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-   -   University Cheerleader With Down Syndrome Denied From Every Sorority on Campus (http://www.greekchat.com/gcforums/showthread.php?t=244932)

APhi2KD 09-21-2018 05:05 PM

University Cheerleader With Down Syndrome Denied From Every Sorority on Campus
 
Thoughts?
http://https://themighty.com/2018/09/down-syndrome-sorority-george-mason-university-anncatherine-heigl/

BGKdLady 09-21-2018 05:19 PM

In reading the comments below the article, it is stated that she withdrew from the process (if I'm reading that right?) and also that another young woman with Down's is a sorority member on that campus. I don't know that either of these are facts, but the comment is there.

Many women are released from all chapters every year and we tend to tell them the same thing when they ask "why?" We can't tell you why. There are a multitude of reasons. I'm not feeling a quick instinct to point a finger at the chapters as being discriminatory without hearing their side of the story, not that they are obligated to share their membership selection info.

This is a tough one...

Theta1234 09-21-2018 05:40 PM

Iím not sure there is enough information in this article to make any kind of informed opinion. It doesnít specifically state that she was released from recruitment nor does it say that she dropped out. All it says is that she didnít get a bid which we all know can be caused by one of the two things mentioned above.

Situations like these are never easy and your heart breaks for all involved.

I could not tell if she was a Freshman or an upperclassman. It alludes to the idea that she was on some kind of alternative plan. Depending upon this plan or what she did in high school, it could have been that she did not even have a GPA. I can not speak with authority here, but I would imagine that could create some problems in the membership selection process.

Overall, it is very sad and I feel for the University, the girl, her family and all of the Greek Life Community at George Mason.

33girl 09-21-2018 06:09 PM

Supposedly (per that other site) this was her second time rushing, and she withdrew on her own because she didnít like the chapters she got.

Itís just as discriminatory to assume that because of her Ds, sheís a wonderful person who can do no wrong, as it is to release her solely because of it.

Also I wonder if her mom and sister (who went to competitive Greek schools) obtained recs for her, which most likely would have helped immensely.

And can we stop the fiction that cheerleaders are always guaranteed sorority membership?

Sen's Revenge 09-21-2018 08:42 PM

I dug a little to find out the details of the MasonLIFE program. For anyone who is interested:

"Students completing their four years with The Mason LIFE Program will graduate with a George Mason Certificate of Completion with a catalog concentration and a work specialty area."

It sounds to ME, that she was eligible to rush because she's a GMU student. It doesn't sound like she'd be eligible for most (if not any) chapter because she's not matriculated as a degree-seeking student.

Now that I know this, I honestly find it repugnant that the sister (and others) has branded this as disability discrimination.

unarose 09-21-2018 08:53 PM

GMU Panhellenic had this to say: https://twitter.com/GMUPanhellenic/s...9202485530626/

PhilTau 09-21-2018 09:07 PM

There's a reason that 80 percent of George Mason University graduates are employed within six months of graduation. It's because 80 percent (or so it seems) of the student body are already employed while attending school - a very big percentage employed by federal agencies in the DC area. Many are in some way "sponsored" by the various agencies. The GMU graduates I have known and worked with are (as a group) extremely serious people and very career oriented and motivated. They will usually stay with the agency that has paid their tuition. Of all the people I've known who attended GMU as undergraduates, none belonged to a fraternity or sorority (or at least admitted it to me) and they all had flexible schedule jobs with federal agencies while they attended college. They were not night students. I also doubt many of them attended a single Greek function - even though they were the same age as the typical undergraduate student. The expense of Greek life likely prevented them from joining those groups, though they were the type of people the Greek organizations would love to have.


What I'm trying to say here is that GMU is not the typical four-year college.

Sen's Revenge 09-21-2018 09:11 PM

LOL the irony is that the only GMU people I know were Greeks.

But NPHC Greek life is self-sustaining regardless of the type of campus.

Cheerio 09-21-2018 09:51 PM

Darned if you do, darned if you don't...

APhi2KD 09-21-2018 09:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 33girl (Post 2461065)
Supposedly (per that other site) this was her second time rushing, and she withdrew on her own because she didnít like the chapters she got.

If you find any more info on that, please do post it. If thatís the case, her family should be ashamed to suggest she was dropped because she has Downís.

