White Is Apparently Still Right: University Of Alabama Sororities Discriminating Against Black Women
The University of Alabama (UA) is pretty known for their lack of diversity and recently the collegiate institution made headlines for an alleged Greek bias-related incidents. Certain sororities on UA’s campus will not allow black women to pledge, despite them having the needed credentials. According to the Crimson White, four sororities- Alpha Gamma Delta, Tri Delta, Chi Omega and Pi Beta Pi – do not want to taint their lily white legacy. Reporters Abbey Crain and Matt Ford from Crimson White were told from an Alpha Gamma Delta insider, the sorority no longer votes on potential members because the chapter agreed what female “archetype” would eventually become a member. During one meeting, Alpha Gamma Delta soror Melanie Gotz reportedly asked:
“Are we not going to talk about the black girl?”
On paper, the black girl they spoke of would have been their ideal. She had a 4.3 GPA in high school, was salutatorian of her graduating class, and comes from a family with deep roots in local and state public service and direct links to The University of Alabama.
Unfortunately, she did not fit the physical description of what an Alpha Gamma Delta sister looks like. It’s been noted some alumnae of the previously mentioned sororities have threatened to stop financial support of the organizations if black women were accepted into the sorority. Hence the current discrimination.
Yesha Callahan from Clutch Magazine reported it would have been best for the black women on University of Alabama’s campus to pledge sororities in the Divine Nine ( historical African-American Greek organizations). Especially since sororities in the Divine Nine have an inclusive diversity policy. Although black Greek organizations were created with the intention to serve black students in higher education, depending on the demographic, those same organizations tend to have stereotypes of how Greeks are suppose to look as well. What should be addressed is why Greek organizations, whether black or white choose, to uphold unrealistic standards of how their members should look or behave. Especially when universities are penalizing Greeks who do not live up to their diversity mission codes.
In reponse to this recent report, Whitney Heckathorne, the director of communications for the Chi Omgea nationals stated:
“Our membership policy embraces women from different ethnic, religious and racial backgrounds. Our sole membership criteria is that our members live and reflect Chi Omega values, and so I can speak from the national standpoint that certainly singling out someone because of race is not something that would reflect Chi Omega’s ideals.”
Nevertheless, it still seems to be happening.