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TLC's 'Sorority Girls' receives negative feedback from students

By Charde' Stephenson
On February 12, 2012

Bring on the pledge, bring on the ritual, bring on Britain's first sorority: Sigma Gamma.

TLC's new reality series, Sorority Girls, which premiered January 31, features five American sorority sisters and their attempts to establish a sorority in Britain. The show focuses on the young women as they journey to Leeds for eight weeks, where they recruit candidates and execute sorority traditions.

The candidates on the show take part in the sorority aspects of pledging and rushing. There are also door chants, secret handshakes and night rituals as they fight for a spot in the sorority. After all said and done, the Sigma Gamma sisters will be responsible for carrying on the traditions and duties of sorority life in Britain.

After watching previews of the show, attention from viewers has created a buzz. Stories of how the show criticized sorority life didn't sit too well with many national and local sorority chapters.

What's all the hype about that has most viewers upset by TLC's new reality series?

An Official Statement released from the National Offices of Kappa Delta on February 3, stated:

"The show is riddled with stereotypes and negative images of the sorority experience, and previews of upcoming episodes depict what appears to be hazing.

The show does not align with the values Kappa Delta embraces, which are expressed in our open motto—"Let us strive for that which is honorable, beautiful and highest."

"Sorority Girls" is receiving negative feedback from our members, other sorority women and the general public. We ask that all members refrain from promoting the show through social media, including Facebook and Twitter."

The statement discourages Kappa Delta members from participating in these kinds of reality shows, where portrayal of sorority life is viewed in a negative and stereotypical way.

Not just Kappa Delta, but another sorority on Stephens' campus, Sigma Sigma Sigma, also doesn't support the behaviors and misrepresentation of sorority life by TLC.

"Being in a sorority is about sisterhood," said Michelle Niewald, a sophomore MPA major and president of Sigma Sigma Sigma. "What people don't realize is that being in a sorority is all about being self-disciplined, having self control and being a lady. You are being part of something, seeking opportunities and contributing to something. I believe in the concept of brotherhood and sisterhood."

Some argue that the show takes stereotypes of sorority girls and magnifies them to an unbelievable level. Some argue the show is ridiculous and sad because of the disgrace it makes of the Greek system, portraying sororities as less than intelligent.

Being in a sorority is much more than what the show depicts sorority life to be.

As most young women enter college, some set their sights on joining a sorority. They feel it would create a positive impact in their lives, establish friendships, and create lifetime bonds of sisterhood forever.

"When I came to Stephens, I came to a completely new state and knew no one. I joined Kappa Delta because I saw the way the women acted with one another and wanted to be a part of something special," said Caitlin Campbell, a senior MPA major and former president of Kappa Delta.

Whether you're in a sorority or fraternity, being part of something that strives to achieve goals and promote a cause are some of the reasons that attracts students to join.

Kappa Delta and Sigma Sigma Sigma strive to promote positivity and leadership on campus.

"We want our campus to see us as the hard workers that we are. We are leaders in the classroom as well as in organizations," said Campbell. "Friendship is held above all with all of us being each other's best friends. We also aim to help our campus and community through volunteer work."

"Our values are power, wisdom, faith, hope and love. That's how we strive to run things in chapter and how I encourage everyone to act. We promote being there for each other and treat everyone as real sisters," said Niewald.

Some sororities are creating a petition for TLC's Sorority Girls to be taken off the air. But this is unlikely because TLC has seen success making shows about controversial topics, such as Toddlers and Tiaras, Kate Plus 8 and Sister Wives. 



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