KSUViolet06 09-21-2018 10:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sen's Revenge (Post 2461069)
I dug a little to find out the details of the MasonLIFE program. For anyone who is interested:

"Students completing their four years with The Mason LIFE Program will graduate with a George Mason Certificate of Completion with a catalog concentration and a work specialty area."

It sounds to ME, that she was eligible to rush because she's a GMU student. It doesn't sound like she'd be eligible for most (if not any) chapter because she's not matriculated as a degree-seeking student.

Now that I know this, I honestly find it repugnant that the sister (and others) has branded this as disability discrimination.


This. I worked with a similar program in Graduate School. Many students enrolled in these transitional type programs for students with disabilities are considered guest students by their respective universities.

panhelrose 09-21-2018 10:54 PM

Having been involved with GMU greek life personally and a sister of my own about to go to college next year who has an intellectual disability, I have a few thoughts on this (some more pertinent than others).

Clemson has a similar program to this called ClemsonLIFE. There have been women in this program who have gone through recruitment and joined sororities. To what degree they were involved, I cannot say, but this situation is not unprecedented. Additionally, given that a number of chapters at GMU also exist at Clemson, to paint any of the chapters who did not extend this woman a bid as discriminatory is too simplistic.

GMU is one of the fastest growing 4 year universities in the country. It is also primarily a commuter school. I'll echo previous posters that there is a bigger emphasis placed on job preparation than school spirit. Having been an NCAA division 1 athlete at a school that competed against GMU, I personally doubt the chapters would have paid much consideration to a PNM being a cheerleader at the university outside of possible time commitment issues which, since it's mainly a commuter school, would likely be an issue. It's not like Ole Miss where being a Rebelette, while time-consuming, is a place of prominence on campus. (as an aside, I personally found the sister's comment that this PNM was a "division 1 athlete" insulting since cheerleading is not an NCAA sport.)

Finally, as we all know, sororities are selective by design. With the exception of Tufts, a school cannot force a chapter to accept a PNM. If this particular PNM has a challenging intellectual disability, she may not have met the high school or college GPA requirement. No matter how many PNMs whisper about "grade risks" in tents, GPAs matter. And frankly if my own sister were to rush, I doubt her being a legacy would help counteract her GPA that much, and I accept that. Even the least competitive sorority in the country at Random Tiny University still has the right as a private organization to select its members.

Is it disappointing that this PNM was (apparently) dropped by every chapter? Yes. It's heartbreaking for any PNM to get released by any chapter. But it happens every year, regardless of ability, race, wealth, etc. Hopefully she finds another way to stay involved on campus.

homeward*bound 09-22-2018 12:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BGKdLady (Post 2461061)
also that another young woman with Down's is a sorority member on that campus.

I can confirm that at least this part is true. She is a regular matriculating student studying to earn a bachelor's degree though.

DaffyKD 09-22-2018 11:45 AM

Question, are there sororities that specifically state that women joining their organization must be working toward a diploma? If so, those chapters would be obligated by their National Bylaws to only accept those who are seeking a diploma and not a Certificate of Completion.

DaffyKD

navane 09-22-2018 03:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by homeward*bound (Post 2461082)
I can confirm that at least this part is true. She is a regular matriculating student studying to earn a bachelor's degree though.


Is she regularly matriculating bachelor's degree student and also a participant in MasonLIFE? I ask because, in the news article interview I read, she says that she is a MasonLIFE student.


Regardless......the fact that there is currently a MasonLIFE student with Downs Syndrome as a member of Gamma Phi Beta at GMU, I have a hard time understanding the Heigl family's claims that AnnCatherine was specifically discriminated against because of her disability.

The MasonLIFE brochure includes a photo of a group of students and one is wearing an Alpha Xi Delta letter shirt. :confused: Here -- https://masonlife.gmu.edu/documents/...-brochure.pdf/

The university VP is quoted in this article as saying that other MasonLIFE students have been in fraternities and sororities -- https://www.indystar.com/story/news/...ty/1357681002/


SO.....is the bottom line here perhaps is that this young lady, like many others across the country, went out for rush and simply didn't get a bid? It happens. Just because she has a unique quality, that doesn't mean that the sororities "have" to take her any more than they "have" to take anyone. We've already established a pattern the GMU sororities do accept MasonLIFE students; so, perhaps there is more to this story.


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