Sunday, February 25, 2007

Sorority Committed to Old-Time Femininity

Sorority Evictions Raise Messy Issue of Looks and Bias
New York Times

'The national officers of the Delta Zeta sorority told 23 members at DePauw University to leave, including every woman who was overweight.');

Published: February 25, 2007

GREENCASTLE, Ind. — When a psychology professor at DePauw University here surveyed students, they described one sorority as a group of “daddy’s little princesses” and another as “offbeat hippies.” The sisters of Delta Zeta were seen as “socially awkward.”

Worried that a negative stereotype of the sorority was contributing to a decline in membership that had left its Greek-columned house here half empty, Delta Zeta’s national officers interviewed 35 DePauw members in November, quizzing them about their dedication to recruitment. They judged 23 of the women insufficiently committed and later told them to vacate the sorority house.

The 23 members included every woman who was overweight. They also included the only black, Korean and Vietnamese members. The dozen students allowed to stay were slender and popular with fraternity men — conventionally pretty women the sorority hoped could attract new recruits. Six of the 12 were so infuriated they quit.

“Virtually everyone who didn’t fit a certain sorority member archetype was told to leave,” said Kate Holloway, a senior who withdrew from the chapter during its reorganization.“I sensed the disrespect with which this was to be carried out and got fed up,” Ms. Holloway added. “I didn’t have room in my life for these women to come in and tell my sisters of three years that they weren’t needed.”

Ms. Holloway is not the only angry one. The reorganization has left a messy aftermath of recrimination and tears on this rural campus of 2,400 students, 50 miles southwest of Indianapolis.The mass eviction battered the self-esteem of many of the former sorority members, and some withdrew from classes in depression. There have been student protests, outraged letters from alumni and parents, and a faculty petition calling the sorority’s action unethical.

DePauw’s president, Robert G. Bottoms, issued a two-page letter of reprimand to the sorority.

In an interview in his office, Dr. Bottoms said he had been stunned by the sorority’s insensitivity.“I had no hint they were going to disrupt the chapter with a membership reduction of this proportion in the middle of the year,” he said. “It’s been very upsetting.”

The president of Delta Zeta, which has its headquarters in Oxford, Ohio, and its other national officers declined to be interviewed. Responding by e-mail to questions, Cynthia Winslow Menges, the executive director, said the sorority had not evicted the 23 women, even though the national officers sent those women form letters that said: “The membership review team has recommended you for alumna status. Chapter members receiving alumnae status should plan to relocate from the chapter house no later than Jan. 29, 2007.”

Ms. Menges asserted that the women themselves had, in effect, made their own decisions to leave by demonstrating a lack of commitment to meet recruitment goals. The sorority paid each woman who left $300 to cover the difference between sorority and campus housing.The sorority “is saddened that the isolated incident at DePauw has been mischaracterized,” Ms. Menges wrote. Asked for clarification, the sorority’s public relations representative e-mailed a statement saying its actions were aimed at the “enrichment of student life at DePauw.”

This is not the first time that the DePauw chapter of Delta Zeta has stirred controversy. In 1982, it attracted national attention when a black student was not allowed to join, provoking accusations of racial discrimination.Earlier this month, an Alabama lawyer and several other DePauw alumni who graduated in 1970 described in a letter to The DePauw, the student newspaper, how Delta Zeta’s national leadership had tried unsuccessfully to block a young woman with a black father and a white mother from joining its DePauw chapter in 1967.

Despite those incidents, the chapter appears to have been home to a diverse community over the years, partly because it has attracted brainy women, including many science and math majors, as well as talented disabled women, without focusing as exclusively as some sororities on potential recruits’ sex appeal, former sorority members said.“I had a sister I could go to a bar with if I had boy problems,” said Erin Swisshelm, a junior biochemistry major who withdrew from the sorority in October. “I had a sister I could talk about religion with. I had a sister I could be nerdy about science with. That’s why I liked Delta Zeta, because I had all these amazing women around me.”

But over the years DePauw students had attached a negative stereotype to the chapter, as evidenced by the survey that Pam Propsom, a psychology professor, conducts each year in her class. That image had hurt recruitment, and the national officers had repeatedly warned the chapter that unless its membership increased, the chapter could close.

