Larissa Grijalva ’17

I definitely had an idea of what I was getting into when I joined Kappa my sophomore year. However, I was further blinded by some (few) amazing women who I considered to have similar values as I did. It couldn’t be that bad.

Sophomore year was new and exciting and even though I wasn’t entirely happy, I convinced myself that next year would be better. Next year, I wouldn’t have to earn a smile from an older Kappa. Next year, I would have a voice. Next year, the new pledge class would have more the 3 women of color (yikes).

I made my way through junior year hoping my position on council could change a few things within the chapter. It didn’t. So I spent the rest of the year lounging in the comfiest bed in the annex reading empowering Rupi Kaur poems, coloring, and venting to the one trusted Kappa about how comical our sorority was and how foolish we were for still being in it. I was complacent. And I won’t lie, I did have a lot of fun at times and made good friends.

Then senior year came and I was in charge. I decided to host a talk for and by women of color to talk about Greek life. And it was pretty honest and successful and that was my biggest regret. Along came the infamous bid day. Obviously, the one Mexican in Kappa had to be the spokesperson right? Damage control was my job. I was angry at everyone associating me with what had happened. I was angry at all the Kappas who didn’t understand (or care about) what cultural appropriation was. I was angry at myself. For not trusting my instincts sophomore year. For compromising my identity. For making excuses for these women who didn’t give a shit about me or my identity.

[Insert Donald]

[Insert multiple emotional breakdowns]

Thursday 3 AM:

I am awakened from my room upstairs by the effortlessly loud voices of 3 Betas defending this piece of shit president-elect in my house. But his economic stance tho…

Tuesday 5 PM:

Overheard in Kappa kitchen: But like I still don’t get the whole cultural appropriation skull thing. GIRL. That is so last semester….. At least pretend for your sake.

[Insert multiple sexual assault allegations]

Monday 6:10 PM:

Moments after risking social suicide to support survivors of sexual assault in Kappa (how dare I?) and after listening to two of my closest friends share incredibly personal and vulnerable stories: I just don’t think it’s fair to punish an entire frat for something two people did.

Tuesday 9 AM:

Stumbled into an anonymous letter addressed to the Colgate community that read: “If you truly do not support what your Greek organization stands for then you must disaffiliate. There is no argument. This is the only way to take a stand.” Sooooo I thank you, anonymous, for carefully removing my silly little head out of my (beautifully toned) ass and giving me the courage to do what I should’ve done my sophomore year.

Friday 3 PM:

On the phone with Kappa headquarters asking them to let me disaffiliate and trying to explain the harmful nature of the Greek system (lol) “Can you not use the term disaffiliation? That’s a totally different thing. It’s resignation. I’m really confused. Is this because your chapter is mean to you?”

To Kappa: With the exception of two women, every one of you failed me and each other. And I was really sad about that for a long time because I spent so much time and effort trying. The least you can do now is to try to actively care about each other a little more. GPhi, Tri Delt, and every other group that mimics the greek system, you’re no better. But I honestly really hope that changes.

To all the Greek people who think they’re stuck in their organization: I’m in no place to judge (it took me over 3 years) but GET OUT. You’ll be fine I promise. And if you’re scared you’ll lose your friends then obvi they are not your friends duhhhh

To my Linksters who have messaged me asking about the process: I like to think that you trusted me to a certain extent last year and I’m asking you to do it again now. Don’t rush.

To the administration: WYD??

To all the wise souls who never rushed in the first place (most of Colgate): I wish I hadn’t been so easily manipulated and I am sorry for contributing to a system that actively supports hypermasculinity, sexual assault, racism, homophobia, transphobia, and classism (there’s more).