Alabama's controversial sorority Alpha Phi fires president, member over racist texts
A sorority at the University of Alabama is under fire for leaked text messages that were racist in nature. The sorority fired its chapter president from her post, and booted another member after the racist text messages were leaked on social media.
The text messages were sent when members of the Alpha Phi sorority visited a bar in Tuscaloosa last week, where some of them began complaining about the place. “I’m gonna yack, it smells so bad in here,” then-president Katherine Anthony reportedly wrote in the text thread. Another member, Kylie Klueger, said that the smell was due to “cigs, weed and black girl.”
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The screenshots of the leaked messages were posted in an Instagram Story by @bamabarbz - an account run by UA students. The story seems to have expired or taken down now. The screenshots were provided to the account by an anonymous Alpha Phi member. After the messages were leaked, Anthony was fires as president and Klueger was expelled from the sorority on December 9, The Crimson White reported. The chapter's new leader is Marissa Collett.
Following the incident, Alpha Phi took to Instagram to condemn the message. “The Beta Mu Chapter of Alpha Phi was made aware of a group text message where a member used racist and hateful language,” the post read. “We immediately launched our chapter’s judiciary board process. The person who sent the text message is no longer a member of our organization, and the other people in the group messages will be held accountable based on the conclusion of our judiciary board process.”
“We adamantly condemn this racist behavior and understand we must do more to enforce the shared values of our organization,” the statement read. “We deeply apologize for the racist behavior displayed by the former member and the harm and trauma this text message has caused to members of the Alabama community and the general public. As Alpha Phis, we aim to celebrate diversity and do our part to make Alabama more inclusive. Unfortunately, the recent actions of those affiliated with our organization do not adhere to the standards we hold of our members.”
In a statement to The Daily Beast, University of Alabama’s associate vice president of communications, Monica Watts, said, "The communication is offensive, disappointing, and contrary to the University’s core values emphasizing collegiality, respect and inclusivity. We expect our students and organizations to reinforce and enhance those values and appreciate when they appropriately hold each other accountable. The University takes these behaviors seriously and is committed to building a more inclusive community, which will take the ongoing, steadfast work of us all. The University is planning a campus-wide initiative early next semester to help our campus continue to develop strategies required to collectively build a better community.”
This is not the first incident of racism within the sorority. Back in 2015, a recruitment video uploaded on YouTube was taken down by the chapter for being “racially and aesthetically homogenous.” In 2018 again, former UA student and Alpha Phi member Harley Barber was removed from her sorority and asked to leave the University after a video having racist language and attitudes in it was released from her Instagram page.