Discrimination allegations spark protest on UA campus - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Discrimination allegations spark protest on UA campus

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The protest started on the UA quad and ended at the offices of Rose Administration. (Photo: Kelvin Reynolds) The protest started on the UA quad and ended at the offices of Rose Administration. (Photo: Kelvin Reynolds)
The group "UA Stands" organized a march across campus in protest of the alleged racial discrimination among UA sororities. Source: WBRC video The group "UA Stands" organized a march across campus in protest of the alleged racial discrimination among UA sororities. Source: WBRC video
Students carried a banner that read, "The final stand in the schoolhouse door." Source: WBRC video Students carried a banner that read, "The final stand in the schoolhouse door." Source: WBRC video
Students carried a banner that read, "The final stand in the schoolhouse door." Source: WBRC videoSource: WBRC video Students carried a banner that read, "The final stand in the schoolhouse door." Source: WBRC videoSource: WBRC video
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

University of Alabama students held a march and rally on campus Wednesday morning over the allegations of discrimination by some sororities.

A week after students came forward with claims of racism in the acceptance of pledges at campus sororities, more people are speaking out about the need for change.

In the past week, the administration has issued written statements and a video from UA President Judy Bonner addressing the allegations of racism among sororities. Now, students and faculty are raising their voices about these issues.

The protest started on campus around 7 a.m. Wednesday morning. It began on the UA quad and continued to the offices of Rose Administration. The group that organized the march is called UA Stands and created a Twitter handle, @UAstands, to spread the word about the protest.

Hundreds of people showed up to participate in the protest, including students and faculty, black and white, greek and non-affiliated, men and women.

"I think we were all just so fed up with the status quo and so impressed with the brave young sorority women who came out and spoke out against it that we came out to not just honor them, but also make a sustained commitment to the future and to better relations," UA student William Gonzalez said at the march.

On Tuesday, University of Alabama faculty members sounded off on those discrimination allegations that have caused controversey and criticism for the school.

"While we will not tell any group who they must pledge, the University of Alabama will not tolerate discrimination of any kind," Bonner said in the video.

Faculty Senate members agreed. In a packed meeting Tuesday, for the first time members voiced their opinions saying no matter your race, you should be allowed the same privileges as everyone else.

"We teach these students and say they are the best...and the brightest and we need to give them that opportunity to be the best and brightest," Sierra Turner with the Department of Modern Languages said.

But some faculty believe there is a larger issue here.

"This is not just bashing greeks...this is about a larger connection of student organizations. Some students, certainly, but also an aiding [and] abetting even by the administration. This is a larger culture of impunity that needs to be taken on," Steven Bunker with the Department of History said.

Some of those members didn't hold any punches. They want real change and they are hoping the administration listens to them. The only change, so far, is that Dr. Bonner has opened up bidding for sororities.

The administration plans to continue to meet with student groups to map out their next steps.

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