Big Buzz Over Student Press Sorority Story: ‘Are We Not Going to Talk About Black Girl?’

It is the most buzzworthy report so far this semester within collegemediatopia. Since its posting yesterday morning, an article in The Crimson White detailing eye-opening racial segregation within University of Alabama sororities has racked up thousands of tweets, Facebook likes, and online comments, and a growing number of professional press pieces.

So far, those outside reports simply confirm the appalling allegations the CW already laid out: During the most recent rush, advisers and alumni members of some UA sororities blocked otherwise qualified student recruits simply because of their skin color. Among those blocked: a black female student who sported “a 4.3 GPA in high school, was salutatorian of her graduating class, and comes from a family with deep roots in local and state public service and a direct link to the University of Alabama.”

According to the paper, her failure to be accepted is simply one more example of a Greek system on campus that is “still almost completely divided along racial lines.”

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As Melanie Gotz, a young woman involved in a UA sorority, admirably told CW staffers Abbey Crain and Matt Ford on the record, “People are too scared of what the repercussions are of maybe taking a black girl. That’s stupid, but who’s going to be the one to make that jump? How much longer is it going to take till we have a black girl in a sorority? It’s been years, and it hasn’t happened.”

Or as Gotz recalled asked at a recent sorority meeting about the recruit with the impeccable credentials: “Are we really not going to talk about the black girl?”

In a special note at the close of the article, the CW confirms its editor-in-chief and managing editor are both sorority members, prompting them to exclude themselves from the editing or oversight of the story.

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A separate note explains the paper’s rationale and methods for using and relying upon anonymous sources for the report. In the words of the editorial board:

A small group of students and alumni continue to work to keep our greek system segregated, while those who would push forward are intimidated into silence. And we understand. Potential whistleblowers here on campus are fearful that if they speak out, they may be subjected to mental or even physical harm. Those who choose to speak up about the unethical and even illegal actions of their organization fear the threat of dismissal from the organization with which they have identified for most of their college experience. … We believe the student body, as well as those affected by the greek system’s segregation, deserve to know the racial components inherent within it. Because of this belief, The Crimson White Editorial Board has decided to shine light on the controversy surrounding the black rushees during this year’s recruitment season. Action must be taken.

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