It is customary for an Interfraternity Council fraternity to ask a Panhellenic sorority to homecoming and await its response after a week of bearing gifts, cooking breakfast and creating colorful banners. Sounds pretty luxurious for the women in the sorority, right? Yes, being courted by a fraternity definitely has its perks, but it also feels extremely wrong allowing these men to spend countless amounts of time and money conjuring up a list of tangible reasons as to why they would be the best candidate to partner up with during homecoming. While the Greek tradition of homecoming courting can be a fun and memorable process, there is something inherently wrong with the way that it is carried out in society today.
[Homecoming courting] is a time to celebrate love for the College, not a time to be preoccupied with who is going with whom to homecoming and which sorority was courted the best.
First of all, Greek life’s focus of homecoming is completely skewed by the pressure to have a partner. Homecoming at the College of William and Mary is a time for alumni to return to a place that shaped them at a pivotal point in their lives. It is a time to celebrate love for the College, not a time to be preoccupied with who is going with whom to homecoming and which sorority was courted the best.
Furthermore, societal expectations have changed dramatically in terms of what men and women are expected to do. The tradition of men needing to ask women to the homecoming dance leaves an ugly and archaic stain on the Greek community. The incredibly stereotypical view of the roles of those genders forces men to make the first move toward women.
Sorority women should not have to feel like they need to wait around for a fraternity to ask them to homecoming, just as fraternity men should not have to feel that they must blow hundreds of dollars and excessively fawn over a group of women to have an enjoyable homecoming. American society has expanded far beyond these outdated traditions, yet Greek life lags behind in overcoming these practices.
Women are no longer bound by the rules of society that they must wait around for the courting of men, and we must integrate that into Greek life.
Traditions in any organization are hard to erase once they’ve become deeply rooted. At the same time, members of a privileged community have a responsibility to adhere to evolving standards in our country. It is our duty to not just ride along the waves of societal changes, but to dive deep into considering them. Women are no longer bound by the rules of society that they must wait around for the courting of men, and we must integrate that into Greek life.
There is no reason that a sorority cannot “court back” the fraternity that is courting them, or choose to court a fraternity, sorority or any other Greek or non-Greek organization. Not only should we be working to equalize gender stereotypes, but also to create a more inclusive and welcoming Greek community. No one on this campus should feel bound by obsolete practices that have no real purpose other than to preserve a long-standing tradition.
Email Lexi Pacheco at firstname.lastname@example.org.