Saturday, August 9, 2014

How University Of Alabama Sororities Kept Black Women From Joining


 2013 was host to a massive controversy when it was revealed traditionally white sororities at the public university in Tuscaloosa were still discriminating against black women.

Although things have been quiet lately around the issue, Marie Claire magazine dived into how the UA sororities were able to keep women of color from getting bids without outright declaring "No blacks allowed":

At Kappa Delta, the oldest and arguably most prestigious house on campus, the rushees are seated in different rooms depending on how interested the sorority is in pledging them. The best room, called Rush-to-Pledge, is reserved for rushees whom the sorority wants to give the hard sell. Kappa Delta member Kirkland Back, 22, a 2014 graduate, says that in her years in the sorority she saw only two black women ever seated there—and one was a mistake.

"This past year, a black girl ended up in the Rush-to-Pledge room," Back says. "Someone messed up and seated her in the wrong spot … so you can imagine the sad hilarity of watching a bunch of really privileged white girls freaking out. They were like, 'Oh, my God, oh, my God, oh, my God! What are we going to do? She can't think we actually like her!' So they were like, 'Nobody talk to her. … She's gotta know that she's not welcome. She's gotta know this isn't going to work out.'"

"It's not that we've never had black girls come through rush," says Melanie Gotz, 22, a 2014 Alabama graduate and member of Alpha Gamma Delta. "I would see them in the first round, and then they all disappeared. I just figured they didn't make the grades. Until this year, I didn't realize that they were being automatically dropped after the first round. I feel really naïve now—I didn't really think racism existed in such a blatant way anymore."

It should be noted every sorority does rush differently, so how things played out at Kappa Delta wouldn't necessarily be applicable to other houses.

But Phi Mu sister Caroline Bechtel disclosed to Marie Claire she'd hear comments like "Oh, she wore an ugly dress," to explain why the black women weren't being offered bids. "But it was so obviously wrong, so obviously racism," Bechtel said.

Eventually, the university administration announced changes to allow desegregation in the sororities. One house even elected their first black president.

But there are still cultural problems that needed addressed, some students say, and there was a controversy in the spring over what the university's student government would do about the traditionally all-white sororities.

Currently, Marie Claire notes, there are 21 black sorority members, which is approximately 0.4 percent of the university's entire Panhellenic population.

No comments:

Post a Comment


All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information. These terms and conditions of use are subject to change at any time and without notice. We do not share personal information with third-parties nor do we store information we collect about your visit to this blog for use other than to analyze content performance through the use of cookies, which you can turn off at any time by modifying your Internet browser's settings. We are not responsible for the republishing of the content found on this blog on other Web sites or media without our permission. This privacy policy is subject to change without notice.