The University of Idaho has placed the local chapter of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity on a two-year probation for the chapter's dance booklet that contained racist and sexist drawings and statements.
The action Tuesday is in addition to sanctions the fraternity has levied on itself and those by the Interfraternity and Panhellenic councils.Hal Godwin, UI vice president of student affairs, wrote a letter to the Delta chapter president, stating the booklet "offended women, persons of color, and those who are concerned about issues of human dignity."
Godwin said the faculty, staff and students "condemn the insensitive and offensive actions of some senior members of Delta Tau Delta."
The letter also outlined a series of conditions the chapter must meet during and after the probation period. They range from hiring a live-in adviser and initiating programs to promote cultural diversity to a ban on the fraternity housing new students visiting the campus.
"We are cooperating fully with the university," chapter president Leonard Plaster said Tuesday. Chapter members will undergo an educational program on racism and sexual harassment, and then provide such a program "to benefit ourselves as well as the community and the Greek system as a whole."
The booklet, produced in-house as a program guide to the fraternity's annual Russian Ball, made explicit sexual references to individual women on campus and contained references to "niggers" and "spics."
Plaster has publicly apologized for the booklet, calling it a "poor attempt at humor" and saying it does not reflect the members' attitudes.
The party, set for May 4, was canceled. The chapter also placed itself on probation and asked an alumni committee to oversee all its activities.