Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Rush process needs reform

As the fall semester is coming to a close, many sorority sisters are settling into their new homes as official members of their respective greek organizations, thus indicating that they have survived pledgeship and our awfully problematic rush process.

The rush process plays heavily into the politics of beauty. Each sorority looks for girls that they deem attractive to represent them around the University. This accentuates the idea that a woman’s value is intrinsically tied to her perceived beauty.

This process of “weeding out the ugly” was especially useful when sororities served the sole purpose of getting young women hitched to future lawyers and doctors. However, we should hope that sorority row no longer serves the same purpose as

Women at the University deserve better than this current system of misogynistic style judgment of each other. Sororities should serve as a meeting place for women that fosters growth and encourages women to seek out their goals and ambitions, instead of tearing them down and reassuring them that their worth is almost entirely determined by how pretty other people think they are.

Akin to the entirety of the first wave of feminism, and much of the second, it seems that women at the Capstone have forgotten the importance of solidarity. It has been 48 years since the University has been desegregated, but somehow the University’s greek system has remained stringently segregated to this day.

These racist practices that are currently upheld by sororities are not qualities that the        University should tolerate, and for that, the administration should be ashamed. But it is ultimately     the responsibility of each sorority to move past these George Wallace-style stalemates and           recognize each woman by her character and not by her skin.

Both of these problems stem from the unnecessarily classist nature of the current greek     system. Charging a large membership fee each semester ensures that members will all be     dependents from an acceptable tax bracket.

21st-century women should strive to supersede this sort of carnal, capitalistic elitism        perpetuated to grind some people down, while elevating the status of others.

The rush system needs to be reformed. It needs to incorporate ideals from third-wave feminism and work to be more inclusive and supportive of all women. The current system works actively to exclude women based on physical characteristics, decidedly negative reputations, class and race.

A more inclusive recruitment process would include a later rush, allowing women unfamiliar with the process to become acquainted to the University and learn more about the opportunities that sororities present. The rush process should also work harder to incorporate     women from more diverse backgrounds and build women up instead of tearing them down.

Sororities should do a better job representing all women at the University, including first-generation, lower income and women from various racial backgrounds.

There are more women at this university, but a shockingly low number hold positions of power, and sororities should be the section of campus that we should see pitchforks and protests.

But our current system is just a patriarchal mess.

Michael Patrick is a junior majoring in political science. His column runs on Tuesdays.

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