Delta, Delta, Delta, Can I Help Ya, Help Ya, Help Ya?

by Evil HR Lady on February 28, 2007

You would think that with my naturally sunny disposition and tendency towards fashion perfection that I would have been in a sorority in college. Alas, you would be wrong. I actually attended a university that did not allow them, but even if they were allowed, I would never have joined one. Not my thing.

First, let me say that I believe in freedom of association and that you should be able to choose your own friends–and therefore choose who to exclude. I believe (perhaps incorrectly) that sororities (and fraternities) are technically social organization and can make there own rules. Discriminating on the basis of race is still probably illegal, but I don’t know. I’m not, after all, a lawyer. (Perhaps my lawyer brother would like to comment.)

However, blatant and stupid discrimination and forcing out people is wrong, wrong, and wrong. Delta Zeta should be ashamed of themselves.

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.

I love the six that were “allowed” to stay that quit. I would probably not be friends anymore with the six who stayed.

In business, when we hire people we want people with the necessary skills but who also “fit” into the department. Companies have “personalities” and cultures and some people don’t fit. For instance, someone who is very laid back would not “fit” on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange. The poor person, regardless of how smart he was, would not survive. Better not to hire him in the first place.

The problem the Delta Zeta sorority made was determining “fit” based on race and body size. See Evil HR Lady bang her head against the wall.

The scary thing is, I’m afraid this will “work” and the Sorority will attract the skinny, mean, drunken bimbos that are stereotypes of what a Sorority should be.

I’ve I was a Deta Zeta alumnae, I’d probably be taking that off my resume right about now.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen S. February 28, 2007 at 2:32 pm

On one hand…it serves them right. A whole house full of mean and superficial women would be the worst possible place to live, even if you are one of them. People would be stabbing people in the back constantly. Let all the bad eggs congregate in one place. It will make the rest of campus a much nicer place!

On the other hand…what they did was wrong. The alumni should step in and create the kind of environment they can be proud of.

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Anonymous March 1, 2007 at 3:19 am

I’m curious as to how this all plays out. The company I work for, works closely with DZ in regards to some of their publications.

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Evil HR Lady March 1, 2007 at 3:24 am

Anonymous–please keep me updated. I’m fascinated by this. I just can’t help wonder what they were thinking!

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rwellor March 5, 2007 at 1:50 am

I dunno.. I might stay in the sorority since it would be my bona fides for appearance/hotness.

But I’m shallow. ;-)

and a guy.. so it probably wouldn’t work…

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Anonymous March 6, 2007 at 3:32 am

I’ve heard a bit more info on the DZ stuff.

Everything isn’t in the news. It seems that the girls didn’t actually get kicked out, as has been reported. They have been given alumnae status. They are still members of the sorority, they just aren’t living in the sorority house any longer.

I’ve heard that they were given alumnae status (which is also mentioned in several articles online), even though they were in breach of their contractual obligations to the sorority. I’ve never been in a sorority, so I don’t know what sort of obligations they might have, but I imagine it probably has something to do with recruitment.

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Omar Cruz January 28, 2008 at 9:43 pm

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