U.S. attorney’s office monitors UA segregation allegations

U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance announced Thursday that her office is monitoring allegations of racial discrimination following The Crimson White’s article, “The Final Barrier.”

The article reported that at least two black potential new members who went through this year’s sorority recruitment were dropped from all 16 Panhellenic sorority houses as a result of alumnae interference.

According to the United States Department of Justice website, Vance is responsible for the prosecution of federal crimes, defense of civil cases and collection of debts owed to the U.S.

“We’re charged with enforcing of the civil rights laws in this country,” Vance said. “We take that obligation very seriously, but more than litigation — one of the most important services that the department of justice can provide to the community, and a role that it often plays in areas where there’s a racial divide is a conciliation service. Conciliation is probably a bad word — we actually have a great deal of expertise at sponsoring a community conversation and helping communities move themselves forward by understanding what the issues are and finding a resolution to those issues.”

There is no active investigation, but Vance said she plans to stay in touch with administrators to support racial progress on campus.

“We can really honor the sacrifices that people made like Vivian Malone Jones that integrated the University by finally having transformational leadership that moves us to a place where sorority applicants are judged by their caliber, not by the color of their skin,” Vance said.

Vance encourages students, faculty and administration to reach out to her office when issues of physical safety or questioned law enforcement are concerned.

“I think there’s a general sense among people on the campus that it’s time to evolve past this,” Vance said. “This history of segregation in the greek system is incredibly harmful because it’s not just 40 years and then it’s done. It’s really shaped many of the business and social relationships that survived long past college, so it’s in many ways a generational issue.”

  • laineborno

    I pledged Alpha Chi Omega at another university in the 80′s. I loved it. When this story broke, I looked up AXO at your school and saw they received top university awards last year. I also happen to be a White woman, married to a Black man. We have one daughter who looks bi-racial and obviously Black. The other daughter clearly looks White. It sickens me that only my “White” daughter could pledge AXO at your school. May I remind your alumni that perhaps the most prestigious AXO alumni ever, is Condoleezza Rice? I whole heartedly agree with the University President interfering- HOWEVER the DOJ has NO BUSINESS in this fight. These are private organizations. The hypocrisy of the DOJ is astounding. The DOJ can justify affirmative action in college admissions at tax payer funded schools- racial discrimination having nothing to do with accomplishments but simply the color of one’s skin, but will not tolerate it in private clubs?

    • uaparent

      As official University of Alabama organizations, they are no longer private clubs. Since they choose to be affiliated with a public institution they are legally required to adhere to the laws of the land, including the rights guaranteed by our Nation’s Constitution. The Constitution does not allow discrimination based on race at any public institution. If these were truly private organizations, such as the Boy Scouts, they would be free to select their own membership and discriminate if they so choose, as they have with their anti-homosexual policies. However as official campus organizations, these Greek organizations have given up that ‘right’ and there are multiple legal precedents that support that. If they want to continue their discriminatory practices, all they have to do is move off campus, and unaffiliate with the university sacrificing any university resources or benefits they now receive. So long as they are an official campus organization they DOJ most definitely DOES have business to ensure that the constitution rights of all students on the campus are protected.