Sorority Segregation

Recently I heard about an incident at the University of Alabama that seriously got my blood boiling. Allegations were made  towards  several of the school’s Panhellenic sororities , claiming that they were systematically excluding two African American women from becoming members. According to many accounts, these women were perfect candidates; having great grades, tons of high school involvement, and both came from very good families. Somehow though, these two women did not receive a bid (invitation) to any of the sixteen Panhellenic sororities on campus, making it incredibly obvious that they were excluded because of the color of their skin. As a member of one of the chapters targeted in these allegations, I almost feel responsible for the blatant racism that happened at The University of Alabama. When I first learned that my chapter, who I have always held to such a high standard and whose Purpose I try to live out everyday, was a part of this I was speechless. I became even more detested the more I thought about it. How is this type of racists exclusion still happening? I have seen how recruitment works, if the African American PNM (potential new member) was well liked by the women in the chapter her scores would have reflected that and with her GPA and high school involvement, it sounds to me that this girl would have been a shoe-in. According to various sources, the alumna tinkered with the girls’ scores to ensure that they would not be asked back the following night. My heart is broken for all of the women involved in this terrible incident. For the chapter members who obviously missed out on gaining an incredible new sister and who have been failed by the leaders of their respective organizations, my heart is broken. For the two amazing women who were not given a chance to become part a PanHellenic organization because of the color of their skin, my heart is broken. For the advisors and alumna who acted like complete baffoons and who are clearly blinded by undeserved hatred for people who are different, my heart is broken. I can only hope that swift and immediate action has been taken by the chapter’s national headquarters to somewhat remedy this situation, however I am not entirely certain how you could fix something like this. Involvement in a PanHellenic sorority is so much more than wearing letters and going to parties, it is about becoming a better woman and doing good in the world. It is supposed to be an environment that fosters love, sisterhood, morality, and justice. This incident not only makes the University of Alabama look bad, but it does a complete disservice to sorority women everywhere. I wish more than anything that I could say with confidence that Alabama chapter of my sorority was completely innocent, but I can not on my good conscious do that. Racism is still very alive in the south and its clear that it is not going anywhere anytime soon. I just hope that the two African American women that were involved do amazing things with their lives, make the women who excluded them feel like the idiots that they are.

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