I was shocked and appalled to read not one, but two articles written in the Nov. 17 issue of The Eagle that were both purposefully set forth to degrade the women of the greek community. It has become apparent that The Eagle is more interested in printing defamatory, or at least debasing, stories about a substantial part of the audience that it is supposed to be serving, rather than printing the truth. On behalf of the community to which I am a proud member, I would like to address certain stereotypes that were brought forth that produce a very false and shallow portrayal of greek women at AU.
There are many people at AU who seem to have a picture of “sorority girls” as wild and crazy party girls, or some other false image that has been communicated to them through the narrow lens of the media and even our own school newspaper, The Eagle. Because the community as a whole is so large, it is much easier for these venues to use stereotypes to describe these women than to really address the many facets and characteristics of our diverse community. But the real truth which isn’t as exciting and scandalous as much as the media would like to report, is that greek women do not just do greek activities, and their lives do not revolve around being “sorority girls.” It is simply a part of their lives, just as their academics, internships, jobs, athletics, hobbies, family and other friends are. In fact, greek women at AU have a higher GPA than the undergraduate average. For anyone to suggest that greek women are solely focused on their social life, as some of the writers of The Eagle reported, is just plain ignorant.
Instead of using the publication to write about real issues it seems that a number of its contributors and staff writers have devoted their time to writing about overplayed stereotypes. Rather than tearing down the accomplishments of their fellow classmates by degrading their validity as respectable women, maybe they could write about something that’s actually controversial, such as the fact that all women’s rights, whether they wear greek letters or not, are being threatened by decisions on reproductive rights that are being made in Congress as we speak.
It appears odd to me that this newspaper is so adamant, or at least unthoughtfully ignorant enough, to print such articles when they are in effect offending such a large percent of the population of their campus. Greek students make up about a fifth of the AU undergraduate community, and greek women are at least half of that number. United under the Panhellenic Association, these women simply by the strength of their numbers have been able to accomplish many positive things for their campus and community. We are actively involved in small tasks such as helping with the adopt-a-spot program, and also in striving towards larger goals. Many of the sororities on campus contributed to the ticket sales for the recent Wizards game fundraiser that raised $10,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Although noted in The Eagle, it seems that the long list of accomplishments that greek women at AU achieve is still not enough to warrant a little respect from Eagle’s writers. Which is a bit odd, considering the fact that none of the students who are uninvolved on campus, and who do not participate in any of these activities are ever criticized and ridiculed they way in which has repetitively been done to the greek women.
Unfortunately, there is a sense of hesitation to print stories covering the truth about greek women on AU’s campus. As opposed to highlighting their accomplishments, disrespectful and misleading articles are printed instead. Why does The Eagle not talk about the high academic marks that greek women on this campus consistently achieve? Why do they not discuss the thousands of dollars every year that greek women raise for their philanthropies? Why do they not talk about the positive programs that many of the sororities on this campus have created and enacted in order to further the education of their sisters and colleagues, whether it be in the fields of personal health, time management or leadership training?
I think we all know the answer lies in the fact that this “news"paper has nothing else to print. Because its writers can’t seem to come up with anything else to fill space with except to consistently insult a group of women who have done nothing but attempt to better their campus and community, and god forbid, enrich their own lives with the bonds of sisterhood with other well-meaning women. The Eagle may continue to attack us and call our community a group of “superficial drug-using blonde girls,” because the real truth lies in the fact that our numbers are growing and we will not fail to continue to endeavor towards goals of betterment that are clearly ours and not its own.