What Happened When a Girl With Down Syndrome Rushed a Sorority

September 1st 2015

Laura Donovan

Murray State University's Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority recently accepted senior Alexis Cain, who has Down syndrome, into the house. The Courier-Journal reports she is the first member of a Greek organization with Down syndrome at Murray State University.

The Kentucky native posted photos of her new sorority during the first week of the school-year last month:


I am so glad I found my sisters, Brennan Handley, I am so glad that I found out u are one of my sisters, Love u!!

Posted by Alexis Cain on Monday, August 17, 2015



Look at me, All sassy and all.

Posted by Alexis Cain on Wednesday, August 19, 2015



We are cheetah girsl, cheetah sisters!!

Posted by Alexis Cain on Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Though Alexis Cain always knew she'd get into a sorority, her mother Camme Cain had some initial reservations.

"I didn't do the sorority thing, so of course I was hesitant," Camme told the Courier-Journal. "I didn't really push it. ... She said 'mom, I'm going to do it.' I said, 'OK, we'll give it a try.'"

Camme relayed these anxieties to Broadly in a phone interview as well.

"I was more nervous [than Alexis]," Camme said. "I'm surprised I didn't get an ulcer from that week ... [She dreamed about] how great it would be to have all these sisters. She talked about it all summer."


Once again, Ms Alexis Cain: ASA Ladybug!

Posted by Alexis Cain on Thursday, August 20, 2015



Hi my name is Alexis Cain and I am a ASA: a baby ladybug.

Posted by Alexis Cain on Thursday, August 20, 2015

The proud mother told the Courier-Journal that she appreciated that Alpha Sigma Alpha didn't rule her daughter out for being different.

"They weren't afraid of the unknown and the stigma that comes with having a disability," Camme said. "These are a bunch of good, accepting girls, that would bring her into something like a sorority and just wholeheartedly accept her and support her right off the bat."

Cain spoke about the sorority with TheNews.org, Murray State University's official news site. "After talking to them several times, I just knew it was them," she said. "They made me feel amazing and at home. I was so excited when I got the envelope and it said ASA on it. I feel a part of their group already. It felt good to know that the girls wanted me to join."

While all of this has been exciting for Cain, she's surprised how much her story has inspired others

“I didn’t know I inspire people,” she said. “It’s important for people to know that just because someone has a disability they should look past what they see. We have feelings and don’t like the R-word. I’m proud to be part of my group of awesome girls that have opened the door and shown it’s time to include and accept differences."

Cain's story is in stark contrast with the story of the sorority Alpha Phi at University of Alabama, which came under fire for a recruitment video that was criticized for seeming shallow and bad for women.

Many took to the Internet to disparage the sorority for perpetuating the stereotype that members have to be blonde and attractive to receive a bid. Magazine editor A.L. Bailey wrote for AL.com the video feels forced and is lacking in diversity.

“It’s all so racially and aesthetically homogeneous and forced, so hyper-feminine, so reductive and objectifying, so Stepford Wives: College Edition,” Bailey wrote. “It’s all so… unempowering."