Message from the President

  • March 21st, 2018

We have learned of an offensive video involving racist language by a student who is no longer enrolled. We hold our students to a much higher standard than this. We are united in condemning this racist behavior and resolute in our commitment to ensure our students, faculty and staff know they are welcome, accepted and supported on our campus, and that discriminatory behavior will not be tolerated. The University is dedicated to continuing our collective work with students, faculty and staff to ensure an inclusive campus for every member of our community.

Stuart R. Bell
President

 

Statement from the SGA Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion:

The Student Government Association’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Cabinet is appalled and deeply disturbed that another video has recently surfaced of a UA Student saying the N-word and making other bigoted comments.

We condemn the acts of hatred, racism and bigotry that took place. While we know this student is no longer enrolled, we implore the University to take lasting steps to ensure behavior of this nature will be handled in a manner that ensures our campus is safe for every student.

I am especially sad to see this video surface during SGA’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Week, but I am reminded of wise words: “Adversity is the opportunity to educate.” We have an opportunity now, and each and every time we see incidents of this nature to take a stand. Students, faculty, staff and administration all have the opportunity to do what we all know is right in the face of blatant misconduct. We can send a message that this is not how the Tide rolls. We can demand more of our campus. We can be at the forefront of change.

We will not tolerate these actions on our campus and look forward to our continued partnership with student advocates, organizations and campus partners to create a campus culture that truly values diversity and strives to be inclusive of all members.

If you have any questions regarding SGA’s position on these events, or want to get involved in the discussion, please feel free to contact Amber Scales, our Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, at multiculturalaffairs@sga.ua.edu.

Amber Scales
Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion | Student Government Association

 

Statement from leaders of diverse student organizations:

We all have a vested interest in ensuring The University of Alabama and its students continue to embody the values articulated in the Capstone Creed. We are appalled and deeply troubled by the video of a UA student using racial slurs and making other bigoted statements that recently surfaced on Twitter.

We stand united with other student organizations and the administration in condemning this behavior wherever it exists. We will continue to condemn any acts of hatred, racism and bigotry that take place on this campus. Furthermore, we call on the entire University community to take lasting steps to ensure our campus is a safe home for all community members. This was not an isolated incident, and we must continue to promote diversity and inclusion on our campus as students, faculty, staff and administration.

Our campus is a diverse place with students of differing races, nationalities, religions, sexual orientations, abilities, genders and creeds. We value all members of the student body and will continue to advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion here at the Capstone. We will continue to have important conversations regarding race and identity on campus as we work to provide resources for every student’s experience.

The University of Alabama is our home, and we will continue working to make sure every member of the Capstone community is included in that family.

Black Student Union

Black Student Leadership Council

Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Student Government Association

International Student Association

National Pan-Hellenic Council

Spectrum

The Intercultural Diversity Center Student Workers

 

Statement from the four Greek Councils:

We are aware and fully acknowledge that over the years, there have been hateful actions and words that have caused tension within our Greek and campus community. While we know that these incidents are not specific to one council, this does not mean that each council does not have a responsibility to respond. Furthermore, we acknowledge that these incidents have had and continue to have varying effects on individual members, particularly our minority members within each of the four Greek Councils. We also recognize that there are members of our Alabama community who are not Greek affiliated who have been heavily affected, and we support these individuals as well. This is not the time for silence, finger pointing or ignoring the issue at hand. There must be a culture change within our community and each of the Greek Governing Councils has a responsibility to uphold what it means to respect member individuality and create a truly diverse and welcoming atmosphere for all those who attend the Capstone.

We are more than saddened and apologetic about the recent racially biased incident. We acknowledge the feelings of not only the Greek community, but also the greater campus as a whole. We respect the anger and calls for change that have been made and we intend to work together to achieve a climate of acceptance, respect and inclusivity, which is free from hatred and bigotry. Not only do these actions not represent our values, they do not fall in line with the expectations we have for our members. Most importantly, this malicious behavior does not align with The University of Alabama Capstone Creed and, as such, cannot and should not be tolerated.

Moving forward, we expect our members and our member organizations to evaluate and uphold their accountability processes. With the National Pan-Hellenic Council being an integral part of the UA Greek community, there is an increased expectation and demand that these acts of hatred come to an end. The recurrence of incidents of this nature, and the problems within our community and campus culture, are things that we recognize and collectively aim to eliminate. Words must be backed by action; therefore, it is important that, together, we create a foundation of human decency and respect that begins with the recruitment of members and includes collaborative involvement among organizations and councils, which includes a robust accountability process.

Lexi  Matallana
Alabama  Panhellenic  Association  President

Vincent  Zicarelli
Alabama  Interfraternity  Council  President

Tyler  Flowers
Alabama  National  Pan-Hellenic  Council  President 

Veronica Pisani
Alabama United Greek Council President

 

Statement from the Alabama Panhellenic Association President:

The Alabama Panhellenic Association has high expectations for our council leaders, member organizations and individual members. Our Code of Ethics outlines the ways in which our members are expected to behave and our chapters are expected to exercise accountability in order to foster an inclusive community. APA demands that any member organization that fails to meet these standards must fully evaluate the state of the chapter and recommends that the inter/national organization enact the following changes:

  • A full membership review of the chapter. This review should be done with the intention of realigning the values and beliefs of individual members with the organization as whole.
  • During this time and in the following semesters, we expect to see a loss of social privileges for both on and off-campus social events, including but not limited to co-hosted events, sorority sponsored events and partnered competitions, such as Greek Week and Homecoming. This time should be used to reconsider the goals and identity of the chapter.
  • A complete evaluation of the membership selection process. This should include an examination of the way decisions are made during recruitment to include the values, beliefs and identities of the women being recruited.

Lexi Matallana
Alabama Panhellenic Association President

The University of Alabama, part of The University of Alabama System, is the state’s flagship university. UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service. With a global reputation for excellence, UA provides an inclusive, forward-thinking environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful, student-centered campus. A leader in cutting-edge research, UA advances discovery, creative inquiry and knowledge through more than 30 research centers. As the state’s largest higher education institution, UA drives economic growth in Alabama and beyond.