President Bonner condemns use of 'offensive racial language' in Snapchat



University of Alabama President Judy Bonner sent a university-wide email earlier today condemning the use of “offensive racial language” in a Snapchat sent by a member of Chi Omega sorority.

Screenshots of the Snapchat were posted across social media sites. The Snapchat message contained a racial slur appearing to celebrate that Chi Omega did not pledge any black members, although two black women pledged the sorority on Bid Day.

“We are all extremely disappointed when any student uses language that is disrespectful or offensive to any segment of the UA community,” Bonner said. “We are especially sad that this incident occurred on a day that was an exciting and happy one for the young women who participated in fall recruitment.”

According to the email, the University is launching an investigation into the message. Chi Omega national headquarters has already begun their own separate investigation. Bonner said there will be “appropriate University consequences” alongside any sanctions the national officers of Chi Omega choose to impose.

The member who sent the Snapchat has since been dismissed from the organization, according to a statement from Whitney Plumpton, a spokesperson for Chi Omega's national headquarters.

"What was expressed is absolutely reprehensible and completely inconsistent with Chi Omega's values and policies," Plumpton said. "Chi Omega took swift disciplinary action in accordance with the organization's policies and procedures."

Panhellenic sororities pledged 21 new black members on Bid Day Saturday, August 28. Every Panhellenic sorority, including Chi Omega, extended bids to black women, according to an earlier statement from the University. Plumpton said Chi Omega accepted several new members who self-identify as racial minorities, including two black women.

“I want to assure you that The University of Alabama will not allow this incident to interrupt our progress,” Bonner said. “We will continue to work diligently and with a renewed commitment to make sure that UA is a welcoming and inclusive campus every day of the week.”

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