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Delta Gamma avoids University investigation

Dean of Students will let sorority conduct own review of rush incident

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The Office of the Dean of Students announced yesterday that it will not conduct an investigation into controversial Delta Gamma spirit song lyrics which leaked last week.

"The chapter and its national organization are taking the matter seriously and handling it internally," Michael Citro, assistant dean of students and director of the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, said in an email. "[S]ituations such as this provide an opportunity to further educate our students on the importance of communicating in a respectful and appropriate manner."

Delta Gamma is not releasing the names of any of the students being investigated.

Delta Gamma Chapter President Katie Corradini said a sorority member leaked the song lyrics when she received them from a friend and decided to notify Corradini. But the sorority member sent the lyrics to the wrong email address, and they were subsequently posted on a blog.

"There were a few friends who were sending these [lyrics] to each other," Corradini said. "[The email] was never intended for the entire chapter ... They were being forwarded to me [as president] by her friend."

The leaked email does not explain the student's intentions, however. The song includes multiple derogatory references to other sororities and first-year students.

An honor board involving chapter members and an alumna functioning as an honor adviser met to investigate the incident and recommend what punishment, if any, should be given to the offenders, Corradini said. The chapter's executive leadership will wield ultimate authority over the final punishment, however.

Delta Gamma leaders and alumnae advisers met for two extensive sessions to discuss the situation.

Corradini was not aware of any Inter-Sorority Council or Office of the Dean of Students investigation, but she said the chapter's leadership was working closely with the University. The ISC did not respond to requests for comment.

Corradini said safety had also been a concern in the direct aftermath of the incident, because the lyrics were originally published on a blog with email addresses and other contact information of one or more of the girls in the sorority. Those individuals had received angry and threatening letters.

"It was ... a safety and privacy concern," Corradini said. "We don't agree with the lyrics [and] we don't condone the lyrics, but we're not turning our backs on our sister."

Nicole Porter, director of communications for Delta Gamma's national organization, said Corradini has handled the situation well.

"We have an internal process within the chapter ... and they handle the process," Porter said. "She's handling this very eloquently."

The chapter's leadership has apologized to both the University community and all of the other sororities mentioned in the song.

"Delta Gamma takes those sorts of accusations very seriously," Porter said. "That does not represent Delta Gamma."

Corradini called the scandal an "isolated incident," and Porter added that there had been no past reports of Delta Gamma's Virginia chapter having any issues similar to this one.

"Most sororities are faced with blips of questionable behavior, which need to be addressed rapidly," Porter said.


Published January 25, 2012 in News

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