Tag Archives: Sorority

Diamond Days & Womenspace

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-Rache’ll Brown

We see it on MTV, we see it in magazines, and sometimes, we see it on the streets. Domestic violence is an issue that is often overlooked, and University of Oregon sorority Alpha Chi Omega, along with the help of fraternity Lambda Chi Alpha, is working to help bring attention to those who have been affected.

“Raising awareness about domestic violence is essential,” Lambda Chi Alpha sophomore Cody Koenig said. “Whether people realize it or not, domestic violence impacts so many people, and we need to be able to recognize what domestic violence is and how we can help those affected.” Around the world, one of three women has been the victim of spousal abuse, and ten million children witness it every year. Luckily, organizations like Womenspace offer women and children in difficult situations an escape to get back on their feet.

Womenspace entered Lane County in 1975 and has continued to grow since. With a safe house, emergency services, support groups, and various programs, Womenspace is able to help the women and children of Lane County flourish despite the hardships they may have faced. However, programs like this require a lot of community supports via volunteering and donations, and Alpha Chi Omega will be hosting their annual philanthropy event Diamond Days with the help of Lambda Chi Alpha to benefit Womenspace and survivors of domestic violence. Sophomore Samantha Harmon stated, “The most important reason I support Womenspace is that the domestic violence statistics are at an all time high. If I can have even a small part in lowering the number of assaults and keeping survivors safe, I’ll do it. We, as Alpha Chi Omegas, take pride in helping lift these women up and making them stronger.”

The annual Diamond Days softball tournament and carnival will be held May 18th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the River Front field. Featuring games, facepainting, and food, the event will offer fun for both students and community members alike. A dance will also be held for University of Oregon students Friday May, 17th starting at 9:30 p.m. at Lambda Chi Alpha. The jersey themed dance party requires an entry fee of five dollars, and students must have an ID to enter.

Diamond Days isn’t the only time of the year that Womenspace needs help—donations are always welcome, and volunteers are encouraged. To get involved, visit Womenspace, and if you or someone you know is in danger, call (800) 281-2800 for help.

“Its a wonderful feeling to be surrounded by so many strong women who are all there to support and raise awareness for even stronger women than ourselves,” said senior member of Alpha Chi Omega Gabo Ailstock.

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Graphic by Taylor St. Claire.

Going, Going, Gone Greek

-Marissa Tomko

“Are you in a house?”

If I had a dollar for every time I got asked that, I wouldn’t need a college education. I could just drop out right now and live off of my earnings from that question. But as far as my answer goes, I’m not going to give that away because this isn’t about me. It’s about the redemption of sorority recruitment at UO.

The amount of planning that goes into rush is borderline insane. Sororities practice more than eight hours a day for a week straight to perfect their “hellos,” their smiles, and their ensembles. Going into the first couple of days of rush is bound to blow the mind of any eager freshman. It’s like The Stepford Wives: College Edition. Each conversation is carefully orchestrated as to who to speak to, and each girl going through is judged based on a five-minute conversation.

Later on in the week, a system of mutual selection narrows down girls so they can revisit select houses to learn about different philanthropies, sisterhoods, and living quarters. These organized days give girls a good sense about what each sorority is about. This way, it’s easier to feel the vibe of each house because PNMs (potential new members) are matched with members they are thought to be compatible with. While a lot of thought and care is put into the process, it can still leave room for plenty of awkward conversations.

Is it a pretty rough system? Yes. But it really is the only way that makes sense. How else would you suggest filtering more than 800 girls through ten different houses in six days? People often complain about the problems with rush. It’s called judgmental, fake, unnecessary, elitist; the list isn’t exactly a pretty one. But what a lot of people don’t realize is that sorority girls don’t like “judging” strangers any more than strangers like being judged. These girls are usually defined by the non-affiliated students as being dumb party girls who have no interest in anything but their current outfit and which fraternity is having the best function that weekend. But that simply is not true. The girls in Greek Life at Oregon have got to be some of the kindest, funniest, and quirkiest girls around. Because that’s what houses look for: uniqueness.

Whether I am affiliated with Greek Life is neither here nor there. But I can tell you this: Greek Life has a positive impact on my college life. I have felt acceptance from every chapter at this school, and have been opened up to networks of people and opportunities that I would not have otherwise.

Image of Gamma Phi Beta House in Eugene, Oregon from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamma_Phi_Beta_Sorority_House_%28Eugene,_Oregon%29