THE “BATTLE OF THE BIG THREE” RAGES ON
AS A FORMER I ’ANHELLEN1C RUSH Chairman at the University of Oklahoma an J a Highland Park resident, I appreciated your depressing, yet all-too-true account of sorority Ru ;h in this part of the world [“Battit of the Big Three,” September].
The attitudes perpetrated from generation to generation in this “bubble” are I lgendary, and until the traditional mind-set of pledging girls “jus like us” is eradicated, the narrow group of rush-ees “fought over” will only grow smaller and more parochial.
My daughter, a high school boarder at Emma Willard School in Troy, N.Y., happily confirms that academics, altruism, and lasting friend; hips can be developed in arenas other thani sorority houses-and certainly beyond the Park Cities.
ONCE UPON . A TIME, A YOUNG GIRL WHO lived miles away from a place called Highland Parkin the East Texas town of Longview, decided not only to attend SMU, but also to go through Rush, Alas! She had no car, she was not a legacy, she wasn’t even royalty.
Good grief She pledged Kappa! Along with girls from Lufkin, Texarkana, Tyler, Temple, and ; ’es, Highland Park.
While a Kappa, she was taught the meaning of true friendship. The girls she pledged with were chosen for their integrity, intelligence, and sense of humor-not for the size of their bank accounts.
In O. Henry’ fashion, this story has a surprise ending- -it is true. The fairy tale is Sara Peterson ’s “Battle of the Big Three,” published in the September issue of D.
SUE HARDING DEAKINS
AFTER READIIIG YOUR ARTICLE ABOUT SMU sororities, it is no wonder that outsiders view the SMU community as little more than a bunch of snooty, rich brats. Your article only reinforced “cookie cutter” stereotypes of SMU sorority girls.
Despite claims made in your article, which merely amounts to a cleverly engineered smear campaign, the “Big Three”- Kappa, Theta. and Pi Phi-are certainly not “the best” sororities at SMU. Perhaps they would qualify if a sorority were merely to be judged by such criteria as net worth, good looks, and feigning to be prim and proper. While the “Big Three” may relish in this article and smugly enjoy their alleged good reputation now, I urge them to reconsider that it is not up to them to decide who is “the best.”
MELISSA A. CHILDS
I WAS FURIOUS AFTER READING SARA PETER-son’s piece, “Battle of the Big Three.” I attended SMU and was an ADPi, one of the houses labeled a “garbage sorority.” I am very proud of my sorority and certainly don’t consider myself or my sorority sisters “garbage.”
The Theta who was quoted as labeling mine and other sororities at SMU as “garbage” is obviously an elitist snob who is in for a rude awakening in the real world. After all, I could be her boss someday (and boy do I look forward to that).
Thank God I am out of college and do not have to deal with these petty little sorority girls and their misconceived notions of grandeur. Now I just deal with their older sisters.
“THE BATTLE OF THE BIG THREE” was mean-spirited and lacked objectivity. Ms. Peterson criticizes the young coeds, their moms, the girls in the sororities, and even the alums. Her descriptions are extreme and single-faceted. The piece seemed to be another weak attempt to denounce the Greek system timed to appear in your magazine at the onset of a new school term on the SMU campus. When did D Magazine decide to make such poor use of its pages?
The next time I read D Magazine, I hope that the level of journalism will not be so small-minded, biased, and hurtful.
CARLYN MANLEY GRAY
I ATTENDED SMU IN THE YEARS 1985-1989. Even though I am a former sorority member, I am sad to see that SMU’s sorority/fraternity system is still as racist and exclusionary as it was when I was there. I believe if SMU wants to be taken more seriously as an academic institution, it should probably abolish the Greek system.
AS A 1985 GRADUATE OF SMU, AND A MEM-ber of a fraternity as well, I found your article on the “Big Three” sororities very interesting. I am saddened, however, thai such a humiliating and degrading ritual continues in exactly the same fashion as it did years ago.
Looking back, I am amazed that I ever let people treat me in the fashion that they did, and I am disappointed that mature, responsible adults still encourage their protégés to talk about other girls as “castoffs” and “garbage houses.” When we wonder why our culture continues to be so disconnected and relationally bankrupt, we need look no further than ourselves.
