Imagine being rejected from any sort of social group or organization because of the color of your skin. This is exactly what happened to one female student at the University of Alabama. The student is black and was denied acceptance into a sorority simply because of her race.
According to an article in the Huffington Post, she was well-qualified for most of the sororities. She graduated high school with a 4.3 grade point average and is part of a well-respected family involved in public service. Interestingly enough, though, only one black girl has ever received a bid to a traditionally white sorority at the university.
When asked the reasons for this, many responded by explaining it was the alumni who only wanted white girls in the sorority. Supposedly, if they were to accept a black woman, their funding would be cut. One of the sorority girls admitted on Total Frat Move, “Girls from other schools may not have as intense of a rush as we have here, alums are big $$$ providers … I mean ‘decision makers.’”
Any reason a girl would not be accepted into a sorority because of her skin color is absurd. Segregation should have ended many years ago, yet we still face this problem today. It just does not seem right.
Fortunately, the school is trying to change this problem. Deborah Lane, the school’s associate vice principal for university relations, stated to USA Today that “UA is working with our local chapters and their national organizations to remove any barriers that prevent young women (both the prospective new members and the chapter members) from making the choices they want to make.”
One of the main reasons for joining a fraternity or sorority is to be able to make new friends one would maybe not find elsewhere. But how could this happen if the groups are not accepting of everyone?
The problem is not that this girl did not get accepted into one sorority, but that none of them accepted her. Since when are sororities or fraternities only aimed at one race? Having a diverse group of students involved could help students tremendously.
Prior to entering college, most students may not have been surrounded by various groups of people, most likely having the same friends since their elementary school. But in college they begin a new chapter in their lives in which they want to meet a wide range of people, and see and understand more cultures and personalities.
Even at ISU there are certain sororities or fraternities aimed at one specific race. For example, the fraternity Alpha Psi Lambda is targeted toward those of Latino descent. The reasons for having a fraternity such as this makes sense – bringing together members who share similar backgrounds and who can therefore relate to each other. If a club formed and emphasized learning a certain type of culture, that seems acceptable.
While there are some instances of fraternities and sororities of one race, that does not mean that other members are rejected due to being a different ethnicity. Having one-race organizations can help build pride within its members. But, it still does not seem fair to prevent others from joining. Of course some would probably allow others who are not of that race to join the group if someone of a different race feels comfortable enough to join.
This Editorial Board proffers to keep social organizations open and accepting to all students, regardless of where they come from or their skin color.