A few days ago, I had a conversation with one of my little homies, who is now a freshman in college. As we discussed her experience thus far, I naturally asked her if she was interested in pledging a sorority (*ahem* Delta Sigma Theta! *ahem*), to which she replied:
I could never be in a sorority. Y’all think y’all are better than everyone else just because y’all belong to a glorified gang. I’ll pass.
Her response saddened me to my core.
But what was even more upsetting was that this wasn’t the first time someone has expressed this sentiment to me.
As a former president of an award-winning chapter of (in my opinion) the GREATEST sorority ever established, I know that my actions will always be a reflection of my organization. So if I’m walking around a college campus or city acting like the biggest slutbucket of the century, it’s very possible that many people will think:
Well, since she’s looser than an untied shoelace, I’m sure all those Deltas are Freak-a-leeks too.
When we join any of the Divine 9 organizations, we all pledge to uphold and personify their founding ideals for the rest of our lives. So whether we like it or not, once we put on any piece of para, we’re often viewed as Jessica the Delta or John the Que, rather than Jessica That’s On The Debate Team or John That Reads To The Blind, Deaf and Dumb Dyslexic Midgets Every Tuesday And Thursday.
Unfortunately, one thing I’ve noticed is that many collegiate Greeks use their org as a platform for popularity. People who were band geeks, chess junkies or just plain annoying get some letters and they think they’re the next Morris Chestnut. All of a sudden, the dude who had absolutely no friends before crossing thinks he has the license to treat GDIs (as we so “fondly” call non-Greeks) any kind of way.
Naturally, people are going to look up to Greeks because it is by nature an exclusive position, but we are not supposed to hold our statuses above the heads of our peers. Because at the end of the day, there will always be plenty of people without letters who are prettier, more popular, and more involved in the community than we are.
Now that most of the Divine 9 organizations are either nearing or have surpassed their centennials, many question if their existence is still relevant in the Black community, and in America at large. I honestly think this question wouldn’t need asking if we actually remembered the oaths we took and applied their words to our daily lives. Being in a sorority or fraternity is not about step shows, stroll practices, and one-upping other orgs. Each of our organizations were founded out of the need for blacks to come together in a constructive manner and to affect positive changes in our communities, while inspiring those behind us to strive for greatness. If we recall these objectives and truly attempt to live up to them, conversations like the one I had last week would cease to exist.
So, to my fellow Greeks, please remember that a linejacket can only cover your body; it won’t do much to mask your ego or piss-poor personality.
In conclusion, I leave you with the wise words of the esteemed philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche - “Deltas are great.”