Morgan Caroll is a member of a sorority house. The sisterhood of Kappa Kappa is what she calls home during her time at St. Lawrence University. During her freshman year she knew a member of the house and got interested in joining herself. In her second year at university she participated in rushing and became a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma.
In the spring semester the houses start their recruiting. “We have something called rushing and so we have house tours. So they go to different houses and see what the houses are like. It is kind of you match up,” Caroll said. “After they have seen all the houses, they go back to on campus and put down which house they liked the best. We also, inside the houses, do the same. We match up who we would think would be a good fit.”
The next round during rushing is talking about the houses themselves and the rushing ends with preference night. “You choose what sorority you would like to be in, and then if the sorority chooses you back, you wake up with a phone call saying you got a bid,” Caroll explained.
Students who received a bid can accept or decline the bid. If you accept Kappa Kappa Gama’s bid, they invite you for breakfast. Caroll said, “You meet all the girls and we have breakfast together, so it is more like socializing and mingling and getting to know one another.” Every house also has his own rituals, which are supposed to be secret. “We have a new member education period and after their new member period is over, we initiate them, but we can’t go on about what we do,” she said.
Morgan Caroll joined Kappa Kappa Gama in the fall of her sophomore year. She did not live in the house that year and said that life is different if you are living in or not. “I only came over the house to hang out with my friends and for meetings. But living in the house, it is just really living with all your best friends in a big house.”The living situation of the house might be odd to some people. According to Caroll, “On the third floor, there is one big room and it has 35 beds in it. It is called the cold dorm. So we all sleep in there. And then there are eight rooms, most of them are four-person rooms, and our president gets her own room.”
Being roommates with 35 girls does seem hard, but Caroll said it is actually a great night’s sleep. “It is always quiet, the lights are always off and we have the windows open, which is a health thing. Everyone is respectful of one another. You can nap any time of the day and go to bed early or late.” The sisterhood works with a wake-up system. “In the morning we have people that get you up so do you not hear a bunch of cellphone alarms going of. We have a bulletin on the outside of the cold dorm with a little peg with your name on. You hang your name on the time that you want to be waken up,” she explained.
“I think they often play off sorority girls as kind of ditsy, like all they want to do is party”
Sorority houses are often portrayed in television shows and movies, but Morgan Caroll thinks the representation is wrong. “I think they often play off sorority girls as kind of ditsy, like all they want to do is party. From my experience here at St. Lawrence I can say that is not how sorority girls are at all. We are all very studious,” she said, “and we take our work seriously. We care more about giving back than just the superficial things they portray on television.”
She hopes to see some change in the representation of the houses in the future. “I wish they would show us more like professional people and represent us as a club and not like a socialite club.” Students might have a wrong idea about sorority houses before entering university, too. “I think some people might believe what they see, and I was actually one of them. Coming in as a freshman hearing that we had Greek life. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be involved because I did not know what it was really about, but once you look deeper into who is in which house, each house has amazing girls doing amazing things,” Carroll said.