A video posted by a university student on why she left her sorority is shedding light on the harsh reality some women face when they join post-secondary social organizations.
Alex Purdy, a senior at Syracuse University in New York, posted a video on YouTube about the reasons on why she left her unidentified sorority.
In the nearly four-minute video posted on Jan. 27, Purdy, 21, said there was an “overwhelming lack of compassion” between the “sisters,” – or group members – and a disregard of encouraging women to be their best self.
“I was so upset to see the way that women were treating other women. To see women in leadership roles telling us that we should care more about what other people think and what we look like,” Purdy said in the video.
Purdy said she didn’t know the culture of sororities before going in.
“I didn’t know much about sororities going into it, but I decided to join based of the values that were told to me. It was appealing to hear that it’s full of women who encourage each other to be their best self, full of women who want you to develop intellectually and full of loyal friends. So naturally, it seemed like a positive next step for me,” she said in the video.
Purdy also noted her message was not done in spite and hopes her experience is an “outliar” of what such groups actually stand for.
The National Panhellenic Conference, an organization advocating for women and sorority advancement, issued a statement in reply to Purdy’s video, reading in part:
“We share in Alex’s call for a thoughtful dialogue regarding how to best shape the modern sorority experience…. Alex’s story is a reminder that our work must continue as we seek to enhance a sorority experience more than a century strong that’s rooted in creating opportunities for service, leadership and scholarship.”
According to The Washington Post, American sororities saw 95,000 new members in 2010. Five years later in 2015, that number grew to 137,000.
Purdy said she hopes the “structure of sororities isn’t broken across the U.S.,” since it is built on good intentions. So she’s asking everyone to use the hashtag #SororityRevamp in hopes of starting a conversation and have the social organization re-examined in order to bring it back to its roots.
“This video won’t solve the problem,” said Purdy. “It’s what you do after you watch it that will bring change.”
The full video can be viewed here.