At the start of the fall term the national office was especially determined to raise recruitment because 2009 is the 100th anniversary of the DePauw chapter’s founding. In September, Ms. Menges and Kathi Heatherly, a national vice president of the sorority, visited the chapter to announce a reorganization plan they said would include an interview with each woman about her commitment. The women were urged to look their best for the interviews.T

he tone left four women so unsettled that they withdrew from the chapter almost immediately.

Robin Lamkin, a junior who is an editor at The DePauw and was one of the 23 women evicted, said many of her sisters bought new outfits and modeled them for each other before the interviews. Many women declared their willingness to recruit diligently, Ms. Lamkin said.

A few days after the interviews, national representatives took over the house to hold a recruiting event. They asked most members to stay upstairs in their rooms. To welcome freshmen downstairs, they assembled a team that included several of the women eventually asked to stay in the sorority, along with some slender women invited from the sorority’s chapter at Indiana University, Ms. Holloway said.“They had these unassuming freshman girls downstairs with these plastic women from Indiana University, and 25 of my sisters hiding upstairs,” she said. “It was so fake, so completely dehumanized. I said, ‘This calls for a little joke.’ ”Ms. Holloway put on a wig and some John Lennon rose-colored glasses, burst through the front door and skipped around singing, “Ooooh! Delta Zeta!” and other chants.

The face of one of the national representatives, she recalled, “was like I’d run over her puppy with my car.”The national representatives announced their decisions in the form letters, delivered on Dec. 2, which said that Delta Zeta intended to increase membership to 95 by the 2009 anniversary, and that it would recruit using a “core group of women.”Elizabeth Haneline, a senior computer science major who was among those evicted, returned to the house that afternoon and found some women in tears. Even the chapter’s president had been kicked out, Ms. Haneline said, while “other women who had done almost nothing for the chapter were asked to stay.”

Six of the 12 women who were asked to stay left the sorority, including Joanna Kieschnick, a sophomore majoring in English literature. “They said, ‘You’re not good enough’ to so many people who have put their heart and soul into this chapter that I can’t stay,” she said.

In the months since, Cynthia Babington, DePauw’s dean of students, has fielded angry calls from parents, she said. Robert Hershberger, chairman of the modern languages department, circulated the faculty petition; 55 professors signed it.“We were especially troubled that the women they expelled were less about image and more about academic achievement and social service,” Dr. Hershberger said.

During rush activities this month, 11 first-year students accepted invitations to join Delta Zeta, but only three have sought membership.

On Feb. 2, Rachel Pappas, a junior who is the chapter’s former secretary, printed 200 posters calling on students to gather that afternoon at the student union. About 50 students showed up and heard Ms. Pappas say the sorority’s national leaders had misrepresented the truth when they asserted they had evicted women for lack of commitment.“The injustice of the lies,” she said, “is contemptible.”


browneyedsoul06 said...

Catherine MacKinnon must be having a fit about this story. The woman who specifically outlined why beauty standards were contemptible and complete trash would not know why these women chose to objectify themselves and resort to such offensive, hurtful methods of driving up membership to their sorority. Not only does this further the stereotype of women being catty and looks obsessed, but the stereotypes about sororities being vicious and exclusive beyond anyone’s means. If I were in a position of power at DePauw University, I would recommend that the sorority at least be put on long-term probation and the members responsible for what occurred not be allowed back in (if not simply have the charter revoked), due to the fact that behavior like this is unacceptable. Plain and simple, these women are not doing anything positive or uplifting for themselves or their sorority with their velvet rope-like standards for admission. They’re counteracting the hard work of real women everywhere who truly desire to be equal. I was glad to see that there was a sizeable amount of long-term members (such as the admirable Ms. Holloway) that made the move to discontinue their membership with the sorority, as well as the support coming from the university. Though this kind of issue surely won’t disappear overnight, it seems that DePauw University is going to try and do something about it to stop it dead in it’s tracks.

gorefan said...

