my appearance. They wa
about me.
I was beginning to think m
see a little more of the soror
condemned them any further.
Mo
SHOCK AND disbelief! I we
meeting with my rush c
almost all of the houses I visit
back for more parties.
Even the houses that I ha
invited me back. How coul
someone who is so anti-sorori
make sense.
The meeting itself was insa
informed of even more rules
tions. I didn't think so many c
Tuesday, Jan. 20-F
I HAD TO admit that rush r
proving. I still disliked sor
had had a number of good r
girls in the houses.
I wasn't able to think se
being in a sorority but I was
understand why the girls wh
Greek houses like them as mu
Many enjoy the house itself a
comfortable place to live, wit
They like the girls they are li
the atmosphere is very congen
to them that the old houses,
way, offered a more humana
the glass and brick boxes on c
The variety in the differe
amazing. Some houses are ul
tive, some are very liberal. Sor
codes and don't allow men u
some have no dress regulation
open-opens. Some have freque
TGs; some have no planned
at all.
Sat
WENT TO two more house
They were more conservative
the houses that I had beent
Somehow though, I was able
in perspective. Even though
them at all for myself, I coul
why certain girls might find
houses appealing. The girls lik
and enjoyed living together.
having meals where everyone
up. They enjoyed the privacy
men upstairs. They enjoyed th
tions which were held. Fine for
In one of these houses, I fo
totally uninterested in Univer
politics-or their own educat

rush...
7other world
not sorority and sincerely believed in what they were
our conver- saying. They brought out the "house radi-
rity subjects, cal" (who went to Washington last No-
ry so often, vember) to make me feel comfortable. They
up, explained why they had various rules in
!estions was their house. Gradually, these girls from
I would tell another world became real as I was able to
was in the relate to them,
once in a
tely thought Sunday, Jan. 25-Tuesday, an. 27
education. It THIRD SET parties were much better,
were sorority even enjoyable. The houses that had in-
ested in the vited me back were the ones I liked best.
When I walked in, girls I had talked to
before yelled out a welcome. I felt very com-
#g fortable, almost at once.
Apparently, my reputation had spread (or
et soror- else people remembered my name from a
r me on hash session) for there were always girls
he girls' who wanted to talk with me. The small talk
ended. I just walked in and talked with
he food people. And they were people, contrary to
adie and my earlier delusions.
The girls vary greatly within each house.
n i c e to Even in the so-called conservative houses I
found people that I could relate to. My first
impressions were based only on a few girls
in each house. The more you knew them, the
more you realized you couldn't stereotype
I continued even the individual houses. The people in
But halfway them are all very'separate and unique in-
as more than dividuals.
e greater the Wednesday, Jan. 28
old stereo-
to the reali- TIME FOR Final Desserts.
iappened, the Final Desserts are the last time a
of the worst. rushee visits a house. It is a more formal
houses, occasion, with dessert by candlelight and
rls sat there songs. Only girls who stand a good chance
hard to make of receiving a bid are invited.
d. They just My first Final Dessert was really strange.
,e was going I was at one house instead of running to
ny not being three in as many hours. I only talked to a
e parties just few girls but they were ones that I espe-
e p hartiesagus-cially liked.
The atmosphere provided the biggest
change. Suddenly, the rushees were more
ouses where I than just names going through rush. For
te girls were the first time, I felt I was among friends.
ren't turned- Finally, after sixteen days of selling them-
nted to know selves, no one was trying to tell me how
great the house was. They simply answered
aybe I should any questions I had. The girls wanted me
ities before I to be happy whether I was in their house or
another-or even if I stayed in the dorm.
But the rituals continued. Being Final
inday, Jan. 19 Dessert, the girls had dcided to sing to us
nt to another as we ate. While traditions are fine for
ounselor and some people, I did not dig them at all. I
eeduinedr mndwas laughing at them again. Back to the
ed invited me old point of view; sororities were really pret-
ty bad.
ted the most Then, when wa were leaving, the girls lit
d they want our way with candles and sang another song.
ity? It didn't It was still the same ritual but for the
first time I appreciated it. Although norm-
tne. We were ally unsentimental, I was deeply touched. As
and regula- I walked home; I discovered I was seriously
ould exist. thinking about joining a sorority. I really
liked several houses. And I was considering
'riday, Jan. 23 pledging.
Then the irony hit me. Debbie Thal,
eally was im- enemy of sororities, might soon be living in
orities but I one. I had been converted. Everyday it
aps with the turned out that most of my preconcep-
riously about
beginning to
o live in the
ch as they do.
s just a very
h good food.
ving with and
ial. It seemed
in their own
alternative to
ampus.

