I am NOT a 'baby'

Continue to strengthen the future of Phi Sigma Sigma by calling our new members what they really are.

The beginning of the semester is a time to prepare for the new academic year, and for most of our chapters it is also a time to recruit new, enthusiastic, young women into the sisterhood of Phi Sigma Sigma.

We are so excited about the growth our organization has seen over the past couple of years! However, a term has begun to emerge in the sorority community that we feel does not accurately identify the newest members of our organizations. Recently, many sororities have seen an increase in the trending term “babies,” which is has replaced the term “new members.” While we know the reasoning behind it is innocent, calling your new members “babies” is not in line with what our organization represents.

Phi Sigma Sigma’s mission is to inspire the personal development of each sister and perpetuate the advancement of womanhood. What is the message we are sending when we refer to our new members as “babies?” A baby, by definition, is “an infant, a very young child or an immature and childish person.” Calling a new member a baby is demoralizing.

We feel it is also important to point out that this issue is just not within Phi Sigma Sigma, but across many other Greek organizations. For example, our Panhellenic sisters at Alpha Omicron Pi said in a recent blog, “[these women] are testing their wings, not crawling like babies.” In addition, Alpha Phi said:

By calling your new members babies you are freeing them of responsibilities. Babies are not adults. Babies don’t have to pay dues, attend meetings, or be expected to carry out the legacy of our chapters. Even if we are not treating our new members like babies, by calling them that we set a standard that they are below us in stature and that we as the initiated members don’t expect much out of them. We want our new members to get involved, take on leadership roles and contribute to our chapter success.

We want our new members to feel empowered to change the world and better themselves at the same time. We want to make sure our actions are always matching our words – treat them like leaders, not children and call them leaders, not babies.

Overall, the Greek life experience is truly unlike any other campus experience – fraternity or sorority membership presents a comprehensive approach to college life. In addition to having social, leadership and services opportunities, members enjoy a sense of belonging and family. As part of a fraternity or sorority, you make lifelong friendships while you grow as individuals.

The way we ensure the long-term survival of our beloved Fraternity is to recruit, retain and empower women who share the ritual and values consistent with the vision of our Founders. The way we refer to our new members sets the tone and standard for their entire Greek life experience. Let’s do our new members the honor and call them what they are! Let’s continue to enhance the lives of our new members – they are the future of our organization! Lastly, and as always, let’s continue to Aim High!