I think Calantha is exactly right. There just aren't enough numbers for there to truly be a need for the university to step in and force/offer incentives for diversity. Yeah it sucks if someone is denied the chance to pledge because of his or her race but until enough people are denied and bring it to light then it will continue to happen. The thing about fraternities is that they do have the 'right' to be exclusive. That's why they are fraternities. They just don't let anyone in. It would be hard to prove if someone is denied for any reason, regardless of race as well.
A public, tax payer supported, state college is supporting (financially and otherwise) a club/group/entity that openly discriminates based on race. Tacit approval is still approval.
When the incident last year happened when someone leaning out of a frat window yelled racial epithets at a passing student, Dr. Witt sent a very strong and forceful denunciation of racism and verbal abuse in a letter to (I think) all students. That was strong leadership in the right direction. I suspect that Dr. Witt and other campus leaders have their hearts in the right place on this issue but that doesn't make them immune to either not noticing or not taking action on this large scale and long lasting remnant of discrimination left over from the past. I would think that at the very least they would use their position in the school to push things in the right direction. I would also think that university (ie. taxpayer) money should not be used to support any group that discriminates based on criteria that are protected against discrimination under the Constitution of the US. It happens in many ways all over the country, but since we're talking about frats here...there are frats in the country that have successfully integrated and frats that have stayed completely segregated, but it's not all that important whether or not "it happens elsewhere." UA is a leader in a lot of ways - it would be nice if this were one of them.
^^^ prophet ... Wow ... is, someone willing to post the number of non-AA, non-white members at any or all the fraternities and sororities on UA campus? Does that information even exist? Having some experience with National Chapters since I re-chartered a house myself and was on Exec Board, and helped author our Constitution (even if it was 25 years ago), I can bet that no National Chapter would have a policy in place excluding minorities of any kind, so those policies are NOT within the core principles of the organization nationally. Period. As for the numerical figure not being high enough to justify the effort, well, that's just fooey! I law school, they teach the principle of the "slippery slope" ... if we allow it to happen even ONCE, we'll be setting the precedent to allow it to happen in mass. Someone please answer me 1 ... just 1 ... valid reason for NOT admitting even 1 person of color (AA or not) into an organization if in all respects the young man or young lady is an upstanding, fine, respectful student with the grades and the personality and desire to join but his or her ONLY difference is that she happens to be a different color? I dare anyone to find one reason that is NOT seated in some tradition based on outdated notions of "who is better" to associate with. Period. I promise not to post on this thread even one more time, but the whole premise is unjustifiable at its base. So, sad really. This time, I am truly out as I think I've made my point clear. There ARE those "entities" that could provide the impetus to at least begin the dialogue for change, but first there has to be a desire to do so. Tradition is NOT a good enough answer.
Dad2ILD - I agree. Please continue to post too. We all enjoy these discussions. I'm speaking from my purely informal experience at UA as a student, before and after I became Greek. I was just saying that there are so few black students that attempt to pledge a white organization that it won't garner enough attention from officials. That won't happen until 1,2,10,15, (just making up numbers) students all come with their grievance.
That incident that occurred with one of the fraternities yelling racial epithets was extremely blatant, while as denying someone because of their race is almost behind the scenes.
The good thing is that there are some newer white fraternities that more readily accept non white members, plus there are a handful of explicit multicultural fraternities and sororities (they actually officially advertise themselves as such). There are plenty of fraternities to fit any interested member. Again, if a certain org (white or black) doesn't want certain races, as an individual I would not even want to seek membership into that group.
^^^ Thanks, and it does make me feel better that at least some of the new houses are opening up to all comers. I would hope, for example, that Delta Gama, being their first year of recruitment, would have a more inclusive plan from the get-go. Right?
You have just described the daily life for a person of color....perhaps not being only one among many in all situations...but certainly feeling like most everyone else doesn't look like you. Imagine what that would be like every day for a lifetime and not just your college years. Having intentionally placed myself in that situation several times, I can tell you it is very disconcerting, indeed....it is also enlightening.
This thread has made my stomach hurt, my head hurt, and I feel nauseous. My daughter is a person of color. She is Asian...from India....and I did *not* want her to go to Alabama because of the idea that *every* opportunity at UA would not be open to her...plain and simple. We live in Auburn and AU's Greek record is not much better. Thankfully, some of the traditionally white sororities have pledged AA, Asian, and biracial girls from Auburn High....but, truthfully, rush is not the same for non-Caucasians here either. I didn’t want her to go to either school. And then she got an invitation to University Fellows. It is perfect for my daughter….she wants to accomplish big things. She wants to make a difference in the lives of others. But she is shy and needs something like UFE.
We had looked at schools all over the south...all the way up into VA.... she hates the cold and preferred to be as far south as possible. At every school, Vandy, Emory, Wake, Davidson, Furman, Tulane, Sewanee, Wm & Mary, Alabama, etc., I asked if the Greek system was segregated. She had expressed an interest in rush. At the same time, I begin filling her with negatives about the Greek system....at first without telling her the real truth...it was too painful….it was too personal. How do I begin? "Sweetie, I know you're kind and generous and gorgeous and a stellar student, but I'm sorry, your skin is a just little too brown."