When will people (not just those in Delta Zeta but also those in many public schools, much of the media, and the fashion world) wake up and understand that people are not intended to be perfect little Barbie dolls? Almost everybody, if not absolutely everbody, has some sort of blemish or defect, be it a mole, a dimple, an unusual birthmark, acne trouble, weight problems or scars.I am certain that even people like Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum, Cindy Crawford and Claudia Schiffer have physical imperfections of some form or the other.
If it were not for vanity, we would not have quite as many health problems in this country as we do today. We would not have as much lung cancer, emphysema, or other ghastly respiratory illnesses (many people smoke because they have a fear of gaining wieght after the nicotine is gone). We would not have nearly as much anorexia or bulimia. We certainly would not have as many people deciding to go through dangerous surgery simply in order to have larger breasts or smaller abdomens.
We would also be much richer without vanity. We would not be squandering the hundreds (or, in many cases, thousands) of dollars that go toward upfront costs for all of the special medicines and operations that are purely for cosmetic purposes. We would also save thousands of dollars in medical costs because, as I pointed out earlier, we would not have nearly as many cases of malnutriition, lung disease, or surgery complications.

Lokanda said...

First of all I would like to say that I know what it is like to be Greek and to go through complications with the national fraternity. I have never had to encounter anything that was near the level of this. The school that they were at only has 2,400 students. Morehead State University has roughly 6,000 students on the campus and has a high rate of students that are Greek. Of those that are Greek is somewhere around 500, give or take a few. With 500 Greek students, 6 sororities and 12 fraternities, the average size for a sorority is around 30. The highest is 64 and the lowest is about 12-15. With all of this information how can a school of 2,400 expect to reach recruitment goals of 95 in two years and only accept the “cover girl” image women? It is wrong to deny the right of ladies into an organization based on there looks or race. I personally can’t believe that this happened and that the national headquarters didn’t take into consideration the aftermath of this situation. Kicking out 23 girls, 20 being “overweight” and the other 3 being of Korean, Vietnamese, and African decent. This took there chapter to 12 and 6 of those quit. What were these people thinking doing something like this? Every alumnus for this sorority is outraged, the school’s administration is outraged and the professors and parents are outraged. This is absolutely humiliating for DePauw University and to this Delta Zeta across the nation. We have a Delta Zeta chapter here at Morehead State and they would never do this. If their nationals were to come and do something like that at Morehead, half of the 500 students that are Greek would not be any longer. I ashamed to be Greek because of this and it outrageous that things like this can happen. I just can’t get over this article, but I will stop here.

East_KY said...

This honestly didn’t come as much of a shock to me. I think that is a class example for all those who say that discrimination and racism are getting better. If you are looking at this sorority, then it is definitely not. However, I believe that a lot of sororities have very selective standards, though maybe not to this point. Not all the blame can be layed at the feet of the sorority. I mean, who created this unrealistic image that most women simply do not fall into? It’s the culture we live in. We as a society value beauty over intelligence and personality. Television and other forms of popular entertainment socialize girls from a early age that they are supposed to look a certain way. However, I do believe that this sorority took it way too far. I honestly don’t see them having a very long future if something drastic doesn’t change. I am reminded of how outraged feminists would be with these sorority’s actions. It seems to defeat the purpose. Women know that they do not have equal rights. So it would make more sense for them to stick together rather that fight amongst themselves. How do they expect to get ahead when they can’t find unity as a group?

Anonymous said...

DancingChef said. . . . .
I can honesty say that when I read that article that I was not shocked and that I could have told you that myself. I could not believe that they kicked out 23 of their member because they did not fit this cookie cutter image of what a Delta Zeta should look like. Sororities are known to be based on traditional values and sisterhood, which makes since on why this sorority kicked those 23 girls out. In the ‘unspoken’ traditions of sorority members are suppose to be thin and pretty. We have even talked in class that centuries ago that women were suppose to be educated to in appearance so they will know how to dress, do their hair, put on make-up so that men will find them attractive and they will become married. Sororities are just ‘modern schools’ were women are trained in appearances. That is why all sorority girls fit this cookie cutter image, to be trained in appearance. The member who failed to learn these ‘unspoken’ traditions and did not fit that cookie cutter image of the Sorority, failed their education in appearance and were let go for room for those girls who could/would fit that old-time femininity. This behavior will not stop anytime soon I fear, because it is view as tradition.

osubuckeye said...

