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DePauw Severs Ties with Delta Zeta's National Organization

DePauw Severs Ties with Delta Zeta's National Organization

March 12, 2007

Letter to DZ's National President

East College Spring 2006.jpgMarch 12, 2007, Greencastle, Ind. - DePauw University has severed ties with the national organization of Delta Zeta, effective immediately. President Robert G. Bottoms announced the decision in a letter delivered this morning to the sorority's national president, Deborah A. Raziano, noting, "We at DePauw believe that the values of our University and those of Delta Zeta sorority are incompatible."

In December, in the wake of a "membership review" and just prior to final exams, Delta Zeta's national leadership decided to ask 23 women to take "alumna status" and leave the DePauw chapter house. Another six members of the sorority who were invited to stay instead moved out in protest. The former members of DZ say national leaders removed them from the chapter house because of their appearance, and that they had been active and supportive members of the sorority. Their story has been told in numerous national media outlets in recent weeks, including the New York Times, ABC's Good Morning America, People and Newsweek.dz abc.jpg

"In summary, we at DePauw do not like the way our students were treated," Dr. Bottoms states in today's missive. It follows a letter of reprimand, which was sent to DZ's national leadership February 19.

The president writes today that -- after a series of recent discussions with the displaced women, the DZ members who remain in the house, faculty members and DePauw DZ alumnae -- his "dissatisfaction with your organization continues to grow. I am proud of our DePauw students and the way they reacted to an unwarranted situation." Citing the "maturity" of the DePauw undergraduates, the president notes that communications from DZ national have attempted to "discredit" the women affected by the leadership's actions and have criticized DePauw faculty members who rallied to the women's support.

Bottoms also "vehemently" contests the assertion on Delta Zeta's Web site that the sorority's national leaders have "worked with the University" in recent months.

"It is my decision to sever ties immediately with your national delta zeta wthr.jpgorganization," he concludes. "Beginning in the fall 2007, Delta Zeta will not be recognized by the University. In the interim, I call upon you to allow Delta Zeta alumnae to support the local chapter for the remainder of the spring semester rather than your national organization."

Even before President Bottoms' letter was made public, the University offered support to the five women remaining in the Delta Zeta chapter.

Access the new letter to DZ national, as well as a message from President Bottoms to DePauw alumni and other communication, by clicking here.