The Delta Gamma sisters at the University of Maryland showed so little enthusiasm at parties with a fraternity that it apparently sent a DG executive board member at the school spiraling into social anxiety and paranoia, which she expressed in a profane and occasionally ALL-CAPS email to the sorority's listserv. "Julia," as Gawker's Caity Weaver refers to the author, has been alerted via text message that "we have been FUCKING UP in terms of night time events and general social interactions with Sigma Nu." Someone on the listserv leaked the email Gawker. It is a compelling (and funny) portrait of a woman driven into madness by her club's middling social success, no matter which way success has been measured at UM and beyond since the letter went public.
The sisters had not been charming conversation partners — whether drunk or sober. As Julia explained, "Newsflash you stupid cocks: FRATS DON'T LIKE BORING SORORITIES… DOUBLE FUCKING NEWSFLASH: SIGMA NU IS NOT GOING TO WANT TO HANG OUT WITH US IF WE FUCKING SUCK." Here we can see that Julia fears her sisters' alleged violation of social norms will not only pull her own approval ratings down, but will compound over time to alienate not just Sigma Nu, but other frats as well. Julia fears not losing a date, but total social isolation.
Worse, some DGs had even signaled there were other available men they were more interested in right in front of the Sigma Nu boys, an offense so shocking Julia requested a status report on the ladies' mental health:
This also applies to you little shits that have talked openly about post gaming at a different frat IN FRONT OF SIGMA NU BROTHERS. Are you people fucking retarded? That's not a rhetorical question, I LITERALLY want you to email me back telling me if you're mentally slow so I can make sure you don't go to anymore night time events.
Indeed, Julia indicated that DGs had acted so appallingly that unnamed outside observers had been forced to report their behavior — she'd "gotten texts about people being fucking WEIRD at sports." Some had even cheered for the other team. The threat of social contamination is so great that Julia is considering amputation: "I would rather have 40 girls that are fun, talk to boys, and not fucking awkward than 80 that are fucking faggots."
While these measures sound harsh, we must put them into context. We have long heard of the horrors that sorority girls inflict on one another. The "circle the fat" rumor — that women are forced to sit on running washing machines in bikinis while their sisters circle their unappealingly jiggly parts — will never die. But the email offers a window into the monumental social pressures of collegiate Greek life. The pressures facing Maryland's Delta Gamma are particularly harsh, as you can see if you skim GreekRank.com, a site that ranks sororities and fraternities by the anonymous catty comments of interested parties. Just after Gawker's post went up, the chapter was getting a mere 3.18 for popularity and 4.02 for social life. (Since then, ratings have plummeted to 2.84 on looks and 3.42 on social life.) Greek Lady commented, "Mixed bag of girls that get along well. some hot some not, some cool some not, but they all get along. pretty solid middle tier." Many commenters had the same analysis. "nice girls, some hott some not. average middle tier sorority"; "They're on the same level as ZTA or DPhiE, honestly. Some attractive and some unattractive. It's a mixed bag." "Underrated. actually a fair amount of good looking ones if you look."
The Atlantic Wire spoke with a Maryland student who knew some members of DG. "They're really sweet and nice, so I don't know why they were verbally attacked," she said. But she offered some context: DG isn't one of the big sororities on campus. It's Greek Week right now, and so "I guess it gets pretty competitive," the student told us. We reached out via email to three officers at Maryland's Sigma Nu chapter to see whether they could confirm or deny Julia's social fears; they have not responded. But a GreekRank poster named jj, perhaps confirming Julia's worst fears, wrote last May, "DG girls are very average in most ways but are kind of trying to be better? maybe on the rise, but still weird girls."
(Above photo via Delta Gamma.)