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  #1  
Old 08-20-2002, 10:47 AM
hoosier hoosier is offline
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Rejected black rushee starts "multi-cultural" GLO at AL

Greek integration: One year later
By Steve Reeves
Staff Writer
August 18, 2002

Email this story.


Members of Alpha Chi Omega sorority practice their door song at the sorority house on Colonial Drive Thursday afternoon. The University of Alabama Greek system is preparing for rush week. One year after Melody Twilley failed to break the racial barrier of UAís Greek system, traditionally all-white fraternities and sororities still have yet to integrate. Staff Photo | Jason Getz

TUSCALOOSA | Melody Twilley is rather enjoying the break from the media attention.

Last year, reporters documented her every move during her attempt to break the racial barrier in the University of Alabama Greek system.

Twilley, the black honors student who came to UA from a prestigious high school, failed two years in a row in her efforts to join one of UAís 15 traditionally all-white sororities.

"It kind of takes a load off," the 19-year-old Twilley said recently. "I know a lot more now than I did then. It was kind of a waste of time."

Twilley this year is devoting her efforts to helping form a new, multicultural sorority on campus, one that will have different membership requirements than the traditional Greek groups.

"The major difference is that our composition is different," she said. "We come from different economic and social backgrounds, and we have minorities. Weíre making pretty good progress."

The sorority, which has fewer than 30 members, will choose which national group it will be affiliated with sometime in the next couple of months.

A relatively new fraternity, Lambda Sigma Phi, a faith-based group, is the only majority white Greek organization at UA that has accepted black members. The group, which has 26 members, has a house on fraternity row and admitted its first black member last November. Another black has joined since.

The fraternity is expected to be admitted to UAís Interfraternity Council by the beginning of next year.

In addition to the 15 white sororities, the university has 21 all-white fraternities on campus, as well as eight traditionally black Greek groups. There are about 3,000 students in Greek groups, making up 20 percent of the student body.

UA administrators say they are glad to see students tackling the Greek integration issue on their own, but are not entirely content with the way things are now.

"These new groups are meeting a market that just hasnít been addressed," said Tom Strong, UAís dean of students. "But I donít think they will take the place of having minority membership in traditionally white groups."

The university has long wrestled with integrating its Greek system, taking steps such as delaying rush until after classes start in the fall to encourage more students to take part and encouraging the white groups to seek out qualified minority members.

Strong said several white fraternities invited blacks to their pre-rush events this summer, but none showed up.

"One day that kind of work is going to pay off," he said. "Some seeds are being planted that show it can be done."

UA officials said they donít know yet if any blacks are planning to take part in rush for the white Greek groups this fall, which begins Aug. 29 and ends Sept. 10.

Kevin Clark, the president of the Interfraternity Council, said the white fraternities are advertising rush more this semester to boost attendance.

"We want to open it up to guys who donít know about rush, and that includes everybody, not just blacks," Clark said. "Our numbers are kind of dwindling. So we need guys to come out to rush."

UAís faculty senate took a strong stance last year against the universityís segregated Greek system, passing several resolutions asking the white groups to accept blacks and recommending sanctions for those that didnít.

Faculty senate President Steve Miller said the group plans to take a more low-key approach to dealing with the white Greek organizations. The faculty senate steering committee likely will discuss Greek integration on Tuesday, but Miller said no firm action has been decided yet.

"We want to give them the room to gather their forces and do what is right," he said.
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  #2  
Old 08-20-2002, 11:01 AM
KappaKittyCat KappaKittyCat is offline
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Oh my....
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  #3  
Old 08-20-2002, 11:06 AM
ZTAMiami ZTAMiami is offline
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So no non-white member has ever pleged an NPC or IFC group at U of Alabama?!!!???
Wow, that is really beyond me. I wish her luck but I think the real problem lies with begining to integrate the groups instead of bringing in other organizations. But then again I've never been to Alabama so I don't really know the way things are.
~~Just my purely uneducated opinion.~~
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  #4  
Old 08-20-2002, 11:09 AM
33girl 33girl is offline
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Old news

http://greekchat.com/gcforums/showth...threadid=16594

There have been biracial women in NPC groups at Bama. There were a few other threads on this when it occurred.
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  #5  
Old 08-20-2002, 11:54 AM
zchi2 zchi2 is offline
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Question

Even though there might of been a couple of biracial people to pledge at UA, I question whether or not these people could "pass." A lot of times people who are not obviously mixed, are more accepted by the majority. Also what were they mixed with?
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  #6  
Old 08-20-2002, 11:55 AM
texas*princess texas*princess is offline
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I have to say that I'm kinda glad that she's trying to start something new.. but also in a way, it is sad how the whole thing got started. I think racism sucks (for lack of better terms) I've never been to Alabama, so I don't know what's it's like there.

