Girl Trouble

When CU students take the Delta Delta Delta pledge, they take it very seriously.

I want you to know I would never do anything to hurt you in any way, and my intentions when toilet papering your door were harmless. You must know being a teenager yourself that kids toilet paper each other all the time, except normally we do houses. Unfortunately in the midst of all the commotion somethings were done that regretfully cannot be taken back, and I sooooo wish they could be. If I had a watch that could take me back in time I nevre would have done what I did. Lili, I know it is hard but I just pray that you can forgive me, although, I probably don't deserve it. You're the sweetest girl and I am just soooo sorry for all that I've done. I truly am sorry once again, and like I said I know I can't say it enough, but I will say it 700 times or more until you can forgive me. -- from Staci Dratler's apology letter

After extracting Dratler's confession, Rush went to Kristin Russell's room on the same floor. Like her fellow pledge, Russell immediately admitted putting toilet paper and condoms on Armstrong's door and writing "not nice things," including "I HATE YOU!"

"Russell explained she was mad at Armstrong about an incident at the sorority," Rush reported. "Russell stated that it got blown all out of proportion and, as a result, a lot of people got in trouble. Russell said she was sitting at her computer the night before and received an IM message from Dratler asking her if she wanted to go with her to put stuff on Armstrong's door. Russell refused to give the name of the third girl."

Staci's door
Mark Manger
Staci's door

That night, Rush issued both Dratler and Russell a criminal summons for misdemeanor harassment, "with intent to harass, annoy and alarm, unlawfully in a public place directing obscene language at said victim."

After the Delta Delta Delta national office was informed of the charges, sorority officials strongly suggested that Dratler and Russell write letters of apology and ordered all Tri Delta members and pledges to leave Armstrong alone.

Since then, Armstrong has reported no further threats or incidences of vandalism.

In mid-November, several University of Colorado students announced the formation of a group dedicated to combating the "culture of excess" at the nation's once-top-rated party school. When they'd gone home for fall break, one student said, they'd had to defend why they were going to CU.

That same week, Dratler and Russell, whose fingerprints had shown up on the condoms taken into evidence from Armstrong's door, pleaded guilty to the charges against them in exchange for a deferred sentence. That means that if they stay out of trouble for a year, they'll be in the clear, just like the Boulder chapter of Delta Delta Delta.

The national sorority is a founding member of the National Panhellenic Conference, a self-governing body whose code of conduct contains these "Basic Expectations of Membership":

"I will respect the dignity of all persons; therefore I will not physically, mentally, or psychologically abuse or haze any human being;

"I will respect the property of others; therefore, I will neither abuse nor tolerate the abuse of property;

"I will neither misuse nor support the misuse of alcohol."

"I will challenge all my members to abide by these expectations and will confront all those who violate them."

That would make four strikes against Dratler, Russell and CU's Delta Delta Delta.

But then, words don't mean anything these days.

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