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Tri Delta Faces Eviction After Chapter Revoked without Clear Explanation

As many of you may have heard by now, the charter of the Delta Omicron Chapter of the Tri Delt sorority at Indiana University was pulled by Tri Delt Nationals earlier this month. They did so just two weeks after offering bids to new members. As you can imagine, terminating a sorority chapter is a much longer process than just two weeks, especially when terminating a sorority at IU is unprecedented.

For those of you wondering why the Executive Board withdrew the chapter, weeks later, your guess is still as good as ours. We’ve sent countless emails, made hundreds of calls, and even sent representatives to the headquarters in Dallas, Texas only to be left with more questions than answers. The girls in the house, their parents, and over 1,000 alumni are completely in the dark.

We have, however, confirmed that the decision was made solely by the Executive Board – NOT INDIANA UNIVERSITY. IU confirmed that they were not made aware of any wrongdoing or violations by the girls. In fact, IU said Tri Delt was viewed positively around campus, in good academic standing, and very involved in numerous volunteer and academic organizations at the school. So what, then, has the Executive Board told us?

The Delta Omicron charter has been revoked due to “activities that do not represent our high standards or align with Tri Delta’s purpose”. And that’s it. Period. That is literally as much as we know.

“Activities that do not represent our high standards or align with Tri Delta’s purpose” WITHOUT citation of activitiesis not acceptable when disbanding a 100 year-old chapter in phenomenal standing with both the university and the community. We all deserve more of an explanation than that, especially the current members and the 55 girls who rushed Tri Delt less than 2 months prior. Why were specific instances and details cited publicly when other Tri Delt chapters were terminated, but we can’t even get an explanation privately?

Read more here: https://www.theodysseyonline.com/tri-delta-faces-eviction-after-chapter-revoked-without-clear-explanation

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Executive Board Continues to Fuel Misinformation & Urges Other Chapters Not to Help IU Tri Delt

Executive Board sent an email out to other Tri Delt chapters urging them not to engage with IU Tri Delt alumnae.

Alumnae are outraged at the following excerpt as they were not made aware of any potential issues with the Chapter. The only communication alumnae received was that their beloved Chapter was shut down without any clear explanation. 

“As you would expect, a great deal of care and consideration went into this difficult decision. Ultimately it was made by the Executive Board, at the recommendation of Delta Omicron’s chapter volunteers (Tri Delta and Delta Omicron alumnae), following a thorough and careful consideration of the facts, and only after all available options were exhausted.”

See full email below.

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IU Tri Delt Freshman’s Amazing Story Contrasts Executive Board’s Claim that the Sorority Doesn’t Exhibit Tri Delta “Ideals”

To whom it may concern,

I am writing this letter with a heavy heart. I hope that this letter conveys to you how life changing Tridelt has been for me. My name is Nicole Curlin. I am a freshman at IU and a current member in the pledge class for Delta Delta Delta. I have had an especially impactful experience with Tridelt. Since you can’t see me, for the purposes for this letter, it is necessary for you to know that I am Black. The reason why my race is even in this letter, is because I want you to know how big of a deal it was for me to rush. The black community has its own sororities that are very renowned and prestigious nationally. I am a multiple legacy for one of those sororities and have been taught all my life that that organization was something that I was meant to be a part of- that it was in my blood. But for some reason, I always felt that this would not be my place. That is why I rushed.

This is important because of the backlash I received from my extended family and members in the Black community. When I announced to my family that I would be rushing, the reaction was heartbreaking. One of my well-meaning, but scared, relatives said to me, “Nicole you cannot hide who you are. These people will remind you every day of the color of your skin and where you belong in society.” These words from my relative have echoed in my head since that moment and I was mindful of them while rushing. My experiences within the sorority have provided me with much more than just an extra-curricular activity. My sisters are a family that not only recognize my differences but embrace me for them. In Tri Delt I have never had to hide who I am, regardless of the fabricated societal norms my well-meaning relative and society try to preach to me. The Tri Delt sisterhood has provided an atmosphere of love and support through our cardinal values of truth, self-sacrifice, and friendship.

