Leaked ‘Finsta’ leads to changes in membership of UC Berkeley’s Chi Omega chapter

Catherine Wallin/Staff

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Twenty-two members of the campus chapter of Chi Omega have been asked to leave the sorority after its national branch discovered a private Instagram — or “Finsta” — in which some of the sisters were involved.

The Instagram featured topless photos of women in the sorority, which was considered  a violation of the national branch’s “human dignity” rule, as well as alcohol bottles in sorority rooms, which are also against Chi Omega’s rules, according to a source who requested anonymity because she signed a nondisclosure form in order to avoid eviction without compensation. The source said the Instagram account was taken down before the post could cause any trouble, but an unknown member of the sorority leaked the photos to the national branch.

The source added that when representatives of the national branch came, they conducted interviews of every member of the sorority in order to decide who could keep their membership. According to the source, the national chapter said members could stay if their values aligned with those of the sorority. Not all members who were asked to leave were associated with the Instagram account.

After the 22 members were asked to leave, they were given two options by the national branch, according to the source: either remain in the sorority house until the end of the semester or move out within a couple of days and get a refund, according to documents obtained by The Daily Californian.

The source said that there are many girls upset by these events, but they acknowledged that they did violate national Chi Omega policies. The source, however, said that these policies were very vague.

The source alleged that the national branch paid more attention to the image of the institution than the members. The source added that this incident sheds light on the general issues with the sorority system.

“The whole (rule) that you can’t have boys upstairs … is completely sexist,” the source said. “Fraternities have more freedom than sorority girls do. … They get to make their own rules. … We have no say in how our community and sisterhood is run.”

The Chi Omega Executive Headquarters could not be reached for comment.

Contact Ishira Shrivatsa at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @i_shrivatsa.

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that all 22 sorority members who were asked to leave Chi Omega ran the private Instagram account. In fact, not all the members were associated with the Instagram account.