50 Years After End of ‘Jim Crow’, University of Alabama Student Gov’t Finally Votes to End Greek Segregation
Fifty years after racist ‘Jim Crow’ segregation was outlawed in the South, the University of Alabama student government has finally voted in favor of integrating the college’s fraternities and sororities.
The UA Student Government Association (SGA) Senate voted last week to approve a resolution proposed by SGA President Hamilton Bloom in support of racial integration of the school’s Panhellenic system, the Crimson White reports.
The move comes following a year of controversy over revelations that qualified black candidates were barred from Greek membership due to racism on the part of powerful university figures, including alumni and a shadowy group known as “The Machine.”
According to the Crimson White, “The Machine” is composed of 28 traditionally white fraternities and sororities. Many students say the organization effectively controls Greek like at UA.
Last September, UA President Judy Bonner acknowledged the school’s Greek system remained racially segregated half a century after such racist separation was outlawed during the civil rights struggles of the 1960s. Bonner pledged to take steps to address the issue.
Last month, the student government blocked an integration resolution introduced by student senator Katie Smith. Smith cited pressure from “The Machine” as the reason for her measure’s failure.
“I believe the resolution passed tonight is a great solution,” Bloom, the SGA Senate president, said in a statement following the vote. “My administration and I are dedicated to seeing and encouraging results in the integration of both fraternities and sororities, and I believe the resolution passed tonight, in addition to the Diversity Caucus which will be introduced soon, are incredible first steps.”