Delta Delta Delta Addresses University of Alabama Recruitment Allegations

Dear Sisters,

By now you may have seen media reports revealing disturbing allegations that race was a factor in membership selection at the University of Alabama earlier this fall. Tri Delta was named in the original story published in the university newspaper, The Crimson White.

Allow me to be blunt - Tri Delta will not tolerate discrimination. As a part of our comprehensive response to these allegations, a team of Tri Delta staff members and volunteers traveled to Tuscaloosa to meet with the chapter, chapter officers, chapter advisors, alumnae and campus administration. Our objectives were clear:

  • To conduct a thorough investigation of the allegations
  • To provide media relations support to the chapter
  • To provide continuing education on Fraternity policies and procedures to collegians and alumnae
We have concluded our investigation, and our findings support the assertion that there is a perceived pressure to conform to long-standing societal norms on that campus. As University President Judy T. Bonner acknowledged in a videotaped segment recently, the university's "Greek system remains segregated." Together with the university, we have since made significant progress towards removing those pressures, empowering our members and providing the necessary support for change. We still have work to do.

Tri Delta, both locally and internationally, will be a positive, contributing force towards ending segregation in the University of Alabama Greek system.  Our chapter welcomed the opportunity presented by President Bonner to continue recruiting high-quality women this semester. Members have begun building relationships with a diverse group of potential new members, with the intent to extend bids in the near future.

A team of staff and volunteers will continue to visit the campus to provide ongoing support for change during key transition points, such as chapter elections and recruitment training, and will also be present during sorority recruitment in the Fall of 2014.  In addition, a task force will be named shortly to conduct a more in-depth review of Tri Delta's policies, procedures and practices, to ensure that their application encourages and supports an environment of inclusion at all of our Tri Delta chapters.

This is the kind of endeavor that will require continued effort and focus from all of us - our collegiate members, our alumnae, our volunteers and our leadership.  Together we can ensure that our decisions and choices are guided and inspired by the ideal that Sarah Ida Shaw set forth so many years ago, to "be kind alike to all and think more of a girl's inner self and character than of her personal appearance."

We thank you for your patience as we conducted our investigation and your willingness to remain steadfast in your support of Tri Delta.

Loyally,

FOR THE EXECUTIVE BOARD

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Phyllis Durbin Grissom

Fraternity President


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