TW: Sexual Assault
(those who did not join a D9 frat/sorority)
As a Black woman, the air of condescension and patronization that is felt as a result of not belonging to a D9 can be all-consuming, demeaning and emotional at times. I want you all to know:
You are enough.
You are valued.
You are not any more of a person with, or without letters.
Letters do not make you who you are.
And even though the stepping is intimidating, colors tantalizing, and paraphernalia seductive, do not let that jade you into thinking that these people are inherently worthier than thou.
You should know that you are all that you are, because of the sum of experiences that you have weathered, the people who you have interacted with, and the way that you see things as an individual.
This is not to say that being Greek is bad or should be looked down upon. Greekdom can be a great social outlet: helping you develop personally and professionally. Inspiring you to be your best self through comradery and mentorship. And helping and providing for the community through activities and events.
These things are invaluable and should not be taken lightly. Additionally, these organizations are instrumental for many Black people to find themselves and community within their institutions of higher education.
But also know that the organizations that these people are in does not make them immune to criticism.
There are good people in Greek life, and there are bad people in Greek life. It is a single element, in a sea of characteristics that define you as a human being.
There are men and women in Greek life who uphold toxic masculinity.
There are men and women in Greek life who are perpetrators.
There are men and women in Greek life who have raped.
There are men and women who know that their brothers and sisters have committed rape.
And there are men and women who protect those same brothers and sisters in Greek life.
But know that being Greek does not make you all that you are. And that being Greek cannot save you from who you might become.
The Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center (SAPAC) has a 24/7 crisis hotline and can be reached at 734-936-3333.