A sorority at George Washington University has come under fire after members posted a racially charged photo on social media recently. Student leaders in the community are calling on administrators to ban the Alpha Phi sorority members from campus after a photo showed two members posing with a banana peel with the caption: “Izzy: I’m 1/16 Black,” according to a report from WJLA.
The women pictured plus the student who took the photo have been kicked out of the sorority, the GW Hatchet student newspaper reports.
The sorority shared the following apology on Facebook:
“On January 31, 2018, a member of our chapter posted a racist image on snapchat that contained two other members in our chapter engaged in offensive and inexcusable behavior. We apologize for the delay in posting this response. We recognize that our earlier response, supplied by our National Headquarters, did not reflect the severity of this racist act. We want to take this opportunity to apologize without qualification and take responsibility for the actions of our members.
We are culpable for this action as a group in which a few felt comfortable making a joke that was distinctly racist, ignorant, and harmful. We are in no way trying to contextualize, excuse, or forgive the events that occurred.
We recognize that there are issues within our organization relating to our privilege and lack of diversity, and we are committed to listening to the voices of those who have been harmed by the actions of those individuals and by our actions as a chapter.
The three members in question are in the process of having their membership terminated.
At this time, we have reached out to the Multicultural Student Services Center in an effort to begin the process towards reconciliation and reeducation.”
The Student Association Senate voted unanimously to banish the sorority from campus. One student explained to WJLA: “I think it’s a really good decision since the university is moving forward to combat racism.” Another student, however, said, “I think it’s an overreaction.”
The school has yet to approve the Student Association Senate’s action, with university president Thomas Leblanc telling the student paper that there would be an examination of Greek Life on campus as well as conversations about race.
He explained: “This opened up a space to say, ‘You know, it’s bothered me that I’m a person of color and I’ve never been invited to X, it’s bothered me that the institution doesn’t have these things for us but seems to have these things for those students.’ So just that opening has turned out to be beneficial and something we need to take advantage of.”
Just last month, an Alpha Phi sorority sister at the University of Alabama was kicked out of school for posting a video on social media where she used the n-word.
Those weighing in with comments on social media had plenty to say, with one person writing: “Those girls are morons and definitely deserve to get their racist asses kicked out. It’s not funny girls, it’s hateful.”