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  #46  
Old 10-02-2009, 10:46 AM
littleowl33 littleowl33 is offline
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Originally Posted by blueberrymuffin View Post
I would like to share with you an experience I had with a "lower tier" chapter. I just transferred to a big state university as a junior and a new colony was recruiting for its first new member class. There was talk in the dorm that all the sororities made quota in formal recruitment except one and that one was a "lower tier" chapter. I thought it might be a good idea to see if this chapter would be interested in me so I spoke to a woman in Greek Life about this and she said she would contact this chapter and see if they would be interested in talking to me. I told her I did not expect them to just give me a bid but just meet with me and see if we would be a good fit for each other. They never got back to me and I joined the new colony. I am very happy being a new member of the colony and don't know or care what "tier" we are in because I really like the other new members and we are all very excited about the future of the colony but I just wonder why this "lower tier" chapter didn't even think they should even talk to me.
It may not be that they didn't want to talk to you - it may be that the message never got to the appropriate person, or that they weren't sure what you wanted (if they were not in the recruitment period). Honestly, sometimes things fall through the cracks. We had an alum fairly upset with us because she tried to contact us about her daughter, who was a freshman interested in rushing, and we never got back to her. It turns out she was emailing an old email address that we don't use anymore. I'm glad you're happy with your new colony! Just don't be too hard on the other group.
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  #47  
Old 10-02-2009, 10:51 AM
littleowl33 littleowl33 is offline
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Originally Posted by BrandNewAdvisor View Post
I pledged a low tier sorority and I have not regretted it.

When I joined my chapter it was generally regarded as the worst on campus. I joined during informal recruitment, this was after a formal recruitment where quota was in the mid 20s and my chapter took 1 new member. After the informal period the pledge class was at 5. Total was 50 and my chapter was at 25. All the other chapters were at or over total.

It was hard at first especially walking around in a bid day shirt and having friends make comments. I didn't understand because my experience with my sisters and my pledge class was the complete opposite of the stereotype. We were social, athletic (we were all involved with at least one sports team), and straight.

We were also motivated. A group of 10 of us (about half the chapter) were generally fed up with the crappy reputation. We had one or two mixers a semester when other sororities had that many a week. We also had business type meetings 3 to 5 nights a week (I'm not exaggerating). By my sophomore year my entire pledge class held offices and we were determined to change.

We graduated a lot of dead weight and didn't let anymore in. We looked for quality members not just numbers, sometimes at the dismay of our advisor and nationals. We made every effort to be social and social in an attractive way. There was one sister who continually acted inappropriately in social situations. Instead of letting her get away with it, we reported her butt to standards and got it taken care of. We made friends and joined other groups and clubs. We always spoke positively of the sorority in public and kept drama behind closed doors (something not done At All in the past).

I ran recruitment my junior year and had a good long chat with out recruitment advisor about how things got so bad and looked at where exactly things were going wrong.
Progress for us was having girls put us on the pref card at all. Generally when we were all that was left for a girl in recruitment she dropped. Our overlap was with the most popular chapter on campus and most girls suicided.

Long story short after much effort by my senior year we took quota plus, had mixers every other week. We handled business more efficiently and only had one or two business meetings a week. Only the people who needed to be there were and it helped with burnout. We were at 40 members the highest in 8 years. I visited campus the year after I graduated and was hanging out at my fiance's fraternity. I was asked if I belonged to a sorority by a freshmen and when I answered it was the first time it elicited a positive enthusatic response.

I just started advising at a chapter that is in a similar situation that mine was in and hopefully I can help them to turn it around. You just have to want it bad enough.

Your sorority experience is entirely what you make of it. Join the lower-tiered sorority and make it what you want it to be. Be willing to work and ask for help when you need it, from the national organization and from panhellenic.

