There has been an abundance of talk about what it’s like to be a member of a lower tier sorority, but I am a member of what many proclaim as a top tier sorority and surprisingly I don’t believe in tiers. I repeat, I do not and will not ever believe in tiers. You might think it’s easy for me to say that because I’m already in a top tier sorority, but to me, it’s bigger than that.
The nature of categorizing sororities based on their membership is inherently against the values with which sororities stand upon. While I have not read the creed or public motto for every fraternal organization, I truly believe our actions should reflect our values. For that reason, we as women should not be encouraging any form a tier system upon which sororities are ranked. It undermines the values of the entire organization.
Speaking from experience, being in a sorority which has a reputation on my campus is sometimes an unbearable expectation to live up to. Everyone expects us to be blonde, skinny, outgoing and thoroughly enjoy our social lives, but I did not join my chapter for any of those reasons. But if I’m being honest, it didn’t stop me from joining either.
People join people and honestly, that’s exactly what I did. I joined women who I connected with and who supported one another and challenged one another to develop as people. When I walked into that house, underneath all the blonde hair and the bouncy personalities, that’s what I saw. Yes, my sisters are all attractive, but their looks don’t diminish the other amazing qualities they possess.
So what if the sisters I joined all just happened to wear the same letters and are exceptionally social and love to party, is that wrong? We’re in college, that’s what we do. I don’t always join them, but when I do I always hate the notion that we can’t be seen at this fraternity or another, because we’re supposedly better than them. The unspoken rule that we have to only appear at certain places so we can continue to stay at the top is limiting in more ways than one. At the top, there’s always going to be another chapter vying for your spot. Any screw up can jeopardize you place in the food chain, and as stupid as it is, when you think about how hard your older sisters worked to get to the top, you really feel the pressure to stay there.
I don’t believe in tiers, but that doesn’t change the fact that they’re there. That would be like me saying I don’t believe pizza has calories; I can hope and wish that it were true, but it’s not. Tiers exist, and while the premise of tiers completely goes against the beliefs and values of our organizations, they still matter, and being at the top or being at the bottom really isn’t very different. We all face our own problems, but the very core of the problem being that ranking sororities is stupid, yet we let it matter more than sisterhood, philanthropy, and values.
With recruitment coming up, the subject of tiers is going to be on every PNM’s mind. My advice is to find your people, and try not to pay attention to their rank, because I know from experience that it’s as difficult to stay at the top as it is to be at the bottom. .