Univ. of Alabama sororities extend numerous bids to minorities

(Kaitlin McCulley/WIAT-TV)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WIAT) – Just days after the University of Alabama began to take steps towards ending discrimination in its Greek system, 14 women received bids to traditionally white sororities — including 11 African-Americans and 3 other minorities — as a part of the ongoing open bidding process, according to a statement released by University of Alabama President Judy Bonner.

In all, Bonner says 72 Panhellenic sororities issued bids since the continuous open bidding process began. A total of 18 bids have already been accepted – four by African-American women and two by other minorities. Additional bids are still being considered.

“While some sororities are farther along than others, I am encouraged that chapter members are proactively reaching out to a diverse group of women,” Bonner said in a video statement released on Friday.

Bonner issued a video statement earlier in the week addressing the discrimination issue. She said changes, which she described as “systemic and profound”, were needed for Alabama graduates to compete globally.

“While we will not tell any group who they must pledge, the University of Alabama will not tolerate discrimination of any kind,” Bonner said in the video.

Bonner opened the bidding process and increased the maximum amount of members a sorority can have to 360.

The open bidding policy Bonner mandated meant new members can be added at any time during the semester.

Her actions came after the University of Alabama student newspaper, The Crimson White, released an article detailing allegations that some traditionally white sororities had been blocked from adding two black students as new members by alumnae from the respective sororities.

On Wednesday, nearly 400 students gathered early in the morning to march against the racial segregation within the Greek organizations.

The march, which was billed as the “Last Stand In the Schoolhouse Door”, began on the steps of the Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library and ended on the steps of the Rose Administration Building.

“This campus will be a place of inclusion and opportunity for all.  We will continue to make progress. We will do the right thing, for the right reason, the right way,” Bonner said on Friday.

Copyright 2013 WIAT-TV CBS 42

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