Tuesday, 26 September 2017

25 women terminated from Tri Delta sorority – Lincoln Journal Star

The national office of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Tri Delta sorority terminated nearly one in five of its members following a review because of serious concerns for the safety and well-being of members.

UNL officials said they contacted the sorority’s national office in February because of their concerns.

After the chapter’s annual semi-formal, Crave, in February, one student was taken to the hospital for an alcohol-related illness, according to an incident report from university police.

A small team from the national office visited Lincoln in March to conduct personal, hourlong meetings with each member. Several members said the team asked questions about the sorority’s culture, social events and what changes members think need to occur.

The national office placed the sorority on probation, which will begin during the upcoming fall semester. It was on probation during the fall 2016 semester due to allegations of members under age 21 consuming alcohol on Bid Day, the day incoming members are invited to sororities. 

Shortly after interviews with the national office, members were told they could be terminated. However, the large number of terminated members was not what they expected.

Tri Delta’s Lincoln chapter didn’t respond to the Journal Star. The national office confirmed the terminations but declined to release a statement.

UNL sophomore Katlynn Paasch, of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, was terminated from Tri Delta and said she was surprised because during her interview she was told she exemplified the sorority’s core values.

Paasch and several of the other members appealed and wrote letters to the national office detailing why they wished to remain part of the organization. She received a voicemail finalizing her termination on April 21.

The biggest stressor for Paasch, and freshman Alexis Mayse, a Lincoln native, is making new plans for the fall semester, since both women planned to live in the Tri Delta house.

“Now I have nowhere to live,” Paasch said. “That’s more stressful than finals, even.”

Paasch is leaving Lincoln for the summer and may have to return to find housing.

Mayse is concerned about reconfiguring a budget that includes rent, utilities and food, which would have all been included in the price members pay to live in the sorority.

Members said the brief responses they received about why they were terminated from the national office were confusing.

Paasch was told she is “unaccountable” and didn’t seem to “want the house to change.”

The women also worry that they were judged unfairly because they admitted to riding on a party bus before the February semi-formal. The national office said the four buses were not a formal part of the event, which was the biggest concern.

The result has caused tensions between the remaining 116 members and the 25 women who were terminated.

“I’m still friends with some of the girls in the house, but a lot of them say, ‘We can learn from this’ and ‘It’s your fault,’” Paasch said. “In all honesty, it could have been them, too.”

UNL spokesman Steve Smith said UNL hopes to work with the national office and the members of Tri Delta to create a plan for individual members and the organization as a whole.

“This is an example of the executive and local boards holding their chapter accountable,” Smith said.

Paasch said that despite tensions, she doesn’t blame any members who are still in the sorority. She hopes to reconcile friendships with women in the house, despite her termination.

“I see girls posting pictures and it makes me sad because at one point, that was me,” she said.

“We were all so close and always happy to see one another, but on the other side, I don’t want to be in a house that doesn’t appreciate me.”

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