By Katherine Mosqueira
The women of UCSB Kappa Kappa Gamma with new members on Bid Day 2017. “Women of all shapes and sizes feel accepted and can have fun without feeling judged for who they are or how they look.”
Blonde. Tall. Skinny. White. Wealthy. Slutty. Stupid. Identical.
These are just a few of the words that describe how sorority women are portrayed in film, media, and by many of those not involved in campus Greek life.
Words cut deep. And the best way for me to respond is by proving them wrong. As a proud sorority woman and a fourth year university student, I work twice as hard as the average student each day to better myself as an individual, better myself as a team player, and to exceed expectations.
As a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma at the University of California, Santa Barbara, I see how the women of our chapter prove the stereotypes are unreasonable. Our members are diverse in size, shape, and race. We do not recruit women based on the color of their skin, but by the values and morals they possess. The 178 women of my chapter attend a highly competitive university and hold an average GPA of 3.3. In fact, Greeks hold higher GPAs than students who don’t belong to a Greek organization. These are just a few examples of why the labels are false.
Sorority sisters and best friends: Tori Moreno (left), Ashley Martinez (middle), and blog author Katherine Mosqueira (right), during the 2017 recruitment period.
Breaking down stereotypes can be a long and difficult process. It can take years to see any slight changes. Wrongful depictions of sorority women have been engrained in American culture for decades: Sorority girls only care about partying and their social status. They are girls who get drunk and sleep with the hottest fraternity men. We are girls who are defined by our appearance, the skinnier the better. Sorority girls barely get by in their academics, but are pretty enough to pass anyways. These representations are completely misguided and have been expressed through pop culture for years.
I am a highly motivated person. I strive to give 110 percent to my commitments and passions. I am a Film and Media Studies major with a minor in Multimedia Communication Writing. My dream is to work in broadcast journalism, specifically in entertainment. I am attracted to the constant circulation of information and the fast-paced nature of the career, always changing and evolving daily.
While my course work is very enriching, I also participate in internships that will give me experience in my field. Some of my favorites so far have been interning for TV Santa Barbara, working as a talent management intern for the firm Primary Wave Entertainment, and as a reporter for The Bottom Line, a student newspaper.
A sense of family within the chapter: Jordan Wright (top left), Taylar Hender (bottom left), Cam Costello (bottom right) and blog author Katherine Mosqueira, who mentors the younger women.
Throughout my academics and work experience, my biggest support system has been my Kappa Kappa Gamma sisters. They constantly motivate me to work harder in my course work and extra-curricular activities. They congratulate me on my successes and embrace me in my failures. Most importantly, they encourage me to keep going past those failures and learn from my mistakes. Many of my most cherished college memories include my best friends — sorority sisters. From participating in community service to planning sisterhood events at the chapter house, or even sitting around in our rooms just talking and laughing, they are with me through it all.
In the past few years, the Panhellenic community has begun to take steps to change the image of sorority women. The College Panhellenic Council on the UCSB campus encourages us to come together as sorority women by promoting recruitment based on values. My college career and that of thousands of others are more accurate portrayals of how Greek life positively impacts an individual. I wouldn’t be the woman I am today without my chapter, my sisterhood, and all of the lessons it has taught me.
Strong. Passionate. Beautiful. Independent. Unique. Intelligent. Diverse.
These are just a few of the words that truly define what it means to be a sorority woman.
Katherine Mosqueira is a fourth year Film and Media Studies major at the University of California, Santa Barbara.