This probably won't be well received since basically all my readers, save one, are my sorority sisters, including my mother - but...
I think Greek systems are outdated and have no place in modern college life. They are divisive, arbitrary, ridiculous, and often, down-right harmful. Maybe I didn't realize it at undergrad because things were tamer. No one transferred schools cuz they didn't get into the sorority they wanted. No one labeled us a "white sorority". Mothers didn't wait on lawns to rush to the houses when they found out where their girls went. Families didn't break apart because someone chose wrong. I live in the South now.
Original Purpose No Longer Valid
All that is sort of what brought it to my attention, or at least made me rethink the value of Greek life. Here's why I think Greek is outdated. When these sororities started, there weren't a lot of organizations or clubs at school. These groups offered both social companionship and philanthropic endeavors. There are now plenty of groups that do one or both of these without all the rivalry, secrecy and hazing. [3 things which I truly believe have no purpose in any social organization.]
Take Vandy as an example. There are over 100 organizations on campus, (excluding Greeks). Students can teach science, fight HIV, build homes, dance, learn about other cultures, etc. And the best part is, if they're interested in more than one, they can join more than one! Even as a law student, I have plenty of options, including some undergrad orgs.
Another problem I see is that being part of some the Greek organizations gives people a false sense of superiority. There is no good in this. News Flash! You are NOT better than me, or anyone else simply because you pledged ABC. I have seen grown women, 50 years old, walk up to some of my friends, "Are you a _ _ _?" "No, I'm not." And they turn around and walk away with a smug "oh."
The idea is that being part of ABC somehow means you're connected. But really, it's the girls or guys in each one that make them different than each other at each school. And the girls or guys are different in each chapter. I have met girls from other chapters of my sorority who were the rudest ---, I would never have chosen to be friends with them. The only things we have in common is that we wore the same colors for a few years. All those things about the value of sisterhood, special meanings and secret stuff is probably the same in each group.
Divide verses Diversify
Division and alienation seem so old world to me - so isolationist and pre-WWII. (and look where that got us!) Toady, we value diversity, understanding, reaching out, inclusion. To me, the Greek system just seems so completely against this. It supports separating people by looks, background, money and other superficial aspects. It reinforces exclusion, pettiness and (for lack of a better word) snobbery.
Even though I'm supposedly supposed to like old things, I think this is one old thing whose time is up. Purpose gone. No longer a good force in collegiate's lives, but a bringer of harm. Go out, get involved, be a leader, do something you care about. There are plenty of ways to do it without ostracizing others.
And Greeks out of college, stop wearing your letters every day. Grow up. You are not special.