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Two DePauw Students -- Both Former Members of Delta Zeta -- Appear Live on Good Morning America

Two DePauw Students -- Both Former Members of Delta Zeta -- Appear Live on Good Morning America

February 27, 2007

Also: New York Times Story on "Membership Review"

Discriminiation on Campus ABC News screen with DePauw studentsFebruary 27, 2007, Greencastle, Ind. - The decision by Delta Zeta's national sorority to ask 23 of its members to take alumna status and leave the DePauw University chapter Video Link [Download Video: "Good Morning America on DZ" - 965kb] "infuriated past and present members of Delta Zeta, known for its diverse membership," reported ABC's Good Morning America. "And the matter has this small University 50 miles from Indianapolis up in arms," reported Robin Roberts on this morning's program, describing DePauw as a "prestigious Midwestern University."

Cindy Babington, dean of students at DePauw, says of DZ's national leadership, "These were adults, a national organization who came in and did this to our students."

Delta Zeta HouseRoberts points out that the Video Link [Download Video: "Image Issues" - 2004kb] "sisters allege that the 23 expelled included overweight, black and Asian members, while the sorority kept members who were popular with fraternity boys."

After the taped segment, in which former members described how national leaders told them they needed to pay more attention to their appearance, two DePauw students who are former members of Delta Zeta were live on GMA's New York City set.

Lyndsay Moy from TV footageLynsay Moy, a double major in vocal performance and studio art, was forced to leave the DZ house by the national leadership of the sorority. Video Link [Download Video: "Lynsay Moy" - 1322kb] "We were never given any reason. No one was ever given any explanation, even though several times we asked for one ... You know, you pledge an organization and you fall in love with the girls that you're with and you become devoted to a sorority and then you're told you're not good enough."

Joanna Kieschnick (pictured below right), a DePauw junior who was invited to stay in the Delta Zeta house but chose to leave, explained her decision: Video Link [Download Video: "Joanna Kieschnick" - 1433kb] "These are my sisters, these are my friends. I love these women and I've seen them pour their heart and souls into the chapter and just to see this done to them [with] no reason given, it was just a form letter ... I don't want to be a puppet for the national organization. I want to be me," she told ABC.

Joana Kieschnick headshotIn the wake of the DZ incident, "DePauw University will tighten oversight of its sororities and fraternities," reports today's Indianapolis Star, citing President Robert G. Bottoms' letter of reprimand to the national leadership of Delta Zeta.

In the Star story, Kate Holloway, a former DZ, offers her thoughts on the actions taken by the sorority's national officers. "It strikes me as very wrong that this kind of conformity is being encouraged, especially on a college campus like DePauw. There are so many smart and talented women." Holloway -- a Media Fellow who had articles published with her byline when she interned at USA Today as a junior -- adds, "I think what angered me most is that -- it's the disrespect with which this whole ordeal was carried out."

CNN footage of three sorority sisters sackedAs a result of the work started by the Greek Fact-Finding Commission last summer, Staci Hupp writes, "University officials have worked on new 'living standards' for fraternities and sororities, which trustees are expected to approve in April ... A provision was added to prevent what happened to Delta Zeta."

"It really was a statement of wanting our Greek system to be stronger," Cindy Babington, dean of students at DePauw, says. "Many other schools, small schools particularly, have let their Greek systems self-destruct, and we didn't want to let that happen."

Last night, former members of Delta Zeta were the subject of the lead item on CNN's Paula Zahn Now as well as reports on local television stations.

The letter of reprimand that the stories refer to -- sent by President Bottoms to Deborah A. Raziano, national president of Delta Zeta -- can be accessed by clicking here. A December 20, 2006 note to the campus community and other information on the DZ situation can be found here.

Source: Good Morning America/ABC