One year after the University of Alabama’s student newspaper revealed that many of the school’s sororities were actively keeping minority students from joining, more women than ever have signed up to go through UA’s rush process this week.
A report from UA students Abbey Crain and Matt Ford in The Crimson White last year uncovered a system-wide segregation in the school’s sororities, which had only admitted one black student in 50 years. A week after The Crimson White’s article, the UA administration mandated that the sororities go through “continuous open bidding” — an informal rush process that eventually led to 21 minority women joining predominantly white Greek houses, according to a recent report in Marie Claire.
Details from the Marie Claire story paint a picture of an openly racist sorority system that was deeply afraid of allowing minority women to join their houses. One Kappa Delta sister recalled a revealing moment when a black student was accidentally seated in the sorority’s high-interest room, called “Rush-to-Pledge”:
“This past year, a black girl ended up in the Rush-to-Pledge room … Someone messed up and seated her in the wrong spot … so you can imagine the sad hilarity of watching a bunch of really privileged white girls freaking out. They were like, ‘Oh, my God, oh, my God, oh, my God! What are we going to do? She can’t think we actually like her!’ So they were like, ‘Nobody talk to her. … She’s gotta know that she’s not welcome. She’s gotta know this isn’t going to work out.'”
However, even after revelations such as these, more women than ever have signed up this year — with likely more than 2,250 female students participating in rush. AL.com reports that this is the most women to participate in UA history and probably the largest rush group of any college ever.
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