At any rate, I hope it all works out
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  #7  
Old 08-20-2002, 12:39 PM
aopirose aopirose is offline
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This girl, who went Gamma Phi Beta, is half-black and half-caucasian. She rushed the same year Melody did.

http://www.cw.ua.edu/vnews/display.v...5?in_archive=1


Quote:
Originally posted by zchi2
Even though there might of been a couple of biracial people to pledge at UA, I question whether or not these people could "pass." A lot of times people who are not obviously mixed, are more accepted by the majority. Also what were they mixed with?
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  #8  
Old 08-20-2002, 12:55 PM
Eirene_DGP Eirene_DGP is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by ZTAMiami

Wow, that is really beyond me. I wish her luck but I think the real problem lies with begining to integrate the groups instead of bringing in other organizations. But then again I've never been to Alabama so I don't really know the way things are.
~~Just my purely uneducated opinion.~~
ZTAMiami, although I am in a multicultural sorority and encourage them 100%, you are correct about integrating the current greek system. We had a very rocky start when we came to my university because the other orgs were not integrated and that was a foreign concept to them since we are in the deep south.

I agree with Zchi2, it is a lot easier for biracial people who can Pass for white to be accepted by the majority.
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  #9  
Old 08-20-2002, 01:08 PM
ZTAMiami ZTAMiami is offline
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I read the article and I'm not convinced that this was necessarily a breaking of a racial barrier. She says that her own sisters would use the N word around her and when she pointed it out they told her that they "didn't see her that way" What exactly is that supposed to mean? I believe they really weren't accepting her as she is, a biracial woman. To me it seems that they were ignoring the other half.

Question: Maybe Barbara can answer this.....
Can and Have nationals of any org stepped in to re-organize a chapter because of unfair recruitment practices such as racial discrimination?
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  #10  
Old 08-20-2002, 01:16 PM
texas*princess texas*princess is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by ZTAMiami
Question: Maybe Barbara can answer this.....
Can and Have nationals of any org stepped in to re-organize a chapter because of unfair recruitment practices such as racial discrimination?
That's an interesting question... I wonder the same thing?
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  #11  
Old 08-20-2002, 01:30 PM
hoosier hoosier is offline
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What are you saying?

Are you in favor of a rule against dressing up for Halloween?

For a party in your own home?

Sure, it would be bad if they dressed up like/insulted minorities, and paraded thru the campus center, and down the street in front of the black GLO - BUT THEY DIDN'T.

Nobody knew about this until an outside photographer stupidly posted pictures in the www.

These Auburn chapters were the latest victims of campus PC, and I'm glad they hired lawyers and preserved our right to dress up on Halloween.
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  #12  
Old 08-20-2002, 01:41 PM
texas*princess texas*princess is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by neicy81
Furthermore for those that are saying they haven't been to Alabama, so what???What about the Halloween episode at Auburn that made a mockery of a prestigious black fraternity?Who hasn't heard what life is like in Alabama?
neicy, while I can see your point, think it is just my opinion to say that I don't know what's it's like in Alabama because every university has a unique greek system. The first university I went to was in South Texas where there are a lot of minorities, as well as "white" people in national sororities and fraternities, so there it didn't really matter what race you were during Rush because the area was filled with a huge diversity. Some schools in different places might not have such a diverse group of people.

As for the Halloween dressing comment, it is just my personal opinion that people represent their own organization.. no matter where you are. For example.. I read in a post about a sorority that does not wear their letters in bars/places like that because if they end up really tipsy and say, start stripping it's not going to be "Jane Doe stripped for us at the fraternity house" it would be "that XYZ was strippring for us.."
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  #13  
Old 08-20-2002, 03:04 PM
sigmagrrl sigmagrrl is offline
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Two things are bothering me:

1) The first is the language in the article is demonstrative of the lingering feelings of "them" vs "us". "The blacks"?? Geez, just something about that sounds forced, almost as if they were trying their damnedest to not say the "N" word.

2) I highly doubt any NPC would go into a chapter and re-org based on racial discrimination for two reasons. One, the women can just argue that they didn't accept the PNM due to other reasons. Each sorority has a set of criteria a woman must meet in order to be considered for membership, they can just argue she didn't meet one of them. The second reason is it's not a "pulling of a charter" level disciplinary infraction, just plain ol' stupidity. They would probably suggest a sensitivity/diversity training class before even thinking about disciplinary action of any sort...
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  #14  
Old 08-20-2002, 03:05 PM
ZTAMiami ZTAMiami is offline
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Neicy:
True, but one would hope that in a collegiate setting things would be different. I guess not. Too bad. Anyway, I too am from a school where the IFC and NPC is extremely diverse and where, on occasion, the minority is the majority in some chapters.

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  #15  
Old 08-20-2002, 03:06 PM
IvySpice IvySpice is offline
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>Hearing that this situation occured in Alabama alone should perk up your ears.

I can't speak for Neicy, but my ears did perk up, and I think that's a problem. Sure, we've all heard terrible things about race relations in the Deep South, but to whatever extent I can, I'm trying to base my opinions on personal knowledge and not on reputation. It's too easy to just say, "Well, it's Alabama, so of course everybody there is racist," especially since there are plenty of covert racists in the North. Other people know more about Alabama than I do, and I want to hear as much first-hand knowledge as I can before drawing any conclusions.

That being said, the article about the biracial Gamma Phi was a real eye-opener. She's got one heck of a strong ego (or a wild imagination) if she can feel "very, very accepted" in her sorority with sisters using the n-word around her. I would be extremely upset if my 'friends' started referring to women as c--ts, or to Jews as vermin, and then explaining that they don't think of me like that, even though I'm a female Jew.

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Last edited by IvySpice; 04-24-2011 at 03:37 PM.
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