The Alpha Delta Pi sorority has been indefinitely disbanded from Methodist University in Fayetteville, North Carolina after a white sorority member used pictures of Black student football players in a presentation on features she considered “unattractive.”
She reportedly pointed out “big nostrils, dreadlocks and big lips” as physical features she considered unattractive. She also compared them to images of “attractive” white students. The sorority intended for the presentation to be funny, but after photos from it leaked onto social media, Black students whose pictures were used and eventually school administrators became aware of the incident and found none of it amusing.
“I don’t see why something along the lines of this is funny. I don’t see how it’s funny,” said Ja-Quez Harrell, a Methodist senior and former member of the football team who was sent a photo of the presentation the following day. “With everybody that was there, how come nobody stopped it?” Harrell asked.
A member of a Methodist fraternity shared with WRAL News a screenshot of an apology sent to one of the football players pictured, purportedly from the sorority member who made the presentation.
“I did not mean for any of this to be targeted towards individuals and certainly did not mean any of this in a malicious way,” she said in the direct message. “It was not targeted at African Americans in any way, I can promise that.”
Beth Wright, a spokeswoman for the sorority’s national headquarters, said her group has suspended the membership of the offending student. Her group has also suspended the membership of the university’s sorority chapter. “Alpha Delta Pi was outraged and deeply saddened to learn of the racist behavior of a member of our Theta Epsilon chapter at Methodist University,” Wright wrote the Observer. “Her actions directly contradict the values of Alpha Delta Pi.”
“Racism has no place in our sisterhood,” Wright continued, “and we will continue to work for inclusive spaces and restorative justice in our chapters, on our campuses and in our communities.”
Methodist officials said in a statement Tuesday that they began investigating the incident last week and have already started the hearing process for the students involved. They also ordered Alpha Delta Pi to “cease and desist from all activities” on campus. All of the social media accounts for the Methodist chapter of Alpha Delta Pi had been shut down by Tuesday, and representatives of the sorority’s national headquarters didn’t respond to WRAL’s request for comment.
Methodist is a private university with about 2,000 students, more than a third of whom identify as students of color, officials said.
“Methodist University is committed to principles of diversity, equity, inclusion and justice. We abhor racism in any form on our campus, and we immediately investigate all possible incidents of racism and act on them appropriately, as warranted by the facts,” officials said in a statement.
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