The University of Alabama’s student newspaper published a story Wednesday exposing four traditionally white sororities who have reportedly blocked two black girls from pledging.
The report, entitled “The Final Barrier: 50 years later, segregation still exists,” revealed the discriminatory actions of sorority members who failed to pledge an African-American girl, despite her stellar academic record (she has a 4.3 GPA) and family roots which directly link back to the university.
The Crimson White reports that the sororities targeted are Alpha Gamma Delta, Tri Delta, Chi Omega and Pi Beta Phi which are a part of the school’s large Greek presence made up of 12 other Panhellenic sororities.
The two African-American whistleblowers wished to remain anonymous but one UA student was vocal in questioning the sorority for their reasons in deciding not to pledge the girls, although they are reportedly considered to be prime candidates.
“People are too scared of what the repercussions are of maybe taking a black girl,” said Melanie Gotz, a member of the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority. “That’s stupid, but who’s going to be the one to make that jump? How much longer is it going to take till we have a black girl in a sorority? It’s been years, and it hasn’t happened.”
The University of Alabama became desegregated in 1963 but despite many advances the school has made in the last 50 years towards promoting diversity, their Greek life lags behind as the last campus sorority to pledge a black student was Gamma Phi Beta in 2003, according to BuzzFeed.
In the latest incident, the decision to block the black student from crossing came from higher-ups in the organization, says a member of Tri Delta.
“To my knowledge, the president and the rush chair and our rush advisors were behind this, and if we had been able to pledge her, it would’ve been an honor,” the unnamed sorority member said. “However, our [alumnae] stepped in and went over us and had her dropped.”
Still, one alumnus spoke to The Crimson White and denied the allegations, saying the alumnae did not play a part in the incident.
“Your information is wrong,” Keene said. “It wasn’t anything to do with someone. It was policy procedure, and if anything, we have to follow policy and procedure with our nationals. That’s all I can say.”
The Crimson White talked to a member of Tri Delta who confirmed the black recruit’s credentials and that race played a role in blocking her admission into the sorority.
“Not a lot of rushees get awesome scores,” she said. “Sometimes sisters [of active members] don’t get that. [She] got excellent scores. The only thing that kept her back was the color of her skin in Tri Delt. She would have been a dog fight between all the sororities if she were white.”
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