nt houses is
tra-conserva-
ne have dress
upstairs ever;
is and permit
nt parties and
social events
urday, Jan. 24
s for mixers.'
than any of
to previously.
to put them
I didn't like
d understand
3 these, staid
ed each other
They liked
was dressed
of not having
e social func-
them.
und the girlsVo
sity or world
ion for that

,

i

4

-Daily-Richard Lee

tions about sororities were the myths that
rushing smashed. I was still aware of how
poor the rush system and, Panhel and
national affiliations were but it gradually
became unimportant. It could be changed.
Thursday, Jan. 29
FINAL DESSERTS at my favorite house, I
really liked the girls, the food was great,
and the building was more than comfortable.
The rules were among the most liberal on
campus. The social events didn't exist. I
had found my place.
Unfortunately, I couldn't live there due to
a Residential College residency requirement.
I was sad.
And, while I still condemned sororities'
undemocratic system of choosing n e w
pledges, I could understand why girls want
to live with people they get along with.
Maybe sororities will be filled on a first
come first serve basis some day.
Although I still didn't like dress regula-
tion, hours, and social events, they really did
not exist in the house I would have chosen.
Before rush, I had thought sororities were
very limiting. But after talking with the
girls, I learned that the houses were any-
thing but closed off to the rest of the
world.
I had feared the national and Panhel
affiliations. I learned that they too were
becoming more progressive. When there was
serious conflict, one house came close to

completely disaffiliating itself.'Freedom was
possible.
Although there were no poor or black stu-
dents in the house, the girls who were there
were no snobs. They were not all uppper
class. They were anything but superficial.
And again, change is possible. Both from
within and without the .system reforms are
being made.
Like everything else in this society, it is
difficult to break away from tradition, but
change was and is coming. There had been
changes in Panhel rush rules and intrahouse
regulations just this year. The system is very
unjust and I still condemn it. However, it
can and will be changed as long as there
are people who care enough to try-and
there are.
Sunday, Feb. 1
SINCE I KNEW I couldn't live in a sorority,
I didn't preference (sign' up for the
houses I would accept a bid from). I had
already put sororities out of my mind. The
affair was settled. However, due to some
administrative error, I received a bid. It
was from the house I had liked the best.
I know I will miss not being in the house.
I like the comfortable rooms and open
kitchen. I like the good. food. But most of
all, I like the girls; one already invited me
to lunch at the house. It wouldn't' have been
bad at all-being a sorority girl.

A

-Daily-Richard Lee

or in Washington much less at the LSA
sit-in or at North Hall.I was sure that the
only extra-curricular activities they were
involved in were Homecoming, sorority and
fraternity parties, and organizations like
UAC,.
SORORITIES seemed like an extension of
the old high school cliques.
I never would have gone through rush if
a friend had not made me realize that I
had no right to judge sororities with no first
hand knowledge. She convinced me to in-
vestigate them for myself before I con-
demned sororities for their image.
Despite my cynacism about finding any-
thing attractive in any sorority, I agreed

entire rush operation is simply appalling. I
thought it typical of sororities to waste so
much time with such petty things. I felt
sure none of them spent much time march-
ing against the Vietnam War, or for any of
the political causes I hold so important to
myself.,
There was absolutely no way I would
have gone to all of those houses. Maybe two
or three. I thought it might be fun trying
to freak them out.
Wednesday, Jan. 14-Sunday, Jan. 18
HOSE PARTIES sure weren't what I had
expected. Some mixers were just horrible
but some had decent people. Most of the
houses were better than I thought. But

I

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