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University Drops Sorority Accused of Image Discrimination

GREENCASTLE, Ind. — DePauw University announced Monday it has severed ties with the Delta Zeta sorority, where a mass eviction of members left people questioning whether looks and appearance were valued more than academics and other contributions.

“We at DePauw believe that the values of our university and those of Delta Zeta sorority are incompatible,” university President Robert G. Bottoms wrote in a letter delivered today to the sorority’s national president, Deborah A. Raziano.

A call to the executive director of the national Delta Zeta organization was not immediately returned today.

The sorority’s members have long had a reputation as being brainy rather than party girls. The chapter started the school year with just 35 women, leaving the house two-thirds empty on a campus where 70 percent of students join the Greek system.

Efforts to improve those numbers — and, some contend, the sorority’s image — prompted Delta Zeta’s national leadership to conduct a review to determine members’ commitment to recruiting. As a result, it moved 23 members to alumnae status in December, evicting them from the sorority house. Six others left on their own.

Rachel Pappas, a junior who left in protest, said the 23 women were discriminated against. “You wonder what it could be other than the image issue,” she said.

–Associated Press

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