After reading this article, and seeing this story on the news, I am so outraged. I cannot understand how Nationals of a sorority could ever select women to be members just based on their looks. Catherine MacKinnon is without a doubt upset over this. After all, saying that only the “Barbie doll” figure is what a sorority is looking for is completely sexists and degrading to all women. I am part of the Greek system here at Morehead State. Granted I have only been a member since the fall of 2006, but now that we are getting ready for recruitment next fall, we are learning that we DO NOT choose members based on looks. All sororities should choose their members based on their character, intelligence, and leadership skills. As for the women of Delta Zeta that were not kicked out, I applaud the six of the twelve that did quit. That shows a lot of character and courage to quit and to stand up for their sisters. Nationals of Delta Zeta helped to put a negative image on all of Greek life, which is something that we definitely don’t need a Greek group to be doing, we have enough negative comments being thrown around at us, for example Barbara Walters on the View bashing all sororities and fraternities over this issue. Not all Greek groups do this, in fact hardly any are to say that “shallow” morally.

mckendree5454 said...
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mckendree5454 said...

I’d like to start out by saying I don’t believe what the girls did was right, I don’t condone that type of behavior, and this article disturbs me greatly. In saying that, this article should not even be in the news. Delta Zeta should be able to accept who they want to for any reason they want to. The girls were pressured with continued low enrollment would lead to getting rid of the Delta Zeta chapter in DePauw. Still with that fact, the girls should not have got rid of the “ugly girls.” The rest of the students should not even think about joining the sorority that would treat young ladies as the way this sorority did. The article even said that “the chapter appears to have been home to a diverse community over the years, partly because it has attracted brainy women, including many science and math majors, as well as talented disabled women.” So the sorority would have prided themselves on that fact. I’m sure that Mackinnon and other feminists would say that this degrades women because the pretty girls are getting to stay in the sorority and get an advantage. I think in today’s society though which isn’t perfect that women will have to deal with this. The prettier girls usually get the advantage when it comes to getting ahead in life.

tbugg04 said...

Our society is so obsessed with beauty that it just makes me sick. I’m not trying to say that I’ve never been cough up in it before because that would be a lie but really some of the things people do just make me so mad. What really kills me about this article is that they tried to cover up the fact of why they kicked out those girls. Really I mean who wants to admit that they didn’t let someone be in a group because they didn’t fit a certain look? They try to say that these girls were asked to leave because of their lack of involvement; maybe just maybe do you think that was because they didn’t feel welcome? I am kind of biased about this subject because I am not the biggest fan of the Greek life. I know that some people will beg to differ but I think it seems like beauty plays a big part in whether or not people get accepted into sororities. Maybe this incident will be a catalyst to bring to light some of the corrupt things that go on in these groups.

Nichole said...

Well, I can’t really say that I am surprised at the actions taken, but I am rather surprised at the stupidity displayed by the leaders of Delta Zeta. Well, no, I guess I’m not really. I am well aware of the stupidity exercised by people in cliques. And, for you sorority and fraternity members out there, retract thou claws, I just mean people in large groups tend to be stupid in general, no matter what purpose they come together for. Any situation is exacerbated when you get too many people together, because more attention is drawn to them and after awhile the idea that they need to follow certain standards and rules to achieve and stay strong is the overall consensus. Screw that.
Durkheim would say our world is created for us by society, not that I agree…but I can see it from that perspective, but I tend to take Weber’s middle road type stance. “The Beauty Myth”…read Naomi Wolf people… so accurately subtitled “How Images of Beauty Are Used Against Women” fits perfectly here. It is still the belief of this culture that looking like a supermodel is far more important, interesting, and drawing to the world than having a good head on your shoulders with a nice full brain in it! The thing I understand least of all is the fact that the majority of the sisters were turned away, and half of the ones left, left the group! I mean, it seems to me that would be an indication that, oh, I don’t know…it was a bad fucking idea! Good job on not meeting your quota, getting ridiculously bad press, and making an attempt to set women back another, oh, 10 years.
I just hate the idea of a group of people coming together based on looks. Seriously, everything I hear on campus about fraternities and sororities are terrible. Personally, I want to think of the charitable work done, the friendships created, but how can kicking out women based on their looks be seen as charitable and friendly? Also, it says in the article that “[t]he sisters of Delta Zeta were seen as ‘socially awkward.’” Well, uhm, perhaps that is because every other group on campus was put together based on archetypes and when the one group steps out and changes itself, it’s looked upon as the outcast group. Does Sigma Sigma Sigma on OUR campus ring any bells?

jimboaimstrong said...