Forgive the long post, this is a topic I feel really strongly about. If all those girls that suicided decided to join my chapter it would have never gotten as bad as it did and could have turned around so much faster.
This is such an inspiring post! I don't know if you saw my earlier post, but my chapter has had a similar path. Things never got as bad as you describe (1 new member on bid day, with a quota of 20+, is pretty dismal), but we weren't in a good place. I'm so glad you were able to turn things around, and I hope my chapter can do as well as you have. Quota plus would be awesome!
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  #48  
Old 10-02-2009, 01:44 PM
BrandNewAdvisor BrandNewAdvisor is offline
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Originally Posted by DubaiSis View Post
I don't necessarily agree with this. Although I definitely have said similar things here, the fact is it takes a lot of work to make those kinds of changes, and some girls just don't want to do the work.

During formal rush at the small house I ended up pledging I was told pretty much straight up, "we're small, but you can take on a leadership role much sooner with us" and that part is definitely true. I wish the smaller houses would be more straight forward in acknowledging their size. It will turn off some girls but might turn on the lightbulb for girls who might see the value in the smaller group. The girls aren't blind so you might as well just address the situation.
All is an exaggeration.
But my chapter was in a position that one or two more people every recruitment over the 6 or 7 year decline would have made a world of difference. If the chapter wasn't so bad it wouldn't have needed all the effort it took for a major overhaul.
The leadership angle was a selling point but it didn't override that it would be leadership in that chapter. Once in the chapter there were quite a few resignations of girls who were burnt out there was never a semester where you could not hold at least one position. It was all work and no fun and it was known around campus that that was the case. It was hard to meet people outside of the chapter because it was hard to be involved in anything else.
It's harder to make a connection with PNMs when there's one active to 3 of them. Fixing that issue greatly increased our retention rates. My school used deferred recruitment so most girls going through formal had connections with girls in other chapters. My chapters members weren't involved in other groups, and just generally didn't socialize outside of there already established circle so they didn't have advance connections. Basically we didn't connect with girls before recruitment and weren't doing a good job during.

For PNMs thinking about a lower tiered chapter: It takes a lot of work but I don't want to make it sound intimidating because it isn't. My chapter even at its smallest was incredibly loving and supportive. The sisterhood was strong we just had to let everyone else know that. Most of things we did to turn the chapter around were fun and I would have been doing them anyway. We just had to be louder about our affliation while doing it.

Last edited by BrandNewAdvisor; 10-02-2009 at 01:47 PM. Reason: addition
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  #49  
Old 10-02-2009, 02:21 PM
Save Ferris Save Ferris is offline
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Why don't we reverse the question? Should you join a "higher tier" sorority? Should that make a difference to you?

If your feelings are genuine about the sorority you hope to join, tiers aren't important. I understand that not all PNMs think like this and worry about what other people think of them.

Should you join a "lower tier" sorority? I would say yes, but only if you truly like them. If you don't like them because of lack of connection, you don't belong there and SHOULDN'T join them. If you connect with them and don't join because of worrying about what people think of you, that's stupid.


(And by "you", I'm just speaking in general)
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  #50  
Old 10-03-2009, 09:23 AM
DubaiSis DubaiSis is offline
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I think the point is moot about whether or not you should join a top tier chapter. Everyone wants to be one of the popular girls, so that's the easy decision. The tough decision is to bite the bullet and join the smaller or less impressive one. There are things that are great about joining a smaller house and as we all know joining a sorority is a great thing in general, so joining a smaller group may not get you that "top girl on campus" reputation, but you'll still get loving support, sisterhood, lifelong friendships, etc.

And I think that's where the rubber meets the road for a PNM. For some girls, like it or not, they are just never going to be comfortable being known as a member of a less than prestigious chapter. And I think that's a shame, but that's me. And I think the lightbulb comes on (am I mixing metaphors again?) when it's basically too late in their college careers to make it right.
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  #51  
Old 10-03-2009, 09:37 AM
AlphaFrog AlphaFrog is offline
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Originally Posted by DubaiSis View Post
And I think the lightbulb comes on (am I mixing metaphors again?) when it's basically too late in their college careers to make it right.
But that's what AI is for, right?


