By Alan Prendergast
By Michael Roberts
By Michael Roberts
By Amber Taufen
By Patricia Calhoun
By William Breathes
By Michael Roberts
By Melanie Asmar
It was one in the morning on November 8. Whitney Lynch, a University of Colorado freshman from San Antonio, was chatting with her roommate in their dorm room on the third floor of Smith Hall when they heard what Lynch calls "a clatter of giggles." She went to the door and tried to look through the peephole, but it had been taped over. So she opened the door, saw toilet paper strewn on the floor, then spotted three girls in pajamas taping toilet paper to the door of a room across the hall. The single belonged to former Delta Delta Delta pledge Lili Armstrong, age eighteen, who the week before had withdrawn her application for membership in the national sorority.
As Lynch stepped out into the hall, the girls ran. "A few minutes later, my roommate and I saw two of them hiding in the stairwell," she says. "I thought it was just going to be a harmless college prank, so I told them to come back and go about their business."
And go about it they did. The three pajama-party vandals, one of whom was wearing her shoulder-length brown hair in pigtails, proceeded to tape toilet paper horizontally across the entrance to Armstrong's room until the door was completely covered. They then used masking tape to put a large X over the toilet paper, securing the barrier. One of them wrote on the tape, from the top left to bottom right, "if you can't stand the heat get out!" Another wrote, from bottom left to top right, "Thought you could use the condoms." And they taped eight wrapped condoms next to Armstrong's door, four in the shape of an "F," four in the shape of a "U."
"I thought they probably stood for 'Fuck you,'" says Lynch.
As a finishing touch, they taped three hand-lettered messages on notebook paper to the door. The first read, "CONDEMED CAUTION: Home of the Bitch!" The second was a simple "I HATE YOU!" The third affirmed, "Me TOO ASSHole!"
The three girls then signed their handiwork: Kari, Kelly and Karen.
Those were fake names, but by that point, any subterfuge was pointless. The giggles and the sound of tape-stripping late at night had drawn the attention of multiple witnesses, including Ashley Bubb, a freshman from Ohio, who heard the commotion and came out of her room to investigate.
"I started talking to them to see what was going on, and they told me Lili had ratted out their sorority and they were getting her back," Bubb says.
All of the witnesses immediately recognized two of the girls as Smith Hall residents who'd recently pledged Tri Delta: Kristin Russell, the one with the pigtails, and Staci Dratler, a blonde. The third vandal has yet to be identified. "She had light-brown hair -- kinda puffy, like it had been straightened," says Bubb. "A triangle-shaped face and a pointy chin."
Sarah Langston, another dorm resident from Texas, came out of her room at one-thirty to use the bathroom and discovered the crime in progress.
"They told me to just go away and carry on with my business. I went ahead and used the restroom, and then I went down to get a better look at Lili's door," she says. "I recognized Staci and Kristin as being members of Delta Delta Delta. The third girl talked like she was a member, too. They all three said they were doing this to Lili's door because she dropped out of the sorority and also told on the sorority for having alcohol at a party. They were putting all the blame on Lili for the sorority being sanctioned and put on probation, and they said they were going to come back every week and do something to Lili until the sorority was no longer in trouble."
Brilliant strategy, but ineffective. Vandalizing Armstrong's door only added to the trouble that Delta Delta Delta was already in, a mess that no amount of toilet paper could clean up.
There are certain actions that happened over this weekend that I regret and am truly sorry for. Because of my irrational thinking and quick judgment you were a victim to. I am not sure as to what you were told about what happened that night but I will tell you what I was thinking. Earlier that day I had been informed (wrongly) by someone it was you who wrote the letter. When I was talking to Staci we decided to try and have some what was suppose to be harmless fun. My thought process was that I went through a lot because of this letter and that the owner should encounter a little difficulty. -- from a letter of apology to Lili Armstrong written by Kristin Russell
It started with the pledge party.
On Friday, October 29, two nights before the Hill was the site of yet another Halloween riot, a rented bus stopped at the CU campus, where some forty Delta Delta Delta pledges waited to be whisked to an off-campus initiation sleepover. It was an official sorority function, and their attendance was required.