I’d just like to start by saying no, I’m not going to reveal any secrets, so sorority women: don’t worry, and everyone else: don’t get too excited, but also sit tight because I’d like to clear up a few misconceptions:
A majority of sororities were founded way back when in the 19th Century, and the women that wrote the laws, rules, and rituals for these secret societies were Christian and as religious as most other people were at the time.
Therefore, I’d like you to know that in no sorority ritual anywhere do we summon the devil, cast magic spells, or chant creepy things while wearing demonic masks. We are not a cult and no animals or people have ever been sacrificed or hurt in the name of rituals, initiations, or formal meetings.
Yes, candles are involved, as they are in church, in prayer, and to add a fresh scent to your dorm room, and therefore are not indicative that anything satanic is going on.
My grandma recently talked to me about an episode of CSI: Miami (or insert any other TV show or movie that you have seen about Greek Life here) and how the members beat and ridiculed and hurt one of their new members in the spirit of “criticism” and “self-improvement.” To quote my favorite sorority girl on YouTube: “We do NOT haze. We do not JOKE about hazing.”
Our executive officers let us know when pictures are inappropriate for Facebook or if our behavior at an event was commendable or could be improved upon, but no one is ever physically or emotionally hurt by meetings or rituals. I promise (Freshmen, maybe forward this to your parents so that they can rest assured).
Now, you’re probably asking: why all the secrets?
Most of the reasons for secrecy among sororities and fraternities and their members go back to history and tradition. Having special code words, passwords, and secret handshakes bond members the same way telling your 2nd grade classmate which boy you like made her your best friend; secrets bring people closer together.
When we share something no one from the outside can ever know about (you can’t Google search and turn up results on any sorority’s secrets) we are closer than ever to one another, and this tight sisterhood made up of loyalty to people you might not hang out with but know will always have your back is, in my opinion, the number one reason to join Greek Life.
What’s more, being able to share these secrets with sisters (or brothers) from different schools that you’ve never met before is a great way to start a friendship. You already have something cooler than an inside joke, and you know these international sisters share a lot of your same values.
The difference between the real secrets sororities have and the rituals and secrets portrayed in the media and on TV shows is that ours are harmless, beautiful, inspiring, and have never hurt anyone ever. And that’s the 100% truth.