Throughout the rush process, numerous other chapters stereotyped me. I was called “the perfect token”, “the prettiest black girl they’ve ever seen”, and “different” from other black girls on campus. I specifically remember during “pref” round that we were given letters from our final three chapters. At one chapter three girls wrote me three one-page letters telling me how funny I am. While funny is a great compliment, it wasn’t until I was at Tridelt, that i realized there was so much more to me and what I had to offer. At Tridelt, I didn’t receive one-page letters about how great my humor was. I was given one word. That word was refreshing. The girl who rushed me told me that I was different, that I was unique, and that my personality was deeper than surface level. I quickly learned that Tridelt wanting me in their pledge class wasn’t about gaining diversity points because of the color of my skin. It was about the diversity I bring to the house as a person. For example, I am fluent in 4 languages, I hate chocolate, and I can’t stand the smell of popcorn. These were the things that Tridelt was interested in seeing in me.

I hadn’t felt this love and support anywhere on campus until I stepped foot in our beautiful brick house. When my friends turned their backs on me, smearing food in my bed while I was in class, my sisters at Tridelt were there for me, letting me sleep in their beds. When I was left stranded and alone on a Friday night, my sisters were there for me making a point to come and get me to hang out so I wouldn’t be alone. At three am while I cried because I just couldn’t understand my calculus for the life of me, I wasn’t crying alone. I was crying on the shoulder of my sister who stayed up all night to help me study even though she had no homework to do that night. I have found over and over again that when the people I thought I could rely on the most fail me, my sisters have my back. As a person who also lives with a severe anxiety disorder, I can tell you that the moment I walk past our doors, all my worries don’t seem that bad anymore. The hate that I get for being Black isn’t there anymore. The pressure to always be perfect isn’t there. The feeling that the world is against me isn’t there either; because I know that even if the world is against me my sisters will always and forever have my back.

I know our chapter is in trouble and we need to be doing somethings differently, but I want you to know that despite our imperfection, our love loyalty and respect for one another is something that can’t be found anywhere else. Believe me, I’ve looked. I hope that you can see that Tridelt is more than our flaws and that together even with the world against us we can come together in unity to fight back.

Nicole Curlin

Press Release from 3/11

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 11, 2017

CONTACT: Peter French; Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP; 317.685.6140

Indiana University Tri Delta Delta Omicron Chapter Supporters Call on the National Office to Reinstate Chapter  

History of Sisterhood, Philanthropy, and Good Standing at Indiana University Should Be Considered in Effort to #saveIUTriDelt

The current members of the Delta Omicron chapter of Tri Delta, its new members, their parents, the alumnae, including the Housing Corporation and local alumni board, are calling on the National Organization of Tri Delta to reinstate the Delta Omicron chapter at Indiana University.

A week after the Executive Office of Tri Delta’s National Organization called a meeting with current and new members of the Delta Omicron chapter, confiscated their phones and told them they are withdrawing the charter and would have just a few weeks to find new housing, there still hasn’t been a clear reason or incident given for withdrawing this historic chapter’s charter.

Petition to #saveIUTriDelt Gains Thousands of Supporters  

A petition supporting the reinstatement of the chapter is gaining support from around the country on social media, fueled by the hashtag #saveIUTriDelta. The petitions have gathered nearly 7000 signatures, representing more than 47 states and 15 countries, and has the full support of nearly 1000 alumni crossing 40 years of pledge classes, many of which have volunteered to provide guidance and counsel should the Executive Office of Tri Delta reinstate the chapter.

Many Question Grave Action for Unnamed Reason

While the chapter had been on probation with the national Tri-Delta organization since early 2016, the current members and its leadership had been steadfastly working through the terms of its probation over the last twelve months with very little, if any, support from the National Organization, despite the Executive Office’s messages to the media indicating the contrary.

Importantly, after a thorough internal investigation, there was not a specific incident or wrongdoing uncovered that would have merited implementing such a severe punishment upon the active members, new members and thousands of Tri-Delta alumnae of the Delta Omicron chapter. In fact, the chapter remains in good standing with the University and local law enforcement.

