Two University of Alabama sorority members have come forward to confirm what many already know: sororities are blocking black women from pledging. While a some sorority sisters chose to remains anonymous, Alpha Gamma Delta’s Melanie Gotz spoke with her school’s newspaper on the record, describing how alumnae bar black candidates:
“Are we really not going to talk about the black girl?”
The question - asked by Alpha Gamma Delta member Melanie Gotz during her chapter’s sorority recruitment - was greeted by silence. The sorority’s active members and a few alumnae gathered in the room to hear the unexpected news that there would be no voting on potential new members that night. The chapter, they were told, had already agreed on which students would be invited back for the next round.
And it’s not just alumnae that are blocking black pledges. Some sororities have a voting system—but black women are still kept from pledging:
“Not a lot of rushees get awesome scores,” the Tri Delta member said. “Sometimes sisters [of active members] don’t get that. [She] got excellent scores. The only thing that kept her back was the color of her skin in Tri Delt. She would have been a dog fight between all the sororities if she were white.”
And a Chi Omega sister said a University of Alabama employee named Emily Jamison kept a promising black recruit from being considered:
“I know [the recruit] got perfect scores from the people in chapter the first day, and she got cut after the first day and I know it had to do with our advisor - is the one that dropped her,” the Chi Omega member said. “Her name is Emily Jamison.”
The University of Alabama is no stranger to segregation. Governor George Wallace made his now infamous “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever” statement there fifty years ago in 1963. Although Wallace’s attempt to block black students from entering the university’s doors was thwarted, it seems he had a point about segregation sticking around for a while.