NOVEMBER 6, 2004-SAMPSON HOUSEA confused President Jill Beck received an invitation to the Delta Tau Delta fraternity’s storied “cocktails” party.
The invitation, on perfumed paper, revealed that the Delt Outreach Committee painfully misread the 2004-2005 zoobook.
“We’re always on the lookout for blonde Cali hotties, and you look like our type,” the invitation read. “We can see why they put your picture on the first page, and let you issue a welcome,” it continued, adding that she ought not bring a date, would be entitled to free wop, and should wear a dress that “shows off those dancer legs.”
“I called Nancy [Truesdell] as soon as I got this, and was wondering if it was customary. But subsequent calls to her and Rik revealed that no, the president seldom appears at wop parties. I mean, it’s nice that you all know how to party,” Beck said.
Beck added that on top of the ethical considerations, legal ramifications, and overt objectification of women that make the event objectionable to administrators, “my red strapless is at the cleaner’s, and I don’t know if I want to establish a ‘rep’ so early on during my tenure. Then all student groups will be coming to me for ‘handouts'”
Beck decided, due to the particularly embarrassing nature of the gaffe, to deal with the Delts herself, and warned the fraternity that it might be close to probation. “I figured that once a female authority figure talked straight with them, they would realize that one only gets so many chances to screw up. I mean, being reprimanded by a woman would seem to make them learn their sexist lesson once and for all,” Beck said.
Nancy Truesdell laughed.
The Delts sent a letter of apology to SLARK that did not enumerate the transgression in question.
Dr. Robert Beck, University of California at Irvine Professor of Education, was perturbed by the invitation’s particulars. “You call this hospitality? Sexual politics at its worst. Snubbing the president’s spouse! Why aren’t I invited?