If you or someone you know is in Greek Life at the University of Arizona, then you have probably heard of GreekRank. It’s a website dedicated to ranking and commenting on different sororities and fraternities on campus. I guarantee you that the site is as horrible as it sounds. The toxic content that permeates through the message boards and sorority and fraternity pages is abhorrent and does not accurately represent the inclusivity of Greek Life at the UA.
GreekRank thrives on anonymity — anonymity that breeds the downright mean material that’s so prevalent on the site. The only way one can accurately describe the nature of the content that is found on the site is to go through the process of making a comment on a sorority or fraternity’s page. The first question you are asked is about the reputation of that house; whether they are good looking, smart, party animals, athletic or wealthy. According to GreekRank this is what matters the most in a Greek organization.
After the reputation section, you will have the opportunity to rate the house in different categories including friendliness, social life and popularity. All of this is followed by placing the house in a tier, bottom, middle or top, and then leaving a comment of your choice. Believe it or not, the comment section is often more objectifying than the process to gain access to it. Comments such as “they are trashy girls who use their bodies for popularity” and “some beaters but some fine ass smash worthy ones” are common. Yes, these are actual comments I found on the UA GreekRank page. These comments are about actual people.
The anonymity the site provides brings out the absolute worst in people. A sorority is not just letters, it is a house full of people, and users need to recognize that when they say these harmful things. There is a group of people with feelings on the receiving end of these nasty comments. The site places a major emphasis on status and reputation that is not representative of Greek Life. Sororities on campus have over 300 girls and to place all of these girls into such dehumanizing categories is absolutely absurd.
Also, let’s talk about how most of the comments on the sorority pages revolve around looks and partying and how that really puts Greek Life in an era it is trying hard to leave behind. Most of the comments on the fraternity pages are about the parties they throw while the comments on the sorority pages are about behavior at parties. The strong emphasis on partying is no longer what Greek Life is about and GreekRank needs to keep up or get out, preferably the latter.
The message boards are almost as bad as the comment section, full of clickbait such as “Accurate Sorority and Fraternity Rankings.” This ranking system only heightens the competition between houses on campus and creates a very toxic environment. For a healthy and productive Greek system to exist, there must be a sense of mutual respect between houses, and GreekRank is a major threat to this. Each organization on campus is great in its own way, let’s not pin houses against each other.
According to GreekRank, the site “strives to be the best place to learn about and interact with college greek life” and I could not think of a less accurate statement to come from this website. GreekRank is the absolute worst place to learn about Greek Life and gives the user a demeaning view of the culture on campus. The site also says, “If the content is found to be very malicious in nature it will be removed in a timely manner." This is false. If the site took down all the malicious content, its comments and message boards would be nearly empty. Most content on the site plays into stereotypes that harm not only Greek organizations as a whole, but the people who participate in Greek Life.
GreekRank is not only a problem at the UA. There are hundreds of colleges across the country who are on the site, but for some strange reason, the UA’s GreekRank page is more active than most. The discussion board is updated almost daily and each house has hundreds of ratings on its pages. Why is the UA falling into the trap of this harmful site?
I want to end with my response to the people who leave these nasty comments on houses’ pages: get a hobby and stay off the internet. Your negativity is not welcome here.
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Payton Toomey (she/her) is a sophomore majoring in journalism and information sciences and eSociety. She loves to cook and golf in her free time.