I’ve been debating whether to share my thoughts on the “controversy” over the recruitment video posted by the Alabama Alpha Phi chapter. Frankly, I’ve moved past the need to defend my choice to be part of a Greek organization, but I suppose I’ll do it one last time.
Joining Alpha Phi at the University of Montana almost 12 years ago marked the first time I felt I could truly be myself without feeling judged. When I was with my sisters, I finally felt comfortable in my own skin, squirrely awkwardness and all. Every women — every human — deserves to feel like this.
This self-esteem gradually radiated into other areas of my life, and I owe much of the confidence and self-acceptance I possess today to Alpha Phi.
I could go on ad nauseam about the other benefits of being in a sorority, but surely you’ve heard them all before. Philanthropy, scholarship, leadership, etc. I have no doubt I am a more well-rounded person because I decided to go Greek.
But when it comes down to it, being an Alpha Phi in college made me happy. Being involved as an alumna and helping mentor our young collegians embarking on their own Alpha Phi experience makes me happy. Spending an evening laughing with my Alpha Phi sisters, who are still my best friends today and will be 30 years from now, makes me happy.
If that makes me “vapid” and “unempowering” (which is not actually a word, Ms. Smarty Pants Columnist who jettisoned this non-issue into the limelight) and “worse for women than Donald Trump,” so be it. (Side note: It doesn’t.)
I’m not defending the video by any means. The criticism of it, while overblown, is valid. I suspect most of the Alpha Phis who appear in it appreciate other “more respectable” qualities above good looks and having fun, and the video sells them short in that respect. But some probably don’t, and that’s OK. I hope their Alpha Phi still makes them feel valued for who they truly are, just as mine did for me.