University of Maryland sorority girl Rebecca Martinson has gotten a lot of attention this past week for the rather aggressive email she sent out to her fellow Delta Gamma sisters. Martinson, who repeatedly referred to her sisters as “awkward,” “retarded” “faggots,” was fairly quickly outed as the letter sender, and has since deleted her subtly racist Twitter feed.
Many people have rushed to Martinson’s defense in the days since, and would like to remind us that not all sorority sisters are so foul-mouthed and nasty. And it’s true: the vast majority of sororities and sorority sisters are not little Rebecca Martinsons. And sororities can have long-lasting positive effects on the lives of their members. So before you cry foul, know that we do agree, sororities can provide valuable and enriching experiences for their members.
But these are not those stories.
After the jump, some of the worst sorority sisters giving Greek life a bad name.
1. Chi Omega. God, do sorority girls seemingly love to dress up as offensive ethnic stereotypes. In 2012, the Penn State chapter of Chi Omega was investigated for its Mexican-themed party, at which members held signs like “Will mow lawn for weed & beer” and “I don’t cut grass I smoke it.” After a campus outrage, sorority president Jessica Riccardi responded by saying, “Our chapter of Chi Omega sincerely apologizes for portraying inappropriate and untrue stereotypes. The picture in question does not support any of Chi Omega’s values or reflect what the organization aspires to be.”
2. Alpha Xi Delta. The sisters of Alpha Xi Delta of Ohio Miami University were caught trashing an underground railroad museum. They claimed to be drunk. Uh, who goes to an underground railroad museum drunk, huh? Apparently the girls got rowdy and began puking on everything and attempting to urinate on museum artifacts.
3. Phi Mu. Sisters at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, were publicly disciplined for showing up at a party in blackface. The Phi Mu sorority members had the bright idea to attend an ’80s-themed party dressed as members of “The Cosby Show.” Oh, this happened in 2011(!) by the way.
4. Kappa Delta. The sisters of Indiana University’s Kappa Delta followed up that doozy by hosting a “homeless-themed” party last week.
5. Kappa Kappa Gamma. In 2011, five members of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority at Monmouth College were arrested for stealing a baby Jesus and other nativity figurines from a public square in Illnois.
6. Phi Mu. In 2012, Kristen Saban, daughter of University of Alabama coach Nick Saban, was arrested for violently beating up her fellow Phi Mu sorority sister Sarah Grimes. Grimes and Saban engaged in a heated and vicious fight after an alcohol-fueled “power hour” of drinking. The pair were allegedly fighting over a guy, natch. Following the fight, Grimes sued Saban for $10,000.
7. Sigma Gamma Rho. In 2011, six sisters from the Sigma Gamma Rho sorority at Rutgers University were arrested for hazing. A pledge from Sigma Gamma Rho accused the women of violent and aggressive beatings, which the sorority members claimed would help bond her to Sigma Gamma. She was struck more than 20 times and was hospitalized because of her wounds. The six sisters were charged with aggravated hazing. “The local chapter was doing this on its own, not with the sanction of either the university or the national organization,” said Rutgers’ vice president of student affairs Greg Blimling.
8. Delta Sigma Theta. In 2009, University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Delta Sigma Theta sister Sierra Smith was arrested and charged with two counts of simple assault after pledges said she punched and kicked them as part of initiation. One student, Jasmine Johnson, ended up in the hospital with a concussion, allegedly after Smith assaulted her. According to Johnson, Smith was punched several times while other sorority members looked on. One of the other sisters then poured a bucket of ice water on her head, while a third shot vinegar into her eyes with a water gun. But that’s not all! Johnson claims that on another occasion, Smith poured milk and chocolate syrup over her head and then broke eggs over her head.
9. Zeta Phi Beta. In 2011, seven members of University of Maryland’s chapter of Zeta Phi Beta were charged with hazing and assault for allegedly beating a pledge. The victim alleged the women pushed, punched and repeatedly struck her with a paddle. As a result of the incident, the university suspended campus recognition of the sorority.
10. Pi Phi. And then there’s these sisters from Yale University’s chapter of Pi Phi. I’m crying-laughing in embarrassment for them.