Old Row Fraternities and sororities have alums who would glad put up $$$$$$ to keep the status quo. Most organizations do not have $$$ just lying around but their alumni are a big part of the financial buoyancy for their particular chapter. As an alum of a sorority that has a house on the Alabama campus I was "approached" for financial assistance when that house colonized years ago. I gladly gave because those girls were my sisters just as girls who are initiated members at a variety of campuses are my sisters. We are "invested" as alums to help each chapter grow and thrive.
I also wonder how the concept of recommendations would work? Panhellenic says that recommendations are not required and that a house cannot "drop" you because you do not have a recommendation for that house, but we all know that recs are a "vital" part of recruitment for Alabama. Alumni write those recs and so i am wondering how that would work with integrating a diverse group of girls into the system. While I am sure that women could be found to write these recs I believe that the process would be difficult (not impossible) and maybe even discouraging????
M2CK, no one says that it will be easy or clear cut, and to a large extent, the fact that it's a social organization means that in the end the person joining needs to feel wanted and welcome in his new band of brothers or sisters. As for what to do with the traditionally jewish, catholic, prot aspects to the historical roots of the organizations, it is usually not a barrier at other more integrated campuses. 25 years ago when I rechartered my fraternity and we wrote our constitution, we had guidance from our national office and though the "roots" of our fraternity was Catholic, their official national stance was that rituals, etc. were based on Judeo-Christian beliefs. We had both religious diversity (christian, jewish, buddist, and muslim) in our fraternity as well as racial diversity (white, AA, and asian). It is possible. But using my case as an example, we had the willingness to do it and the backing of our national organization. Without that "want to" to break the traditional barriers, likely nothing will be done.
It certainly is disturbing that the Sororities/Fraternities on UA's campus are not integrated. I believe wholeheartedly that they should be and I hope that change will be initiated sooner, rather than later.
Just to clarify. My particular comment, in my post, about self- segregation has to do with what I have seen on other campuses especially state and city universities. This has nothing to do with the Greek System, ie: there is a particular state university (that I know) where one of the ethnic groups stays together because they consider themselves extremely academically motivated and they compete against each other (an informal Honors group). They go to class together, travel the campus together, study together and socialize together. They have the same opportunities to mix and mingle as any other student but often choose not do so.
What I am saying is that it is a personal choice to form a social group of one's own choosing, but the Greek Houses are part of the university wide system and as such they should not be segregated.
I don't believe a quota/incentive system would help too much. I doubt there would be many blacks that would be interested in pledging a white frat/sorority anyway (or vice versa). It goes back to what someone else posted earlier, a difference in cultures. Just because you don't enjoy hanging with a group of people doesn't mean you are racist. It does suck that there are some groups that discriminate on race but would you really want to be in a fraternity anyway if you were just chosen to satisfy a quota?
It strikes me as strange that college campuses are self-segregated in this way whereas workplaces are not. My workplace is extremely diverse, and no one seems to think twice about it. Perhaps this is more true in large corporations, which have to be sensitive to shareholders' concerns and to the potential ill effects of bad publicity. Whatever the reason, we are totally integrated, and teams that work closely together resemble the United Nations, lol.
I didn't mean to offend anyone with my crack about self-segregation. I know it happens. But does it have to?? Re cultural differences: Can't we learn to appreciate each other's cultures? I have a black colleague who loves country music, lol. (She likes hip-hop, too.) In my experience, the more you rub elbows with people of other cultures and races, the more you learn to appreciate other perspectives. I have learned a TON about the concerns and perspectives of the black community through my close friendship with the colleague I mentioned. Not that I can ever appreciate another culture "from the inside" -- that's impossible; I'll never have a clue what the black experience is like -- but I have gained a few small insights here and there. I would not trade this rich experience for any amount of white-bread sameness.
I do not at all mean to be preachy; sorry if it comes off that way. Am just testifying to my own experience. There are many disadvantages to working for a big corporation (don't get me started!), but the diverse workforce is a definite plus.
m2ck, the funny thing is is that many, if not all of the Jewish fraternities I see mentioned on CC accept and value non-Jewish members and will often put them in leadership positions. As for historically black fraternities, there are many non-black students who are used to Black culture and would feel more comfortable in a historically black fraternity than a historically white fraternity, just as I'd imagine that there are some non-Hispanic students who would prefer to be in a historically Hispanic fraternity.
I wouldn't necessarily suggest requiring organizations to accept certain numbers of students from different racial/ethnic groups, but do support the encouragement of diversity. The argument that fraternities and sororities won't integrate because certain parents don't want their children dating someone of a different race/ethnicity, ie characteristics that one did not choose and cannot change, really shows one how narrow minded some people can be. If I were a parent, I'd be more concerned about my child dating someone who is respectful and loves and cares for my child as much as I do. Race/ethnicity never enters the equation as we all came from the same place (Africa) however long ago and have more similarities than differences.
^^^ Yep, there's no question that the lack of any chance whatsoever of a person of color having the ability to join a social sorority or fraternity is wrong. Outside pressure will need to come from someplace to implement any change. Many students will choose to affiliate with those houses that have welcomed them historically (white, black, jewish, etc.) but that does not make it right when the grounds for such exclusion, which keep them from looking elsewhere, continue to proliferate an underlying, unspoken, message of bigotry. My D has not gone through Rush/Recruitment, nor do I think she will test those waters, so I'm only speaking from my own Greek experiences. Social, residential, and academic interaction of students at UA is in ALL other respects not segregated. Taking race out of it, but making a related point, I might suggest that there's a MUCH higher chance that a Jewish young lady might meet and hook up with a Christian young man in the coed dorms, where they interact on a daily basis, than from a social mixer between a fraternity and sorority, right? But we don't have an all AA, all boys, all girls dorm system like used to exist back in the old days. Anyway, I've probably said enough. All my comments submitted with the utmost respect ...