From today’s Indianapolis Star:
DePauw University has cut its ties to a national sorority that asked 23 members of its local chapter to leave because, the former sorority sisters said, they were not attractive enough.
University President Robert G. Bottoms announced the decision in a letter delivered this morning to Delta Zeta national president, Deborah A. Raziano.
“In summary, we at DePauw do not like the way our students were treated,” Bottoms said. “We at DePauw believe that the values of our university and those of Delta Zeta sorority are incompatible.” […]
“It is my decision to sever ties immediately with your national organization,” Bottoms wrote. “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.”
Good for DePauw for taking a stand on this. It’s been something of a counterexample to the axiom of “there’s no such thing as bad publicity” for them, because in the media, DePauw’s name has been linked to the behavior of the national Delta Zeta organization, while in fact DePauw’s been behaving admirably. That’s the cost of doing business with a parallel organization — if they do something good, you get part of the credit, but if they screw up, it looks like you screwed up.
I was wondering the other day if there were any examples on record where a university, for whatever reason, just turned around and said “No thanks, we don’t want you here anymore” to a Greek organization. It seems like most of the time, universities try to retain Greeks at any price. DePauw sort of did that here, although DZ’s actions made it easy.
Clarification: What I mean here is, are there any examples on record of a university divesting itself of a Greek organization, not because of “bad behavior” that forces the university’s hand, but because the university just decides they don’t want them anymore for reasons sort of like “incompatible values”? It seems like the only time you ever hear of Greek organizations getting thrown off campus, it’s because they’ve done something illegal or extremely untoward. What if the university just gets tired of them, or decides that it wants to go a certain direction institutionally and doesn’t want the Greeks along for the ride?