University of Alabama Alpha Phi: Diversity v. Reality

The academic years starts at the end of August for those on semester systems, but for those that are heavily involved in activities the school year always starts the moment the summer begins. All of those involved in extra-curricular activities start their recruiting of those newly admitted students that are just excited to escape home and see new faces. For those associated with social sororities and fraternities, summer recruiting is crucial for survival. So a recruitment video is not exactly uncommon as Alpha Phi of the University of Alabama produced a recruitment video thought to be harmless and innocent. Unfortunately, the video was criticized for their lack of diversity as all of the members in this particular chapter were white and the majority had blonde hair. With the current hypersensitivity and awareness of race and special attention to police brutality such a video may not have been a great time to flourish the internet, but the truth of the matter is that the identical membership of an organization is the reality for the University of Alabama, Alpha Phi sorority.

People join social organizations such as fraternities and sororities to associate with a group of people that have more similar interests which will more than likely place many members in the same economic and social standing amongst peers and those that past judgement on them. As with any organization, there is always a level of exclusivity especially in terms of ones’ ability to afford the conditions and standards of living for that organization. In addition to discovering the common ground between recruits and current members. To be honest, a person that does not find the members of an organization to have appealing personalities and interests will not invest any real effort or time into that community meaning that they will not belong or be as committed to the organizations mission or beliefs. Therefore, the cry for diversity is unnecessary as there are organizations that serve everyone and for select people. Just think, how many white, black or brown folks have you seen attend an Asian/Pacific Islander event? I guarantee a very small amount which either stumbled upon the event or just there in support of a friend. How many white girls, do you see pledging an all-African American sorority? The answer is likely zero as there may be personal similar interests such as love of movie genre, but the cultural roots may be the deciding factor that disconnects the two people from any hope of elevating a relationship.

Ethnic diversity in organizations is not a huge a hoax as misrepresentation of the organization is worse, regardless of opinions, if the Alpha Phi chapter at the University of Alabama were to have women from various ethnic backgrounds representing their organization, it would lead their national group and campus peers to believe that Alpha Phi were multi-racial sending out a positive message, but not being able to stand behind the implication that they are racially diverse. It is better to be as authentic and transparent as possible with any perspective recruit and the public in terms of the facts of the organization from the backgrounds of the members to the purpose. Keep in mind, everything that is currently said and viewed are being evaluated for any possibility of discrimination and not being seen for pure innocence nor that communities reality.



Photo Source: Screenshot from YouTube 

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