Post Classifieds

Reaves offers DST a Christmas gift: Permission to return to campus

By Katrina Robinson
On December 10, 2014

        Effective Christmas day, the 10-year suspension of the Gamma Phi Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated will be over.

        Among his priorities – before he steps down as Winston-Salem State’s chancellor--Donald J. Reaves decided to give the Deltas permission to return to campus.

        The irony of the Christmas date is intentional.

“I hope that they saw the comedy in the date,” Reaves said.

       “It’s a Christmas present. I was in a good mood. I hope they’ve learned a lesson from the suspension they had to sustain.”

       The campus chapter was suspended May 2010 for violating the Winston-Salem State hazing policy.

       Reaves sent an email Nov. 4 to the sorority’s national first vice president, Beverly Evans Smith.   In the correspondence he said he was “restoring the privileges of the organization.”

      Smith could not be reached for comment.

      Reaves said letting four years pass before permitting the Deltas to return to the yard was appropriate.

       “In theory, it’s the length of time it takes for a full class of students to miss the intake process. Four years of students should have missed the intake process. So I hope that they get themselves reorganized. I’m happy with the decision and I hope they are as well.”

       Orlando Mitchell, assistant director of student activities and engagement and Greek life, said its natural the chancellor would lift the suspension before he leaves WSSU.  He said the chancellor’s decision [lifting the suspension and restoring the sorority privileges at WSSU] “isn’t significant at all.”

 Mitchell said, “It’s solely up to the organization [Deltas] if they want to return to campus.”

       Publications and communications specialist of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, Bernadine Stallings, said that a lot of elements go into reinstating a chapter and that they [DST headquarters] generally don’t share the process.

       She was unable to make further comments.

        Trae Cotton, vice president of student affairs, said in an email correspondence that he agrees with the chancellor and applauds his decision to lift the suspension, but acknowledges that there are obstacles.

There is a national moratorium [halting of all intake] enacted by DST national office.

On DST’s website, President Paulette Walker wrote:

          “…during the March 2014 National Executive Board meeting of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated ("Delta"), the Board voted to place a moratorium on the membership intake process during the 2014-15 fiscal year (July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015). This of course is not the first time that Delta has placed a moratorium on membership intake. The decision to implement a moratorium is a continuation of, and is fully consistent with, Delta’s efforts over the last few decades to achieve our zero tolerance hazing goal.”

         Cotton said the decision will come down to the local Alumni Chapter and the national office with regard to what they are willing to allow and how soon.

         He also said that there are also some options still available to have a class in spring 2015. Should Delta Sigma Theta be interested, the University will be prepared to support the Deltas any way they can.

“I am looking forward to having the Deltas back on the yard and once again having all of the NPHC “divine nine” represented once again at WSSU,” he said.

“I feel that this can only strengthen our entire Greek community and campus life in general at our University.”



Katrina Robinson








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