Wow. There are so many wrong and misguided actions exposed in this article. The most outrageous, and oddly least talked about, was the quote, “the only black, Korean, and Vietnamese members” in regards as those who were (ignoring the one members euphemism of saying it was the members choice to leave the house, they simply suggested it) booted from the sorority house. This is blatantly racist! By doing this the Delta Zetas are says (and this if from the top down) that white is the only color which is beautiful. That any other race is inferior to the majesty that the heads of this organization see as Caucasian. I think, as I hope you do as well, that this action alone should garner great punishment for the entire organization.
Furthermore, the very fact that these women are paying to live in this house, and are paying as well as volunteering to be in this organization but are still prosecuted for appearance is absurd. It seems like none of these actions, especially booting members, will raise membership rates. Good luck you self-serving bastards.

Buck_FuSh_9 said...

After being on campus for as long as I have I can tell you that I was never a fan of "Greekness" to begin with and this article makes me support my opinion even more. I am sure feminists, individuals who have tried to better the status of female gender, like MacKinnon are steaming with anger. The actions and implications exemplified by the Delta Zeta sorority relapse back to the image that women are nothing more than a piece of ass, hair color, or body type. It is as if intellect, substance, or being brainy works only if you have a penis. It is a shame and it sends the wrong message: if you are not blond, white, or beautiful you are not worthy of anything. With as much pressure placed upon women today to be a certain way, to be a status quo, actions like this teach appearance is more important than anything. The aforementioned thought is what is scary because if we, as a society, will have an epidemic on our hands. It is bad enough that selfish, shopaholic twits like Paris Hilton get more air time than other women who are actually trying to better the world. Little girls today are being trained to care more about what kind of doggie purse they have than what is going on in other parts of the world. In twenty years time what will the aftershocks of the actions of organizations like Delta Zeta be for both women and society?

no_names_available said...

After reading this article I went back and read some more from different publications. I have been rather interested in this because my roommate just joined this sorority here and she wanted to know more. What nationals did was wrong, but I don’t think they had much of a choice.
From what has been said one Facebook from one of the girls who was kicked out was that the sorority was going to shut down because recruitment was bad, so the president of the Dupaw chapter asked Nationals to step in. The president (the girl I talked to) was one of the girls kicked out.
The New York Times skewed the story to sound like the only girls who were kicked out were of ethnic decent, or heavy. There were girls who were the stereotypical sorority girl who were kicked out also. What nationals were trying to do was help the sorority stay at that school, but after the much un-needed publicity the chapter had to shut down.
What I don’t understand about this while incident was the chapter on this campus did not try to publicize that they are not like this and that the chapter here was safe. They just kept they mouths shut and now they are probably going to see a drop in recruitment because of it.

no_names_available said...
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no_names_available said...

Browneyesoul06- I would have never put the two together just you did a good job. I would have to agree. Beauty standard suck and I wish there were none because by typical beauty standard I am unattractive, which isn’t good for me. Nor women or men should be looked at just by how pretty they are.
What happened at the DZ house at Depauw was awful, but if we look at the beauty standard technically wasn’t nationals in the right. So it is the nations standards that got those girls kicked out.
It doesn’t look like the charter needs to be put on probation the charter has been lost and they do not plan to ever let it come back.

liberal for life said...

I was interested into reading this article because I myself am apart of a sorority. I think what happened with the Delta Zeta chapter at DePauw is dehumanizing. I don’t believe it is a coincidence that all the 23 girls asked to take on alumnae status were overweight and “different” from the other 12. I believe it is honorable that 6 of the 12 quit themselves after this incident. This is unacceptable in the Greek world and just helps give us a bad name. There are already so many stereotypes and this just perpetuates it even more. The executive board members can say that they we “reorganizing” but I think it was just pure discrimination. I am glad that my sorority is not based on silly factors such as how many fraternity boys you know and what is your weight. Sorority is not about this stuff it about women depending on women and helping one another through the hard times.

