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Georgia State anonymous allegations against Zeta Tau Alpha

excerpt from the Ga State student newspaper

The entire redacted version of the anonymous letter may be found online at www.gsusignal.com.

An anonymous letter sent to the Dean of Students last month has sparked an investigation into the Delta Lambda chapter of the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority for hazing and other illegal practices.

The letter alleges a variety of illegal sorority activities – such as underage binge drinking and marijuana use. However, it also includes sex toy parties and a total chapter retreat where “sisters were peer-pressured into taking their tops off and to get drunk.”

The letter also claims one member organized an “Iphone stealing and reselling ring” and implies that she embezzled group funds for a ski trip.

      The Signal has been unable to independently verify many of the claims since many of the events listed in the letter appear to have occurred off campus, and further Open Records requests have been slow going.

Both the Chapter President Megan Lane and the university refused to comment while the investigation is ongoing. Repeated attempts at contact with over 60 present and former sorority members were unsuccessful.

The letter deals speaks on the consequences for whistleblowers – citing a previous example of when a sorority member reported other girls for “dirty rushing.”

“Those sisters plus their friends have made it a point to ignore her publically and even de-friend her on facebook,” read the letter. “These same girls [REDACTED] brag about this accomplishment and warn about ‘going against the sisterhood.'”

The supervising officer, Province President Dee Wallace, also refused to comment on if the local chapter had conferred with her or if the university had contacted her about the allegations. Athough, she confirmed that she only meets with the sorority about once a month and does not attend events.

“It depends on if it’s physical visits or phone visits,” Wallace said on when she meets with the group. “But I talk with them at least once a week and I meet with them less often than that.”

The last time she said she met with them was in mid-January, which would be just after the anonymous letter was sent to the Dean of Students on Jan. 12.

National President Keeley Riddle acknowledged that the Delta Lambda chapter was under investigation. However, she said they have not confirmed the validity of any of the allegations in the letter.

Keeley also said Zeta Tau Alpha does not condone hazing, illegal drug use, underage drinking, excessive drinking, drinking on ZTA property or during chapter activities.

Last year, the chapter was a Georgia State “Five Star Recipient,” which is the system by which the university awards outstanding Greek organizations.

The university has stated that it is working on preparing approximately 370 documents responsive to Open Records requests of all investigations into Greek organizations in the last year – many of which it says must be redacted to protect identifying information of students.

The university estimated the cost to retrieve, redact and copy these records at just over $407. Although, they warned costs might exceed their original estimate.

Documents that would irrevocably reveal student information and must be withheld, according to University Legal Affairs, include student statements, interview notes, student photos, student BANNER records and correspondence with students.

 

Editor’s note: In the interest of full disclosure, Signal Photo Editor Judy Kim was previously a member of Zeta Tau Alpha and has been questioned by the Dean of Students in regard to some of the allegations.

By Hank Nuwer

Hank Nuwer is the Indiana-based author of Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press.

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