Last summer, the University of Alabama campus was rocked by allegations that the fabled Greek scene was racist. Well, not allegations: The school's all-white sororities rejected two women because they weren't white. The school's student Senate had a chance to fix things. But last week, they said "fuck it."
A modest proposal encouraging Bama's fraternities and sororities not to discriminate or segregate on the basis of race died in the student Senate last week—after it was sunk by senators with Greek sympathies, according to several of the bill's sponsors.
"I think ultimately the reason that it failed to pass was it gave the impression, I think maybe, that – to a lot of the senators – that maybe we were attempting to disparage the Greek community, you know, which wasn't the case," Chisholm Allenlundy, an Alabama student who co-sponsored the measure, told the Crimson White, UA's school paper. "Ultimately, the resolution was to just encourage further integration based on diversity, specifically racial diversity on our campus, which I think a lot of people would agree with."
The proposed resolution was tame as hell; after decrying the school's longtime "stigma... regarding its legacy of segregation," it stated that "the Senate supports the complete integration of all Greek letter fraternities and sororities at the University of Alabama, with respect to social diversity among its membership."
Opponents used a parliamentary procedure to table the resolution before the Senate adjourned from its final meeting. 27 senators voted to kill the bill; 5 voted for it, and 2 voted "present," according to the Crimson White.
"I think that this reflects our SGA poorly but also accurately," Katie Smith, the resolution's lead sponsor, told the Crimson White. "I am not surprised. I don't believe that I put anyone in a catch-22. They chose to vote on it and they chose to vote it down."
It was that school paper that first broke the news last summer that the school's all-white sororities had rejected two uber-qualified pledges because they weren't up to racial snuff. Thus far, only one black woman and another multiracial student have gained acceptance to any of those sororities since the school's founding in 1831. (That latter pledge also didn't divulge that she was multiracial until she'd been accepted in her sorority's ranks.)
And plenty of other campuses house fraternities that were begun by unrepentant Southern whites during reconstruction, or who share their beginnings with a secret society that formed the basis for the Ku Klux Klan. As I write this, one frat on the local campus in Tallahassee is preparing for its annual "Old South" ball by remaking its house into a fort, complete with cannonades:
Damn these liberal brainwashing campuses.
[Photo: Members of the Lambda Sigma Phi fraternity at the University of Alabama cheer after a touchdown against Ole Miss at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Saturday, Oct. 18, 2008. Members get pumped up about football, prayer, Bible study and service projects, passions they say that campus officials should and often do embrace as fresh amid a Greek culture typically seen as centered on hazing, keg parties and little else. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)]