An Open Response to “Greeks establish informal tailgating dress code”

I’m a 3 year season ticket holder to the University of Louisville’s football program. I’m a sorority girl.
And I’m mad as hell.

Yesterday, an incredibly controversial article was published by UofL’s student run newspaper, The Louisville Cardinal, entitled “Greeks establish informal tailgating dress code.” If you haven’t read it, you might want to click the link before you read this any further – just to help you understand the words that have enraged and disgraced the entire Greek community at Louisville.

The article opens with a description of two sorority girls preparing for tailgate, including “applying matching coats of deep maroon lipstick as a final touch to their meticulously planned outfits” after a two hour process of “picking out dresses and boots, clipping in hair extensions and layering mascara.” If you know me and my spitfire temper at all, you know I’m not joking even a little when I say I literally laughed out loud at this description. But, my amusement quickly turned to rage. Unadulterated vexation. Yes, there may be a handful of girls who put this much effort into tailgate – but honestly, they are just that. A handful. Out of a panhellenic system of over 1,000 girls.

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This is why the rest of the University hates Greeks. Point blank. And the worst part? We aren’t all like this. Not even close. First of all, I’m not dogging extensions by any means. I don’t wear them because my hairdresser has threatened to shave my head if I did, because they’re so bad for your hair. But plenty of girls wear them – every day. Not just for tailgate. Second, if I ever use the phrase “cake my face with makeup”, someone please take me to rehab because I’ve got to be taking drugs. Going to Sephora is my personal hell, because my idea of putting on makeup takes about ten minutes and is about as low-maintenance as humanly possible. Yes, I admit I put quite a bit of effort into my outfit, but not because I want to impress other humans. I do it for the sake of actually attending the football game and what is going to both look cute and be practical. Not because I want to look “skinny enough” or “tan enough.” I don’t know about you, but I’m secure enough in my own skin that those things don’t even cross my mind.

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I’m not even sure where to start with this. Probably how disappointed I am in a newspaper meant to embody and inform the entire student body for including such blatantly sexist quotes. Actually, disappointed doesn’t cut it – I’m disgusted. Much like the argument against smoking even though “everyone” is doing it, I can’t speak for you, but I’M not at tailgate looking for my “MRS Degree.” I’m taking 17 hours this semester toward a B.S. Degree, and am planning to pursue both a J.D. and M.M.C. Not an MRS. I don’t need a man to support me financially, I can do that myself. And I sure as hell don’t plan to network my way into the professional arena by wearing provocative clothing with the intent to impress drunk college boys. Sorry not sorry.

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Thankfully, at least one person mentioned in the article reflected the views of the majority of Greeks as a whole. Yes, we like to look nice for tailgate, yes we like to maintain an aura of at least semi-self respecting individuals when we’re about to be broadcasted across cyberspace and even on ESPN as representatives of our University. People don’t generally show up in ratty t-shirts and ripped jeans, but you’d be crazy to believe that it’s because the Greeks have an expected “dress code.” It’s because we care about our university, we care about the message that we send, and WE LOVE FOOTBALL. Is that really so hard to believe?

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I’ll leave you with this…

If I wear a dress and cowboy boots to tailgate, it’s not because “Greeks have established a tailgate dress code.” It’s because:
1.) I hate wearing pants
2.) My Dan Post’s are the most comfortable shoes I own
3.) I wear what I want, when I want.

If I wear a t-shirt and shorts to a football game, it’s not because “I’m here to party and I don’t care about anything else.” It’s because:
1.) It’s 90° outside
2.) I need pockets
3.) I wear what I want, when I want.

End of story.

On behalf of myself, and the entire Greek community, I want to take a moment to apologize to everyone offended by the article published by The Louisville Cardinal. Please know that (in case you couldn’t tell by my rant), that these words don’t speak for us all. For the wide majority of us, when we’re at tailgate, all we want to do is have fun with our friends and get excited for another wild game of Cardinal football. We’re more likely to wonder what in the hell you’re wearing if you have on pearls and heels than we are if you’re wearing jean shorts and flip-flops.

We aren’t a bunch of pretentious snobs. We just love tailgating.