Rich History of Diversity, Sisterhood and Philanthropy

The Delta Omicron chapter of Tri Delta has maintained a rich and diverse sisterhood. It has a history of lifelong friendships, scholarship and philanthropy. Further, it has been a pillar of the Indiana University campus for more than 100 years, and was memorialized in the 1979 movie “Breaking Away.”  The Indiana University Tri Delta home is a national treasure and its sisterhood is a beacon of strength and diversity, of thought and spirit.

Philanthropy has always been a top priority for the Delta Omicron chapter of Tri Delta, and exemplifies the integrity, commitment and grace of the current and past members of this chapter. Recent efforts included increasing fundraising profits for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital by 110% in 2013; raising ~$60,000 every year through its spring Flapjack Attack event, St. Jude walks and other philanthropic Sisterhood events, such as Sincerely Yours letters; and raising more than $82,000 for Riley Hospital for Children through the members’ participation in Indiana University Dance Marathon.

Past Tri Delt Presidents Give Insight into the Chapter’s Relationship with Nationals

Dear Tri Delta National Executives,

We, the past six Presidents of Tri Delta’s Delta Omicron chapter, have come together to share insight into the frustration that we each experienced during our leadership. We feel these issues were a key indicator of the sentiments that led to the removal of the Delta Omicron charter at Indiana University.

As saddened as we are by your decision, this does not come as a surprise to us. During our times as President, there was a consistent strain on the relationship between Nationals and our chapter. Through conversations with past alumni, it is evident that the chapter struggled for your support long before our time. We did not understand the uphill battle the Delta Omicron chapter faced until we became responsible for leading our chapter.

We have spent the last few weeks collectively reflecting on various times that we reached out for guidance and structure only to be disappointed when we either did not receive a response, or received a response that seemed to be a template applied across chapters. We can recall countless times when both the chapter and our advisors were shocked at the treatment and lack of support that we were given. Instead of receiving the leadership development that Tri Delta prides itself on, we were given little direction and few resources. When provided resources, they were from books and manuals not at all incorporating the fact that individual Tri Delta chapters may have differences…

Continue reading the amazing article here: https://www.theodysseyonline.com/open-letter-tri-delta-national-executives

3/28 – National Executives Stiff Arm Delta Omicron Housing Corporation

Update provided by Alumni –

There was a meeting from 7-8pm that the DO local housing corp led for alum and then another meeting afterwards to review the same info with students and a few parents. This meeting was an opportunity for housing corp to give sort of a “state of the union” address and review the bylaws.  These women of housing corp love our house, the current girls, and are themselves DO alum.  They have no clear understanding what really has happened.  They vouch for the girls that they have worked hard to meet the nationals demands. They have tried all they could.  Nationals has poorly communicated with them and given them conflicting stories across the board. They have actually been telling others who call in that housing corp is kicking out the girls, but this is not true.  Housing corp supports the girls.

Basically according to the bylaws, the local housing corp is dissolved and the assets (dollars, house which includes the deed, the property, etc) now belongs to Nationals. There is another segment buried in the bylaws that states the members of the housing corp can be personally sued and held accountable for all damages, lawyer fees etc. This is very threatening to these ladies and could attack their personal lives if they push any further.  So housing corp has to step down and not be involved.

Local housing corp has said Nationals will sell everything in the house and then lease to another sorority or group for 3-5 years.  They will then try to bring back DDD.  There will never be another local housing corp; it will stay in the hands of Nationals.  This apparently is a trend in fraternal organizations across the country.

The president of the local housing corp, Phyllis, was wonderful (as were all the ladies).  They were tearful and passionate about our chapter.  Phyllis was the pledge class of ’61 (I hope I have that right) and has been part of our chapter since then.

This is all just very sad.  The current girls were tearful and unsure what to do.  Not sure if they should pack up or prepare to stay the rest of the semester.  They were very appreciative that we were there and many of them spent time a lot of time talking with us afterwards.  These girls were awesome. The halls were lined with amazing picture and You can feel the love when walking through the house.