Tuesday, March 13, 2007

there's that pesky 1st amendment again!


"Congress shall make no law respecting.....the right of the people peaceably to assemble...."---1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

When I was in college, I was not in a fraternity. I was "recruited" by one fraternity and ended up as sort of an unofficial "friend" of another fraternity by the time I was a senior, but I never actually joined a fraternity. Although I had many friends who were in fraternities, I always thought that the whole greek system was kind of silly, and, although I loved their parties, I really didn't want to be a part of it in any official way.

I say all of that to provide context for my take on the article linked above. DePauw University in Indiana is going to oust Delta Zeta Sorority because the sorority only allows "pretty girls" to join. Read what DePauw President Robert Bottoms had to say:

DePauw University on Monday ousted a sorority that has been accused of evicting some of its members based on their looks.

And school President Robert G. Bottoms said DePauw would work to dispel preconceptions about what a sorority member should look like.

Bottoms, in announcing the expulsion of Delta Zeta, said sorority members told him they "felt they were discriminated against" because of their looks.

"We at DePauw do not like the way our students were treated," Bottoms said. "We believe that the values of our University and those of Delta Zeta sorority are incompatible."
He said more changes for the school's Greek system might be in order. "If our system is to rise above the negative stereotyping so many of you have written about, modern recruitment processes must be developed," he said at a news conference
(my emphasis).

If a sorority kicks a girl out because she isn't pretty enough, that's mean. If a college administration mandates that fraternities and sororities must accept people that the college wants them to accept, that violates a 1st Amendment principle about letting "we the people" assemble with who we want to assemble with. DePauw is a private university, so that makes a difference as far as litigation is concerned (in my opinion) but that doesn't take away the fact that the great liberal administration of a great liberal college is about to shred a principle that all great liberals say they support. Just what do you think "modern recruitment processes" means? It means "mandated diversity."

Delta Zeta is guilty of being rude, snobbish, and dumb. They have that right. DePauw's president is guilty of something far worse. He is guilty of being a liberal.


Blogger Stephen said...

Don't underestimate the fact of DePauw's private institution status - this is key to undersanding the issue.

I don't like liberals, and I'm not wild about ugly people either - but private is private. If the school thinks that a fraternity or sorority is acting way out of line, i.e. tarnishing the institution's name, they're within the law to take action. This happens to frats all the time.

Your "mandated diversity" point is an incisive one, but to me this just feels more like a catty dispute with an overdue resolution. (and admittedly, for the part of me that remembers being young, it feels kind of good when mean girls get their comeuppance.)

2:53 PM  
Blogger hondo said...

Oh, don't misunderstand me. DePauw, as a private college, has every right to act in this manner. My point is that it's hypocritical, because liberals get all teary-eyed about the Bill of Rights. Unless, of course, it's rich white pretty girls that are being mean to ugly girls, and the liberal deems "ugly girls" as a protected "victim class." Then the Bill of rights goes right out the window.

3:09 PM  
Blogger Stephen said...

I'm with you. I would just say that while this situation happens to remind us what it is we hate about the way liberals act in government, it's not that. Hypocrisy would be litigation, or legislation, and while this sort of resembles the liberal hypocrisy I so despise, on its face it does actually strike me as fair.

I only mean that eslewhere there are truly egregious acts being commited by liberals, and that as sensible, level-headed believers, we should be picking our battles wisely and carefully.

5:22 PM  

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