sealPurdue News

April 23, 2002

Hazing causes sorority to lose recognition

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University officials said today (Tuesday, April 23) they have withdrawn recognition of the Zeta Theta chapter of Delta Sigma Theta sorority for hazing its incoming members.

"This was a very difficult decision," said Tamara Rice, assistant dean of students. "However, due to the severity and blatancy of university violations, we had no other choice than to remove their recognition."

Withdrawal of recognition means the sorority no longer exists as a student organization affiliated with Purdue and that it has no rights, privileges or protections associated with official recognition, said Pablo Malavenda, associate dean of students.

The sorority may appeal the decision to the Campus Appeals Board no later than April 29. Malavenda said an investigation and hearing on allegations of hazing concluded that active sorority members hazed incoming members from Jan. 30 to March 5.

According to witnesses, incoming members were forced to:

• Stay in the library in Lynn Hall from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and could only leave for classes;

• Stay together at two pledges' private residence off-campus from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m.;

• Transport active members to class and run their personal errands;

• Purchase excessive food and various personal items at their own expense for active members;

• Clean the Delta Sigma Theta house on demand;

• Greet current members in a prescribed manner;

• Endure intense physical exercises and eat a concoction of food items; and

• Participate in activities between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m.

In addition, witnesses said they were not allowed to wear makeup, jewelry, certain colors or brand-name clothes, among other restrictions. They were not allowed to walk on grass or use elevators, and they were not allowed to enter the Purdue Memorial Union or Stewart Center.

To qualify for consideration for reactivation, the sorority must meet the following conditions:

• No current or alumnae members (class of 1995 to present) of the Zeta Theta chapter may interact with any incoming or current members or serve as officers within the sorority.

• Sorority officers and advisers must meet at least twice a semester with staff from the Office of the Dean of Students to review chapter operations, including recruitment and initiation procedures, scholarship, leadership and campus involvement.

• The sorority must submit a petition to join one of the Greek governing and program boards suitable for sororities.

• The sorority must support the academic mission of the university in its behavior, programming and scholastic achievement.

• The sorority must follow all university regulations, state and federal laws, and Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. requirements, which includes no "underground" activities.

The sorority also must acquire a new chapter adviser.

The Office of the Dean of Students will not consider the sorority's chapter reactivation petition before May 1, 2003.

Writer: Grant Flora, (765) 494-2073,

Source: Tamara J. Rice, assistant dean of students, (765) 494-1231,

Pablo Malavenda, associate dean of students, (765) 494-1231,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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