USA TODAY College – March 31, 2017
Members of the Tri Delta house on the campus of Indiana University are being forced to move out of their sorority house by the end of the weekend, leaving many searching for new housing arrangements.
Last month, the sorority’s national organization revoked the Delta Omicron chapter’s charter, and then evicted members from their house. They have to be out by April 2 — just more than a month before finals end — leaving house residents without a place to live for the rest of the semester.
The last-minute shuffle, which sorority members say is unjustified, comes nearly a month after the national organization revoked the chapter’s charter because its members were “involved in activities that do not represent our high standards or align with Tri Delta’s Purpose,” according to a national sorority statement.
The chapter was placed on probation in spring 2016, and the national organization says it terminated the charter because the sisters were found to have engaged in “activities” that “violated the chapter’s previous probation terms.”
The national organization declined to specify further, citing “the privacy and safety of our members,” but noted, “What we can share is the Delta Omicron chapter has been on probation for three consecutive semesters, and each time was asked to take responsibility for their actions. Each time, with extensive support from volunteers and staff, the chapter chose to ignore advice and recommendations, sending a strong message that they had no intention of making positive change.”
On Monday, the national organization informed the chapter members that they must vacate the house by 6 p.m. April 2, a little more than month before finals wrap up. Because the charter was revoked, the housing agreement is now null and void, according to a letter Tri Delta sent to a house resident that was shared with USA TODAY College.
According to Delta Omicron president Maggie Flood, an Indiana sophomore, the chapter was originally placed on probation for recruitment-related violations. The sisters worked to meet the probation terms, she said, which required new leadership and the formation of committees on risk and wellness, sisterhood, diversity and inclusion and chapter education.
The Tri Delta sisters claim in a press release that “after a thorough internal investigation, there was not a specific incident or wrongdoing uncovered that would have merited implementing such a severe punishment.”
Indiana University has taken no disciplinary actions against the chapter, and said in a statement that the school “supports the right of national organizations to hold chapters accountable to high standards and ethical behavior.”
The national organization did not respond to multiple requests for comment by USA TODAY College.
Requests for reconsideration by Tri Delta members to the national organization have gone unanswered, the sisters said in a statement. On Wednesday, the Delta Omicron chapter filed a complaint with the national organization, in hopes of extending their stay in the sorority house through May 5, the end of the spring semester.
“Joining Tri Delta was one of the best decisions of my life,” Flood told USA TODAY College. “I gained 170 best friends and have become a better person. It’s hard seeing my sisters so heartbroken and devastated over this.”
Larry Weinstein, the parent of a Delta Omicron member living in the sorority house, 19-year-old Carly Weinstein, said the students were blindsided by the eviction notice. “They are students, they have final exams, and now they’re facing homelessness,” he told USA TODAY College.
Weinstein said he had not yet made arrangements for his daughter to live elsewhere for the remainder of the year and said many of her sorority sisters are in the same situation.
Chapter alumnae launched a petition in early March asking Delta Delta Delta CEO Karen Hughes White and the organization’s executive board to reverse the decision to close the chapter. The petition has accumulated some 5,300 signatures.
Six former chapter presidents also published an open letter in the Odyssey asking the national Tri Delta organization to reconsider the decision to revoke the Indiana University chapter charter.
Some have been agitating for the IU Tri Delts’ cause on social media as well.
The national organization says it’s possible the Indiana chapter will be re-established “at a time that is mutually beneficial for the university and Tri Delta.”