REV. DAVID D. SWANSON
LITTLE PRAISE FOR THE CHURCH MAN
YOUR SEPTEMBER ISSUE MANAGED TO IN-sult my church |”God’s Country”], and many of the organizations to which I and many others belong. You did this by using a liberal Yankee outsider and a soured sorority reject who only showed their envy and stupidity in their research. Where would Dallas be without the millions of dollars and thousands of volunteer hours given by the people that you just insulted? This is hardly the type of journalism that will keep you in business.
IN THE ARTICLE, “GOD’S COUNTRY,” REV-erend George Exoo lost credibility with me after his shallow slam-dunk of St. Judo’s Chapel in downtown Dallas.
It was obvious that the “critic” was an outsider with no knowledge of the vastly popular Fattier Graham and his flock. Father Graham has given years of spiritual assignments laced with laughter and tears of compassion to me, my family, and friends. I particularly cherish the union of cultures and ages that exist in this parish.
In the “Cnurch Man’s” five-star accolade of St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, he says, “The blood of Christ exploded on my tongue as a rich, fruity sherry ” I would hope that in the future, Rev. Exoo chooses to review couscous and not communion.
IN RESPONSE TO THE SARCASTIC AND NEG-ative critique of Highland Park United Methodist Church by Reverend Exoo: In Mark Craig, we have one of the finest, most eloquent, and charismatic ministers to be found anywhere.
Our congregation is uniformly friendly in welcoming newcomers. The church provides shuttle) service to and from SMU’s Moody Coliseum parking lot. The edifice is imposing and the grounds are beautiful. The caring outreach programs benefit many different segments of our great city.
Practically every Sunday morning. the church is cnriched by four or five new members. This fact alone attests to Mark Craig’s ministry.
REAL ESTATE REDUX
After reading yol*r article “The 50 Hottest Neighborhoods,” [September] I’m left feeling remarkably unimpressed. If your research was thorough, you would know what a great city we have and why it’s one of the fastest-growing places in North Texas. I noticed you conveniently chose not to list your criteria for choosing the “hottest” neighborhoods. What is hoi about a community that sells two houses in two years, and those sales took six to 10 months to complete? One assumes that some consumers may use your information as a consideration in shopping for a new home. It seems grossly unfair that parts of the area that offer wonderful lifestyles, great schools, and successful communities are not given equal exposure.
Your article does list some great places to live, but where is the objective criteria that clearly identifies the reasons for your selections? By dodging those questions, you lose credibility and offend those of us who work hard to create quality neighborhoods that far outperform those you list.
President-Elect, Greater Fort Worth
AS A LIFETIME RESIDENT AND ACTIVE MORT-gage lender in Lake Highlands, I was amazed at (he inaccurate information reported about the Lake Highlands area.
Had the authors bothered to check with the Greater Dallas Association of Realtors, they would have discovered a healthy community with increased sales and higher average prices. Lake Highlands continues to be the best community-based neighborhood in the area.
Your article may sway the uninformed, but Lake Highlands will always be the best value in town. As for this old banker, “hat’s where I’m putting my money.
CEO, Heartland Mortgage Corp.
THOUGH THE 890 DALLAS LAWYERS WHO responded to the Dallas Bar- Poll are entitled to their opinion, it should not be assumed thai the millions of other Texans share their views. The article on Judge Tyson [“Bad Reviews Won’t Stop Judge From Running,” Pulse of the City, September] contains some inaccuracies and oilier problems which require clarilication.
Fred Baron is cited as a source of research, and his opinions are characterized as being those of most lawyers without identifying the fact that Judge Tyson’s decisions could cause Baron to lose hundreds of millions of dollars by preventing him from dumping his out-of-s(ate asbestos claims in Texas courts.
Also, the article stated thai Tyson has a high reversal rate. In fact, of the more than 30,000 cases that Judge Tyson has presided over, less than one-half of 1 percent of her decisions have been appealed: around less than one-tenth of 1 percent have been reversed. That is a record that any judge should be proud to have.
THE “BATTLE OF THE BIG THREE” RAGES ON