Response to “Hazing and Flooding and Goodbye Deta Psi”

Dear Meyers Jay, The Chinese say that if you don’t change your course you are liable to end up where you are heading.

In Response to your article in the February 10, 2004 Vermont Cynic entitled “Hazing and Flooding and Goodbye Deta Psi” I would like to offer the following: You have grossly misrepresented one of the greatest traditions and institutions that has helped cultivate the UVM experience and name for generations.

Your leading statement/question is simple and followed up with a simple minded, unsubstantiated editorial. The Delta Psi Goodrich Memorial at 61 Summit Street was closed this semester, temporarily. After a meeting that occurred this fall and through the careful decision of the Delta Psi Alumni Corporation it was decided that our 112-year-old house is in dire need of repair. It is not easy to grasp the amount of work, time and energy that goes into caring for a 17,000 square foot home. Most people would decline the opportunity to look after a place of that size not to mention the affects that 112 years would have on such a home. However for 83 years the Delta Psi fraternity has owned, inhabited and cared for this landmark, which by the way is on the list of National Historic Places. At the same time we have enriched the greater UVM community through the actions of it’s illustrious Alumni and individual members. Unfortunately you were caught up in the stereotyping and anti-Greek sentiment that now runs rampant through my Alma Mater.

Throughout your editorial you offer gross underestimations of the Delta Psi Fraternity. You mention the “rather respectful legacy”, and “minimally illustrious history” of Delta Psi. I would like to offer some facts about Delta Psi that must have escaped your research, or lack thereof. Delta Psi alumni include the most celebrated and influential individuals that graced our campus. You may recognize some of the following “rather respectful” Delta Psi Alumni: John Dewey, Charles W. Waterman (That’s right the most important people and biggest decisions about our university are hosted in the building that was donated by the trust of, and named for a Delta Psi Alumni), George Washington Henderson (The first African American inducted into Phi Beta Kappa is a Delta Psi Brother) to name a few. I would also like to add that there are at least 6 other buildings on campus that have been donated by or named for Delta Psi Alumni. Perhaps you would like to purge that “scum” from the history of UVM.

Delta Psi is the third oldest Fraternity on campus and only one of two local fraternities. This means that Delta Psi doesn’t have a national chapter to fall back on for direction and support. We rely totally on ourselves. Unfortunately for us you have joined the vast majority of nay Sayers and timid sheep that are so quick to jump at the opportunity to band together and wag a finger at the big house on the corner. It is sad that you have jumped on this bandwagon that has been rolling against us for years and you have aided in building the rift that exists between the Greek system and the rest of the UVM community. Delta Psi is experiencing a dark blink in our ongoing legacy. I can assure you that we will rise back to greatness and I hope someday you will meet brothers from Delta Psi and you will realize the error of your ways. We are not scum, and we should not frighten you. We aren’t out to steal your beer and I’ll leave the “hordes of women” to make there own decision.

Sometime along Delta Psi’s long and prosperous history our course was altered and decisions were made that lead us in a dismal direction. Please set aside your short sighted, narrow minded view and take a look at the big picture, 154 years of Delta Psi has affected many people. I strongly believe that Delta Psi has provided a positive impact on our community as a whole over those 154 years. I find it disheartening that you have spurred on the bandwagon that believes when a group starts to waver from its intended direction it should immediately be erased from history. I believe everyone has strayed from there intended direction for better or for worse but it takes a drastic approach to regain stability and get back on the right track which is what Delta Psi has realized and is attempting to correct.

Sincerely, James Thomas Carpenter ’00

P.S. I would also like to list some of the contributions I personally made to UVM and the Burlington community during the four years preceding my matriculation from the school of Engineering: President Delta Psi ’97-’98Critic Delta Psi ’99-’00V.P. ASME ’98-’99V.P. and Co-Founder of UVM’s SAE Chapter ’99-’00Co-Founder of the Mini Baja ProjectMember and Co-Chair of the UVM Concert Bureau ’98-00Part of the 7 member team to re-establish UVM’s Winter Carnival ’99-’00Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity ’98-’00Participant in “Green-Up Days” ’98-’00Contributed over 100 hours of voluntary Community Service Member of the UVM Choir ’98-’00Intramural Hockey and Football ’96-’00In the Spring of 2000 I was nominated for 5 Leadership awards by the Student Life Dept.