The Delta Zeta sorority at DePauw University was having some recruiting problems – the normal ups and downs of Greek life. With falling numbers, the national office was a little concerned. With the 100th anniversary of the chapter's founding coming up, the nationals wanted to more than fix the problem – they wanted to reinvigorate the chapter. So some officers from the national office came to interview every member of the DePauw chapter. They suggested that the women dress up. They wanted to see who was really committed to recruitment.
When the national officers left, the sent form letters to 23 of the 35 women living in the sorority house notifying them that they had been moved to alumna status, and should vacate the house. The women who were evicted included all the fat and non-white women. The ones they kept were white and pretty. The chapter president was one of those tossed out. According to the women who were sent off, some of the ones kept by the nationals were not very active in the life of the chapter to begin with.
To their credit, six of the 12 women who were asked to stay also resigned in solidarity with their ejected sisters. Alumni, parents, other students, and many faculty members protested. The Delta Zeta national officers who conducted the purge would not comment, while the official responses from the sorority have been mealy-mouthed.
I agree that it is time for a big shake-up at Delta Zeta – not at the DePauw chapter, but at national headquarters.