LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Delta Tau Delta article criticized

I am writing this letter rather reluctantly. I do not wish to begin an incendiary debate about Allison Augustyn’s platitudes (I refer to her May 25th article addressing certain issues with the Delta Tau Delta fraternity). However, Allison has made a few statements that I find disturbing to such a degree that I cannot remain silent. The first thing I want to bring up is that Allison’s latest manifesto is nothing more than a consummate anthology of disastrously bad writing teeming with misquotations and inaccuracies, an odyssey of anecdotes that are as relevant as discussing the Minnesota Viking quarterback’s accolades at a Packers game.

Let me start by pointing out that the accuracy of your journalism runs as deep as your bylines. I’m sure that the Delta chapter president Brion Winters will agree with me, you need more than a spell- and grammar- check to write newspaper articles. And who can forget the blaze of ’97 and its deep implications on today’s issues. It seems as if by some unseen stroke of mercy that “This time the Delts are allowed to reside in the house”. Pardon my sarcasm, but that’s a stupid thing to say. The relocation of Delta fraternity members had nothing to do with any disciplinary action; it was a matter of not having minimum safety standards as the result of an accident.

I’d also like to add a comment about the quality of your investigative reporting. Of the three members you quote (aside from the statement by Brion Winters): all three are freshmen, only two of which hold active membership in the fraternity, and none of whom had firsthand or authoritative knowledge of the situation. I would ask you to please consider your sources of information more carefully in the future.

The article attempts to report on disciplinary actions against Delta Tau Delta, accusations of unfair and biased treatment towards the fraternity, and even so much as equal housing opportunities. It fails on each account. I suggest that each be addressed separately if the Lawrentian wishes to do justice to all of them. To end on a more positive note: I have no sympathy for those who gain little more from Freshman Studies than the money for their textbooks and a t-shirt.

–Chris Phelps

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