According to a disturbing report from The Crimson White, segregation is still alive and well at the University of Alabama’s fraternities and sororities.
The sorority Alpha Gamma Delta has come under fire for rejecting an African American candidate who would have been considered a prime recruit for any organization. Her high school GPA was 4.3, she graduated at the top of her class and had an impressive record of public service.
The recruit, who asked to remain anonymous, didn’t receive a bid from any of the University’s sororities during formal recruitment. Melanie Gotz, a member of Alpha Gamma Delta, says she knows why; the recruit is an African American. She and at least one other African American woman were passed up for membership.
“Like other black women before them, these two students tried to break what remains an almost impenetrable color barrier,” the CW reported. “Fifty years after Vivian Malone and James Hood became the first black students to desegregate The University of Alabama, there remains one last bastion of segregation on campus: The UA greek system is still almost completely divided along racial lines.”
The University of Alabama has continued to fall way behind other universities in regards to integration. “People are too scared of what the repercussions are of maybe taking a black girl,” Gotz said. “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.”
When Gotz openly questioned the recruit’s exclusion, the board of alumnae cited the sorority’s “letter of recommendation requirements.” But as the board gave their reasons, current sorority members began standing up to voice their support for the recruit.
“It was cool to see everyone willing to take this next step and be the sorority that took a black girl and not care,” Gotz said. “The entire house wanted this girl to be in Alpha Gam. We were just powerless over the alums.”
In light of the developments, Alpha Gamma Delta released the following statement:
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.
However, a current member of another sorority, who asked to remain anonymous, said that her chapter’s Alumnae interfered with the voting process in regards to the Alpha Gamma Delta recruit.
“To my knowledge, the president and the rush chair and our rush advisors were behind this,” the member said. “And if we had been able to pledge her, it would have been an honor. However, our [alumnae] stepped in and went over us and had her dropped.”
Read The Crimson White’s full story here.