Lindsay said...

Though Delta Zeta has the unfortunate right to exclude any member it wants, this article is particularly disturbing. It is hard enough when men expect women to conform to a specific standard of beauty in order to be accepted both by men and by society. It is even harder when it is our sisters who require us to conform to these standards in order to be accepted. These girls have internalized what men have told them is beautiful, and have sacrificed the virtues of academics and sisterhood in order to provide men with these standards of beauty in the futile hopes of being accepted. The fact that they picked women who were popular with fraternity men is especially sad, proving that they are measuring their worth based on what men think of them. We have to realize that we mustn't define our own self-worth by how attractive we are to men. And this Delta Zeta chapter must also realize they must not define each other's worth this way.

On a side note, if it was increasing recruitment they were after, I have a feeling this may have backfired. . .

open_minded said...

Where should I even start with this? The whole Greek system is, in my opinion, a HUGE waste of what could otherwise be nice people. For every nice frat guy I know or sorority girl who is actually genuinely nice, I know a dozen who are complete assholes.

This purely social system exalts conformity and exclusivity, while trying to convince itself that it holds ideals of scholarship and chairty. If the admission was made by these groups that, yes, they discriminate to ensure only certain types of people are accepted, and yes, as social groups their primary concerns are parties and mixers with each other I'd at least respect their honesty.

I just fail to see why groups whose only membership requirments are conformity and moeny are so exalted, while organizations based on good GPAs like Phi Sigma Pi and professional socities like Pi Sigma Alpha are scorned. It just doesn't make sense.

This whole aricle is just an example of the uselessness of these social cliques. Makes me glad I'm an GDI.

retro_liberal said...

Ok, as I am apparently the only slacker who’s posting this late (god bless procrastination). I’m not gonna really focus too much on my hatred of the entire Greek system. Instead, I’m going to rant about a concept I call the “Ideal Feminine.” Now, I may have heard that, and thus be stealing it, from some other source, but I disgress.

The Ideal Feminine is not a smart woman, she isn’t well versed in the classics, nor is she up to date on current events. Instead she is more concerned with mascara and high heels than Presidential elections and the War in Iraq. Her own, to steal a phrase from Dr. Goldey, miliuex is centralized on fashion sense and social status. She is, for all intents and purposes Regina George from Mean Girls.

This is what Delta Zeta wants, women who can attract the frat boys. Women who make the other sororities look ugly by comparison, not women of actual substance or value to society. No, those women are socially frowned upon and not seen as having any real intrinsic value. And why is that? Well, because smart, well learned, powerful, confident women present a threat to the White Male power structure of society.

MaxTurmoil said...

I read this article. I didn't get outraged like so many others. Now don't get me wrong, this is unacceptable especially considering the idea behind Greek systems is to promote leadership, honor, and community service. As part of a Greek organization on campus. We do have names for other sororities This article goes to show however that racism and sexism is going down the new number one people discriminated against is those that are overweight and ugly. Overweight people get ridiculed more than anyone. Unattractive people get sour treatment from those that are considered beautiful. This is evident is every facet of life. If you are pretty you are given more opportunities and are not overlooked. Take for example the pretty lawyer who raises through the ranks quicker because shes easier on the eyes than that slightly overweight feminist working probably twice as hard. When I was younger I had a part time job at Wendy's and if you were good looking you got much better service than if you came in and were fat or just unattractive. This is not right and beauty has been escalated beyond any reasonable comprehension. Maybe Dr. Kings words will be amended when someday when we will be judged by the content of our character and not by our looks.

Mr. Moneybags said...

The White Male power structure is not threatened by a sorority asking certain members to leave because they did not meet criteria. I promote strong idealistic women to stand up for what they believe in as long as it makes sense. Logic is the key basis of any argument, and not circular logic like used in evolution, but chain logic.

