Monday, March 12, 2007

It’s like a thief who’s sorry that he got caught, rather than for what he did

In tomorrow's New York Times, Sam Dillon reports that today DePauw University gave the boot to Delta Zeta, the sorority that kicked out all members who didn't fit the mold. Think thin. Think shallow. Think the sorority sisters in Animal House, the women who date Omegas but really prefer the Delta boys. From Mr. Dillon's article:
DePauw University severed ties yesterday with a national sorority that evicted two-thirds of the university’s chapter members last year in what the sorority called an effort to improve its image for recruitment, but which the evicted women described as a purge of the unattractive or the uncool.

“We at DePauw do not like the way our students were treated,” DePauw’s president, Robert G. Bottoms, said in a letter to the Delta Zeta sorority. “We at DePauw believe that the values of our university and those of the national Delta Zeta sorority are incompatible.”

The sorority evicted 23 members of its DePauw chapter in December, and half a dozen other women later quit in protest. The action greatly diminished the chapter’s diversity. The women the sorority allowed to stay were all slender and conventionally pretty. Those evicted included some overweight women, and several minority members were evicted or left the sorority on their own.
For their own part, the national office has posted information about the goings on. As a matter of fact, try to get any other information, and you'll get the same page full of text. They are "extremely disappointed" and made a "choice not to engage in the media frenzy surrounding this situation." They apologize
to any of our women at DePauw who felt personally hurt by our actions. It was never our intention to disparage or hurt any of our members during this chapter reorganization process.
Right. From the New York Times:
“It’s like a thief who’s sorry that he got caught, rather than for what he did,” said Rachel Pappas, a junior who left the sorority before the evictions and organized a campus protest about it last month.
Overall, sounds like Delta Zeta didn't really care about the current members and just wanted that Delta Zeta experience to "shine through."

I'm particularly found of what the handful of remaining DePauw members posted to the website:
We decided to remain active members because of our dedication to the future of our chapter through the reorganization process. The accusations that race, weight, and academic majors were used as criteria in the membership review process are completely false and detract from the reasoning behind the reorganization. Furthermore, the image of this chapter was never created by its members; rather, it was perpetuated by the campus climate at DePauw University. We value the diversity of our sisters, both the current actives and our alumnae. As members of the DePauw community, we believe that Delta Zeta has a place on this campus. We continue as active members with the hope that future sisters will benefit from the opportunities provided by Delta Zeta. Without the negative effects of stereotyping, the true Delta Zeta experience will shine through.
Er, the image was "perpetuated by the campus climate at DePauw University" and "Without the negative effects of stereotyping, the true Delta Zeta experience will shine through."

Got it. All the overweight women and all the minorities are gone. No more negative effects of stereotyping.

Well, now there will be no more stereotyping... because the sorority will no longer be on campus.

I guess the national got what they asked for: full control over the membership.