Something is wrong at DePauw

Dateline: Mon 12 Mar 2007

The New York Times reported today that DePauw University has severed its ties with Delta Zeta national sorority -- you know, the witches who visited campus and kicked out 23 members based on "image."

That's credible on DePauw's part, but campus insiders say the university has a history of tolerating flagrant abuses in its Greek system. In the past, I covered a sorority there where older members, called "moms," inflicted cigarette burns on little sisters as part of a hazing ritual. One girl's burns were bad enough to pose a risk of infection, and when she went to the Putnam County Hospital, the sorority's cover was blown.

The national publicity has been disastrous for DePauw. While I always thought of it as a strong school academically, I am told by many young people that it's simply considered a safe, clubby place to go -- where well-off young men and women are sheltered and protected by a Greek system as well as parental dough.

I say DePauw should hold an open forum on its Greek system and expose the problems there, with the idea of making changes. Nobody is saying "Greek bad, independent good." Everyone knows the benefits of well-run Greek organizations. But this is over the top. Time to clean house.

P.S., Thanks to fellow writer Jim Burns for sending me this link. Thank you, Seneca.


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