Wednesday, February 28, 2007

More on DePauw University's Socially Awkward Sorority Scandal

Yesterday I discussed this story (NYT) about the Delta Zeta sorority expelling 23 women from its DePauw University chapter seemingly because of their weight, race, and social awkwardness. DePauw's president and the school's Greek community has been outspoken in its support of the former women of Delta Zeta.

My sister Whitney, a DePauw grad, argues that Delta Zeta officials are only partly to blame:

I agree that what the national chapter of DZ did was awful, and that these sorts of practices should be exposed and hopefully ceased.

However, what bothers me is that what [really] caused DZ (and [Whitney's sorority] AOPi) to go under probably won't be addressed in Greek circles. I just know that right now all the other fraternities and soroities at DPU are saying what DZ did was wrong, awful, etc. However, as they say that, they're responsible for DZ losing numbers, thereby causing nationals to come in.

From what I read, DZ was "blackballed" from greek life just like AOPi was. They were no longer invited to parties, their philanthropic fundraisers were no longer supported by other Greek organizations, and they weren't invited to participate in many Greek events. Why were DZ and AOPi blackballed—because they weren't "face" houses. I can guarantee you that during Rush the Rush counselors were telling some women that is wasn't "cool" to join DZ, just as they told them that about AOPi when I was there. I remember frats being told they weren't to have anything to do with AOPi, just because of what we looked like. Yet, these same fraternities offered their sympathy and outrage when we were shut down.

Though DZ's national organization was thoughtless and just plain cruel, the culture of DePauw doesn't accept sororities that don't fit the beautiful, popular image.


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