Despite outside judgment, I found my place in Greek Life

Saniya Powell, Staff Writer

Illustration by Connor Lawless

Everyone wonders what community they will find when they get to college. Some people join sports and clubs, while most just wait for their community to come to them.

I found my community in Greek life.

Most of my peers at college and home said it was a huge surprise I joined a sorority. They all thought because of the color of my skin I wouldn’t fit in and that I would leave immediately. They told me I would be an outcast, or worse, the token person of color.

The Panhellenic council hosts all sororities at Quinnipiac University including mine, Gamma Phi Beta. This council governs all laws and regulations we follow every day.

Before attending Quinnipiac, I knew that the diversity stats were not good. The school prides itself on having a “diverse student population.” But according to Quinnipiac’s website, only 21% of the university’s class of 2024 are underrepresented minorities.

Yes, I did come from an integrated school of kids, but I always was the only person of color in the class. My neighborhood was predominantly white with my family and my next-door neighbors being the only Black family in the cul-de-sac.

I hung out in a predominantly white group of friends and played sports while being the only Black person on the team. I was the token Black girl for so long, I didn’t want to keep up this cycle.

I had concerns about becoming the token person of color again in a sorority, but so does everyone else. I got used to the fact of being the only person of color in the room.

But I didn’t leave.

I didn’t let my skin or my race control what I wanted to do.

Yes, I’m only a first-year student and I have so much more to learn about my sorority and how they put themselves out there. But, these girls have shown me so much respect and treated me kindly thus far.

I receive all types of comments on me being in a sorority.

“Oh well, you’re just buying your way into parties and friends.”

“Don’t you feel out of place there?”

I constantly get judged by strangers and people in my life. My experiences may differ from other people like me. It can be odd to not see people like you in the room, but that’s been my reality since middle school.

With a quick Google search, you can find the good and bad about being in a Panhellenic sorority as a person of color. Recently the topic of being a person of color in a sorority came up on TikTok during University of Alabama’s rush.

The University of Alabama has a history of segregation in its sorority system. One of the biggest stories about the university’s sororities was when a young woman spoke to the school newspaper, saying that she did not get a bid due to her race.

This is not the first time this has happened.

According to a New York Times article, “Black students (at the University of Alabama) have occasionally tried to join the traditionally white sororities, but these attempts have mostly gone nowhere. No black woman has made it through the recruitment process since 2003.’’

To know something like this is crazy. Just because of the color of their skin and the knowledge of their race, they couldn’t join.

Nobody should be discriminated against just because of their skin color and race.

Being in a sorority is not about having a status, getting into parties or hatred. It is about sisterhood and sharing the same values.

I’m very pleased about how Quinnipiac’s Greek life treated me thus far. This community opened its arms for me when I joined. I am not discriminated against because of who I am. I feel wanted.