These women where wronged by their dismissal from the sorority. The chapter’s national officers where obviously not intelligent enough to develop a solution that wouldn't deplete there numbers. This disassociation from using your mind is where many women like to find themselves to attract men or to find acceptance. This is disappointing in a society of individualistic thought. Appearance is the first impression, but like William Bennett mentioned we needed to strive for a color-blind society, we need to also strive for a first impression beauty blind society. This because of the media will never occur. However, we as individuals can attempt to find the person inside before passing final judgment upon people. This was part of Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream; we need to find "the content of people’s character". This article presents us with the unique opportunity to see what college students in America are faced with everyday. They have to attend class, go to work, maintain social balance, and look good while doing so to be accepted. Otherwise, they could be swiftly removed form their organizations by superficial morons.

Anonymous said...


I agree with most in saying that this occurance really dont come as much as a shock to me, and I am sure is just one example of one branch of the greek society that has done this before, just the others havent been publicized as much. Now I wouldnt go as far as to demonise all greek society programs like this one has been and to label the group as superfical assholes like this situation clearly demonstrates.
There are many that you can see for yourself this type of behavior doesnt occur at.
What I found the be the most amusing part of the article is how the main leaders of DZ tried to dance around and come up a horrible attempt at justifing this branches actions. I think they would of been alot better off just freely admitting the the overtly obvious discrimination that was apparent here. By not doing so it really calls into question their motives and really makes people think this isnt such an isolated case.

raiden5060 said...

What is most upsetting to me I think is that this story didn’t come as much of a shock when I first heard about it. Our society has placed such a higher esteem on vanity than on high esteem (clever turn of phrase, huh ;) ) that it is no wonder that the sorority thought that their only recourse to increase their membership was to cut the fat, so to speak.
I think that our culture has really gone overboard with all the vanity and shallowness. I’m not sure if this phenomenon is exclusive to our society, and I highly doubt that it is (in fact, I’m certain that it isn’t), but it does need to be addressed. Why do we value looks so much more than personality? Would it really be so bad to be surrounded by not so glamorous individuals with warm personalities than to surround ourselves with pretty vegetables? I think the answer is clear. Obviously we want the pretty vegetables, but why?
I think this issue just reflects the larger problems of society, rather than those exclusive to this particular sorority. All of our society is doing this exact same thing (plastic surgery is just one example), so is it really so surprising when Greek organizations start as well?

kingkong said...

This article didn’t really shock me. I have heard stories that some sororities only let the pretty girls in or whatever. But not letting 23 girls into a sorority just because they didn't fit a certain body type is pretty ridiculous. Not everybody is perfect and has the prefect model body like people on TV. Everybody is different and has different flaws. I don't think sororities or fraternities should base the decision on whether you get in on the basis of people's body types. What is really bad is that our society has made this image that girls have to be a certain body type and have a certain hair color and that’s just not how it is. The Delta Zeta sorority seems really shallow to me because they didn't those girls into there sorority. So it is really not surprising that a sorority would do something like this because of the stereotype that society puts on woman. It is sad that the Delta Zeta Sorority was going off of looks rather then the personality of the girls. Also it blows my mind that when the girls of Delta Zeta were interviewed about this that they where trying to beat around the bush and make up some BS as to why they didn’t let the girls into the sorority. So this article really doesn’t surprise me all that much.

i.c. toowell said...

Wow, where do I start with a story like this, it’s almost like it was sent down from the heavens. There’s nothing better when American values are stretched to their limits. This scenario is terrible; it affects the whole DePauw campus. The evicted girls are embarrassed, hurt, and sent further into already whirlwind that is everyday college life. The administration has to handle the publicity and the parents are in charge of fighting for their devastated daughters. On top of that, an already tarnished image of Greek system gets another sizable mark against it.
But with all this said, Delta Zeta, as a private organization and as social instruction without ties to the government, it has every right to determine its membership, even if that means kicking out 23 perfectly nice girls. It’s hard to look at the situation like that, it truly is, but the freedom to conjugate without restraint is key to America’s founding principles. Furthermore, if the organization in question is secretive in their ways, it’s hard to make a case that their national headquarters weren’t justified in dismissing certain members. Sororities, by nature, are all things girly and along with that, emotions run high and drama fills every situation. If a girl is willing to put herself in that sort of situation, then she shouldn’t be apposed to the nature of the beast.