Another semester of college has begun and along with it comes another round of Sorority and Fraternity recruitment. At UMass alone there are so many different chapters with different kinds of people, it’s hard not to find a place you can call home. I know the assumption about Greek Life is that you are paying to have friends, but it’s so much more than that. Your house becomes more than just your friends; they become your family. I am proud to be a sister of Iota Gamma Upsilon, a local sorority at UMass Amherst.
IGU is the only chapter in the Panhellenic community on my campus that is not a national chapter. National chapters are a part of an organization in which you will find more than one of that house in the country. My house is the one and only. We were founded at UMass in 1962 and have been there ever since. Being local is something that I think makes our house special but it’s also something that is constantly working against us.
Personally, I never thought I would be in a sorority. You always see the stereotypical “sorority girl” in movies and on TV and that is something I forever wanted to avoid being. My roommate freshman year asked me to go with her as a wing woman and since I had nothing else to do, I went. The minute I walked into the 406, something felt right. I know that’s cheesy but it’s true. There was something about this house I knew I wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else.
Being in a local sorority, we are not controlled by any national organization. The rules we make in IGU are made by us and we follow a living, breathing constitution which means things can be changed and altered as semesters pass. Other benefits include no house mother, no visitor policies, and being able to live in a house without the dorm rules. The only real difference is the fact that we lead ourselves within our house and no one is telling us what to do. In a way, local sororities are like running your own business. Though we are local, we have just as much fun as the national chapters. Because we don’t have strict rules, we are able to have date parties and exchanges in our own house.
In the end, local sororities really aren’t so different from nationals. We still rep our letters proudly, support other chapters, and are just happy to be a part of the Greek community.