On Saturday the national organization of Delta Delta Delta came to Bloomington to shut down the local chapter’s operations.
The national organization claims the chapter had acted inappropriately and failed to abide by the sorority’s standards. For now, Tri Delt’s greek letters have been taken down, and its status remains unknown. The announcement was met with anger and confusion from the chapter and primarily members’ parents, who have been vocal about their concerns.
One mother, Catherine White, started a change.org petition to encourage the national organization to reinstate the sorority at IU. At the time of publication, the petition had 1,142 supporters on the website. Those who signed said they want to make the national chapter understand their anger. Tri Delt nationals were not available for comment.
White said even if their daughters did do something inappropriate or unlawful, it is still wrong for nationals to keep them in the dark while punishing them. That’s why several parents have hired a lawyer to petition their case for reinstatement, she said.
White said from what parents and the sorority understand the girls are being punished for no reason.
“All girls — I don’t buy that,” White said. “Disrespectful to who? Give me the details, and it doesn’t seem like it’s backed up.”
She said her daughter, sophomore Francesca White, is a good student and does not deserve to be treated poorly. Catherine White’s concerns were echoed by Laura Schoch and Connie Hudson, both mothers of sophomores in the sorority.
“If you are not telling me, and you are kicking them off campus, it leads me to think that it’s something really bad,” Schoch said.
She said the women are feeling frustrated and misrepresented for alleged actions that their nationals have not specified, and the lack of communication leads her to think something bad is going on and that the nationals are trying to cover up something.
Hudson, another concerned mother and voice against the shut down, said she had a better understanding of what was going on after talking to the house’s executive board Sunday for a couple hours. She said the nationals were enraged because of some comments made by the sorority members in poor taste.
It has to be more because that would be too petty a reason to shut down a chapter, especially when the girls had been working toward getting off probation, she said.
“The nationals had set timelines where they would meet with them,” Hudson said. “When the girls tried to meet with them, nationals would say they were busy or on vacation. They weren’t supporting the girls at all.”
She also said, as far as she understands, nationals went behind the women’s backs by accessing one of their computers with recruitment photos and comments. One of the comments described a woman as being too much of a “Jewish American princess” and another too “bitchy.” It was these comments that set things in motion, Hudson said.
She said she was not going to stand back and let her daughter’s name be dragged in the mud for unclear infractions.
She wanted to speak up for the chapter in this confusing time, she said. White, who created the petition to nationals, said she knew everything was not right but did not suspect such a drastic action. She knew that they had to keep their probationary status from their recruits, but she did not think things would end how they did.
When she visited two weekends ago for mom’s weekend she said she heard concerns from other moms. Schoch was one of the parents who tried to contact nationals about the status of the chapter going through recruitment and the rest of the school year but could not get an answer.
The parents have hired Peter French of Benesch Law in Indianapolis. French said he did not know enough about the case to comment just yet. However, he said their goal was to reverse the decision.
Schoch said her daughter is confused and this decision could not have come at a worse time. This is midterm week, and the women are being dragged in and out of meetings, and trying to secure their house or other housing options while juggling a lot of emotions.
The most astonishing part is that they do not know exactly why this all happened, she said.
“It’s like throwing someone in jail and not telling them why,” Schoch said. “They are in this jail, and no one is listening to them. They are saying ‘we didn’t do that. We didn’t do anything wrong,’ and no one is listening.”
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