World and Nation

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After Evicting Members, Sorority is Itself Evicted

DePauw University severed ties Monday with a national sorority that evicted two-thirds of the university’s chapter members last year in what the sorority called an effort to improve its image for recruitment, but which the evicted women described as a purge of the unattractive or the uncool.

“We at DePauw do not like the way our students were treated,” DePauw’s president, Robert G. Bottoms, said in a letter to the Delta Zeta sorority. “We at DePauw believe that the values of our university and those of the national Delta Zeta sorority are incompatible.”

The sorority evicted 23 members of its DePauw chapter in December, and half a dozen other women later quit in protest. The action greatly diminished the chapter’s diversity. The women the sorority allowed to stay were all slender and conventionally pretty. Those evicted included some overweight women, and several minority members were evicted or left the sorority on their own.

In an interview, Bottoms said that beginning this fall Delta Zeta would no longer be permitted to house students in its Greek-columned residence on the DePauw campus in Greencastle, Ind. Only a handful of undergraduates are currently living in the Delta Zeta house, and four of them are seniors, Bottoms said, adding that the university would help any women who had been planning to live in the residence next year to find alternative housing.

French Premier Throws Support For Presidency to Political Rival

Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin on Monday formally endorsed his political rival, the center-right candidate Nicolas Sarkozy, for president.

“Today I am with Nicolas Sarkozy to defend the ideals of our political family and so that the choice for the French people is as clear as possible,” de Villepin told Europe 1 radio a day after President Jacques Chirac announced that he would not seek a third term.

He added, “We have been together in government, we will be together in this battle.”

The endorsement is important because de Villepin, who once had been considered a potential presidential contender, put party unity ahead of the personal and political differences he has had over the years with Sarkozy, who is the interior minister and the head of the governing party, the Union for a Popular Movement.

In the past, de Villepin has criticized Sarkozy’s proposal to institute a modest limited affirmative action program for France, which de Villepin believes runs counter to the republican ideal that ignores race, religion and ethnicity.