University of Alabama Sororities Allegedly Block Black Pledges

Four organizations are being called out for discrimination.

Posted: 09/13/2013 09:29 AM EDT
University of Alabama Sororities Allegedly Block Black Pledges

Alpha Gamma Delta is one of the four sororities that's accused of blocking Black pledges at the University of Alabama. (Photo: Courtesy of Alpha Gamma Delta)

Four traditionally white sororities at the University of Alabama have been accused of blocking Black candidates, who were well qualified, from joining.

The university's greek systems remain mostly segregated compared to other Southern universities, according to The Final Barrier: 50 Years Later, Segregation Still Exists, published in the The Crimson White on Sept. 11.

“People are too scared of what the repercussions are of maybe taking a Black girl,” Alpha Gamma Delta member Melanie Gotz told the paper. During a chapter meeting, she questioned why a Black pledge was not being recruited.

“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,” she added.

The Crimson White reports

By any measure, this candidate was what most universities would consider a prime recruit for any organization, sorority or otherwise. 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 a direct link to the University of Alabama.

The recruit, who asked to remain anonymous, seemed like the perfect sorority pledge on paper, yet didn’t receive a bid from any of the 16 Panhellenic sororities during formal recruitment. Gotz and others said they know why: The recruit is Black. She and at least one other Black woman, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of personal safety, went through formal recruitment this year, but neither was offered a bid.

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With each passing year, the University falls further behind other universities in terms of greek integration. The Crimson White reported in 2012 that other large Southern universities, such as Auburn and Ole Miss, have integrated their greek systems to a further extent than the University.

In response to the controversy, Alpha Gamma Delta released the following statement to the paper:

"Alpha Gamma Delta has policies that govern its recruitment process. These include policies about the roles undergraduates and alumnae play in the recruitment process. In addition, Alpha Gamma Delta policy prohibits discrimination on the basis of race in all of its activities including recruitment. We take seriously any allegation that recruitment policy was not followed."

Alpha Gamma Delta is not the only sorority with problems. The article also cited Delta Delta Delta, Chi Omega and Pi Beta Phi as having recruitment issues.

Read full story here

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