Finally, I had to do it. I was about to send her into the world on her own. She needs to know. She is naive. She has gone to a high school that is extremely diverse. She won't *get it* unless I tell her. But, how do I do that?
How does a mother tell her daughter that her life is about to change....."You are a minority, honey....and while your life has been largely unaffected by that up to this point, things are going to be different from now on. Your values and your deeds will no longer be the basis of how people will know you. People will look at you and think they know you. Your world is getting larger. Your options are getting smaller."
But more importantly, how does a mother encourage her daughter to even *consider* a college knowing she is barred from participating in a system in which a significant percentage of the student population is engaged? How does one do that without feeling disloyal to her child? “
And then somewhere along the way, I realize that my worries, my heartaches are played out day after day after day for countless mothers. I am white. I have not had to think about looking different from most of the people in my world. It is a new experience, for me… but not new in the grand scheme of things.
So, I decide the truth shall set me free…at least free to talk openly with my daughter. We have had many occasions to celebrate our good fortune…we are a bi-racial family. We know that many people are not as fortunate. We live every day knowing that our love is not restricted by irrational barriers based on skin color. And so we have the talk….about not just UA, but the WORLD and PEOPLE and how some of us just have to know the truth in our hearts and go on about our business trying to show others what they are missing. Lady D is so right…..experience with people who are different is the key to the knowledge that we really aren’t so different.
I am truly sorry to be so verbose…it was selfish on my part…reading this thread was causing me to worry all over again…..how could I have allowed her to go to a school where we all know she starts from a point of disadvantage? Writing has helped me reach the point I did a few months ago …being angry that the world, not just UA, is the way it is….but realizing that things can change when enough people are interested in seeing it happen. And while many comments on this thread are disheartening, some of you are so forthright in your willingness to speak out that I am very encouraged that your children will make a difference….at UA and the WORLD.
I would NEVER have thought I’d be agreeing with NJBama in a million years. Just goes to show you, things can change!
waddaw.. standing up and applauding you!...i didnt have the same courage as you to continue on this thread.. One of my children is a bi racial child, and i seethed at the comments by some on this thread..perhaps i took things too personally as that is the perspective i viewed the comments from.. but the arguments became self serving and circular to me...
1. adamantly..yes we are diverse..just compare our numbers..YET... no we arent that diverse there are not enough students that would want an integrated system of greek
2. people will relate to their own race or religion..YET...we cant have one aspect of the entire college experience that might lead to romantic partnering... yet dorms, classes etc are not segregated.
3. we have better or equivalent numbers as other states schools, but you just cant make the frats/sororities integrate....YET those other state schools have done so... Yet the "south is more integrated than the north""
UA has an opportunity to be a star in this aspect..but it has to take action to do so, not settle for the status quo. And if Auburn, UAB, Troy, South, BSC or any others are the same..then they need to as well
I am a Kappa alum (KKG), and when I get my magazine, I notice that many chapters have at least a few AA women. But, here is the issue, and the only issue really. Would you feel comfortable in an all white house? Or would you feel more comfortable in an AA house? If you fit in, you fit in. I've known many AA men that did not feel comfortable in an AA frat for various reasons. The truth is, many of the 99% white frats are the most prestigious, and if I were you, if this is what you want, go for it. If these are guys you honestly see yourself bonding with, spending time with, and respecting, I honestly do believe you will receive a bid. If you are offended by off color jokes-some racist-then NO. And by the way, I'm sure the jokes fly at the AA houses as well. If you have something to offer, and you feel THEY have something good to offer, then GO FOR IT. Remember, it is a SOCIAL match, a life long (allegedly) bond.
Set race aside, and factor in the rest. GPA? Star Athlete? Star musician? Letters? (of recommendation) and so on.
^ I suppose on the most basic level, it depends on if you find a group of guys you "click" with, a commonality that makes you think you want to be tied to these guys as your brothers forever.
You may find that in one of the newer integrated fraternities, I find it a hard leap to think you will find that with a group that either blatantly or silently don't want you.
I am assuming from the above posts that there are fraternities to whom the whole separation thing is abhorent. Find those guys.
Also a shout out to the GDIs - while I understand, especially on this board, that it seems like Greek is a huge thing, there are many MANY who don't give it a second thought. Don't think you need to pledge to be a part of something - the majority do not and still have a great and productive time at UA.
Every person cannot implement the incentives needed. Someone high up at Bama would need to implement those incentives.
and who says AA's will be slow to sign up?? waddaw's D is eager!
She is Asian...from India
Waddaw's D is not AA. And, since Waddaw's D is not AA, she doesn't have AA Greek houses as a popular alternative. My point was that it will be difficult to get AA's to go thru non-AA rush.. That said, since my son's suitemate is Indian/Asian and is in a White frat, I do know that success can already be had there.
Oh...and here's the response from my son's GF (who is not white) when I asked her about AA's in White houses at UAB...
Black students choose to go to the black fraternities/sororities. I think that sororities are more accepting than fraternities here.