[Running for cover]
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  #52  
Old 10-09-2009, 09:39 PM
lyresandpearls4 lyresandpearls4 is offline
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Here is my input on the tier situation. I attend a very competitive, greek-oriented SEC school and my sorority is considered "lower-tier". We have the same numbers and involvement as any other sorority, plenty of wonderful and beautiful girls, we are just not considered "top tier". As far as the sororities go, all of them pretty much have relatively the same numbers and involvement. I can tell you that the tiers are essentially made up by a few fraternity men as a "who would you rather f*ck" (excuse the inappropriateness but that really is the best way to put it). They put the sorority with the reputation for the hottest girls on top and then go down from there. They are also long-standing; they have been the same for many years and really aren't subject to change. Although the tiers do exist, many fraternity men at my school really do judge you based on you, your personality, and your appearance, and not by your sorority. The Panhellenic woman all have great relations with each other and don't care a bit about the tiers. I have friends in numerous sororities and fraternities of all tiers and which chapter I am in has never affected that. I am also part of an amazing sisterhood that I wouldn't be the same person without. Any advice I can give to PNM's is that just ignore tiers, reputations, stereotypes, etc. and just join where you fit. I am beyond happy with my chapter and couldn't see myself anywhere else. I am lucky to be a part of my sisterhood. If I had gone through rush only choosing by tiers I can guarantee you I would not be half as happy as I am today.

Last edited by lyresandpearls4; 10-09-2009 at 09:41 PM.
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  #53  
Old 10-10-2009, 01:23 AM
aephi alum aephi alum is offline
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Originally Posted by lyresandpearls4 View Post
Any advice I can give to PNM's is that just ignore tiers, reputations, stereotypes, etc. and just join where you fit. I am beyond happy with my chapter and couldn't see myself anywhere else. I am lucky to be a part of my sisterhood. If I had gone through rush only choosing by tiers I can guarantee you I would not be half as happy as I am today.
Good advice for any PNM.
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  #54  
Old 10-10-2009, 08:20 AM
BadCat25 BadCat25 is offline
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The constant complaint on GC is that many girls will not join a “bottom tier” chapter. I know many of you believe that GDIs are doomed to never have any friends, never have a date, never loved by any man and will end up as bag ladies destined to die alone with 50 cats. But GDIs are the big majority at almost all colleges. So why are these girls, facing impending doom, refusing to join “lower tier” chapters? The reason is, no matter what we all would like to think, is that 18 year old girls are very socially competitive and as soon as you put on those letters you are advertising your social status and these girls just don’t want to advertise they are at the bottom of the greek social pyramid. They would rather opt out of the greek system entirely. The ironic thing is if all these girls who would not join the “bottom tier” chapter all got together and actually joined it they would end up with a pretty decent sorority with a big improvement in social status, but that is just not how things work.
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  #55  
Old 10-10-2009, 08:58 AM
TriDeltaSallie TriDeltaSallie is offline
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Originally Posted by BadCat25 View Post
The constant complaint on GC is that many girls will not join a “bottom tier” chapter. I know many of you believe that GDIs are doomed to never have any friends, never have a date, never loved by any man and will end up as bag ladies destined to die alone with 50 cats. But GDIs are the big majority at almost all colleges. So why are these girls, facing impending doom, refusing to join “lower tier” chapters? The reason is, no matter what we all would like to think, is that 18 year old girls are very socially competitive and as soon as you put on those letters you are advertising your social status and these girls just don’t want to advertise they are at the bottom of the greek social pyramid. They would rather opt out of the greek system entirely. The ironic thing is if all these girls who would not join the “bottom tier” chapter all got together and actually joined it they would end up with a pretty decent sorority with a big improvement in social status, but that is just not how things work.
BadCat25,

