Binge drinking is a constant problem for most Postsecondary institutions. Alcohol and drug related problems are especially prevalent within Greek organizations all over America. Most female students join a sorority to network, make new friends and become a positive member of society. Although there are many social advantages to joining a sorority, there are a variety of accepted norms which do not promote the growth and development of an individual. Binge drinking at parties, sexual harassment, negative body image issues and drug addiction have become increasingly common issues for many female sorority members. According to a research conducted by Larimer, Mallett, Turner & Geisner (2007), research results suggest that both descriptive and injunctive norms are potentially important predictors of drinking behavior among Greek students.
Gender stereotypes in college hinder women’s chances of reaching optimal success professionally. Many sorority women become more self-conscious after entering a Greek chapter. A study conducted by Rolnik (2010), found that undergraduate women who join a sorority are more likely to judge their own bodies from an outsider’s perspective and display higher levels of bulimic attitudes and behaviors than those who do not take part in the sorority’s recruitment process. These findings suggest that particular stereotypes associated with Caucasian Greek affiliated females may be accurate. By understanding how these processes work together, we are better equipped to interrupt negative body image and disordered eating, which contributes to and enhances the positive mental health of women. However, the findings listed above do not apply to all females and further investigation is required.
Unfortunately, many sorority women have problems with drugs/alcohol, body image and eating disorders. Student affair professionals have the unique position of living amongst their residents and can create meaningful intrapersonal relationships. Resident assistants interact with sorority women on a daily basis and have the power to have a positive influence with the residents in their community. Many students that are struggling socially and academically only require a small amount of guidance from an advisor, counselor or resident assistant. Housing representative must be willing to reach out and connect with all female residents, no matter their Greek affiliation. All students that attend college need to feel comfortable in their living and learning environment. Female student’s active participation within a campus community and constant interaction with student affair professionals will increase their overall identity formation and possibilities for professional success in the future.