After being at the center of controversy this past week for its segregated Greek system, the University of Alabama is issuing a new deal that is expected to allow organizations to offer membership bids to Black candidates who were previously rejected, according to TIME.
The university is making steps to end segregation since four traditionally white sororities were called out for blocking Black candidates, who were well qualified, from joining. Alpha Gamma Delta, Delta Delta Delta, Chi Omega and Pi Beta Phi were cited as having recruitment issues according to The Final Barrier: 50 Years Later, Segregation Still Exists, an article published in the The Crimson White last week.
“The issue is the alumnae and not the undergraduates,” says Gentry McCreary, a former director of Greek affairs told TIME. “There’s definitely some fear, whether real or imagined, that there would be some repercussions if a sorority took an African-American member. They’re able to subvert the will of the chapter, and it’s gone on for far too long.”
The new agreement will allow sororities to offer new bids to candidates who were not accepted during the recruitment process. The deal was reached following an emergency meeting Sunday night between the university’s president Judy Bonner and sorority-chapter advisers. The agreement is expected to allow sororities to extend bids to the young women mentioned in the Crimson White article. If they accept the offers, it will end one of the last bastions of segregation at the school.
“The allegations are that young women were not selected because of their race,” Bonner said via email. “If these allegations are true, then that is discrimination. It is against the law, University policy and the policy of the national organizations. No University organization will be allowed to discriminate against students based on their race.”
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(Photo: Courtesy of Alpha Chi Omega)