I think most independents are happy and go on to lead very satisfying lives both in and out of college. Greek life is not the ticket to life happiness except perhaps in the most narrow of locations and social circles. And if a woman is joining a sorority ***primarily*** for the social aspects and social prestige... then, no, she probably wouldn't join a "lower tier" sorority. On the other hand, women who are interested in the other opportunities offered in a sorority (sisterhood, lifelong friendships and involvement, leadership, networking, and belonging to something bigger than themselves) will find those in any sorority that is a relatively healthy chapter no matter the size or perceived status.
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  #56  
Old 10-10-2009, 01:44 PM
lyrelyre lyrelyre is offline
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Originally Posted by BadCat25 View Post
The constant complaint on GC is that many girls will not join a “bottom tier” chapter. I know many of you believe that GDIs are doomed to never have any friends, never have a date, never loved by any man and will end up as bag ladies destined to die alone with 50 cats. But GDIs are the big majority at almost all colleges. So why are these girls, facing impending doom, refusing to join “lower tier” chapters? The reason is, no matter what we all would like to think, is that 18 year old girls are very socially competitive and as soon as you put on those letters you are advertising your social status and these girls just don’t want to advertise they are at the bottom of the greek social pyramid. They would rather opt out of the greek system entirely. The ironic thing is if all these girls who would not join the “bottom tier” chapter all got together and actually joined it they would end up with a pretty decent sorority with a big improvement in social status, but that is just not how things work.
I don’t believe most people here have the attitude that being Greek is the only way to go. This thread seems, to me, to be in response to many threads in which a PNM expresses that she was “cut from recruitment” or “no chapter wanted me.” Upon further discussion and subsequent posts, we discover that the PNM meant she was released from any of the “upper tier” or “middle tier” chapters in which she was interested. There were “lower tier” chapters that she would not deign to join (I’m sorry, that she didn’t feel a connection with). So, this is really in response to people who want do be Greek and indicate they weren’t given the opportunity when, in fact, they were.
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  #57  
Old 10-10-2009, 05:12 PM
smiley90 smiley90 is offline
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a few weeks ago I joined a sorority considered in the "lower tier" even though I preffed at our #1 house (I ranked the #1 house last) just because I felt more of a connection with the girls in the lower house and I am 100% happy with my decision. All the girls in my house are amazing and I would never go back and change my decision to if I had the option to, I love my house and all the girls in it! Even though we're in the "lower tier" we still socialize with all the frats, I have best friends in all the other houses on campus, and the other girls in my house and I don't care about our ranking.

so I would say in my opinion, if you do have lower tier sororities left as your options, don't rule them out just because they are lower tier. Rule them out only if you actually don't feel a connection with them, not just because of their reputation.
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  #58  
Old 10-10-2009, 06:18 PM
33girl 33girl is offline
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Originally Posted by BadCat25 View Post
The constant complaint on GC is that many girls will not join a “bottom tier” chapter. I know many of you believe that GDIs are doomed to never have any friends, never have a date, never loved by any man and will end up as bag ladies destined to die alone with 50 cats.
Honestly, who pissed in your Fruity Pebbles? Your posts have been crabbier and crabbier lately. If you think this board is so full of unenlightened rubes you could at least bring us some virtual potato salad and pork rinds so we have something to eat while we're dissing GDIs.

What most people are sick of is "didn't feel a connection" being used as a bullshit euphemism for "they are the lowest on the totem pole." The topper was the girl who cut the (low tier) sorority that was the nicest to her and kept the ones that she straight up said were bitches.
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  #59  
Old 10-10-2009, 06:48 PM
Benzgirl Benzgirl is offline
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Originally Posted by 33girl View Post

What most people are sick of is "didn't feel a connection" being used as a bullshit euphemism for "they are the lowest on the totem pole."

Thank you!
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  #60  
Old 10-10-2009, 08:16 PM
BadCat25 BadCat25 is offline
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"Didn't feel a connection" is better than "I would rather be dragged behind a horse through barbed wire than be seen in public wearing those letters".
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