Alabama’s Faculty Senate Pushes Greek Integration
The University of Alabama faculty senate won’t be taking the summer off in its fight to integrate the university’s Greek system.
Members of the faculty senate’s steering committee will meet to discuss the group’s next step over the summer, while former senate president Patricia Bauch will ask the Board of Trustees to make a stand for integration at its June meeting.
“There’s a certain momentum associated with this issue,” says Dr. Norman Baldwin, faculty senate president. “We have to take the moral high ground.”
The likely next step, when the full senate meets in the fall, will be adopting another resolution condemning the university’s White Greek organizations for failing to accept Black members. Two similar resolutions were passed last year.
Bauch says she doesn’t believe the White Greek groups will integrate on their own.
“Desegregation has to be mandated,” she says. “But integration is the work of the students.”
Many on the faculty senate favor using persuasion instead of punishment to achieve integration in fraternities and sororities.
But faculty senate member Dr. Robert Sigler says they could send a strong message with such sanctions as barring members of Greek groups that resist integration from participating in certain campus activities, including student government.
“If we’re serious about getting integration done, that would get it done,” he says. “We’re not going to change attitudes about race by jiggling around the rush schedule.”
The university tried to get more minorities to participate in last year’s Greek rush by delaying it until after the start of the fall semester. Few Black students participated in the rush process and none joined any of the all-White groups.
The faculty senate’s apparent commitment to ending the segregated Greek system was encouraging to University of Alabama professor Pat Hermann. He supports kicking Greek groups off campus if they are not open to accepting Black members.
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