University of Alabama students protest Greek system segregation

Posted By KATE STANTON,  |  Sept. 18, 2013 at 8:09 PM
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Hundreds of University of Alabama students gathered on campus Wednesday to protest recent allegations that traditionally white sororities had purposely barred black students from joining.

Carrying banners that read, "Final Stand at the Schoolhouse Door," in reference to 1963's historic Stand at the Schoolhouse Door, students marched to the Rose Administration Building to meet with school president Judy Bonner.

"We cannot end this discussion. We must move forward and encourage one another to be brave," a sophomore organizer told the crowd.

Just a day before, Bonner released a video statement announcing new rules intended to diversify the University of Alabama's Greek system, including an open bidding process which would allow sororities to admit new members at any time.

“While we will not tell any group who they must pledge, the University of Alabama will not tolerate discrimination of any kind," Bonner said.

The chapter members are ready to move forward. The University of Alabama will support them in every way possible. We will work extremely hard to remove any barriers that they perceive. If we are going to adequately prepare our students to compete in the global society, we simply must make systemic and profound changes.

The controversy when the University of Alabama's student newspaper, The Crimson White, spoke to several sorority sisters who said that alumnae had stepped in on discussions about the membership of black students.

Though Alpha Gamma Delta member Melanie Gotz said that her sisters wanted to pledge an unidentified black student to their sorority, their alumnae objected on what they claimed was procedural grounds.

“It was just so cool to see everyone willing to take this next step and be the sorority that took a black girl and not care,” Gotz said. “You know, I would say there were probably five people in the room that disagreed with everything that was being said. The entire house wanted this girl to be in Alpha Gam. We were just powerless over the alums.”

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