University of Alabama sorority Alpha Phi expelled its president and a member after racist comments in a private group message surfaced online.
The Crimson White reported that Alpha Phi President Katherine Anthony messaged members about the foul smell of a local Tuscaloosa bar, writing: “I’m gonna yack, it smells so bad in here.” Member Kylie Klueger replied, “cigs, weed and black girl.”
The Greek organization issued a formal statement on Instagram, disclosing that an investigation was conducted as soon as it caught wind of the incident. The person responsible for the hateful texts was removed from the sorority, while other sisters involved will be dealt with accordingly once the review process is complete.
“We deeply apologize for the racist behavior displayed by the former member and the harm and trauma this text message has caused to members of the Alabama community and the general public,” the statement concluded.
Some Alpha Phi members who wish to remain anonymous expressed their intention to leave the sorority because of the incident and its response. However, these women told The Crimson White that the review process must be complete before they speak publicly due to their membership contract.
It turns out that Alpha Phi has been at the center of several controversies. The Alabama chapter removed a recruitment video on YouTube in 2015 over criticism it received for being “a parade of white girls and blonde hair dye.”
In 2018, member Harley Barber had her membership revoked, and was even expelled from the institution, after a video of her repeating multiple racial slurs was made public. This most recent incident has frustrated some members, as Alpha Phi has been caught up in previous scandals, only to be mired in yet another.
“We have worked so hard to build from that [racist] reputation, and our own exec [executive board members] are the ones bringing that reputation back,” one member replied in the group message.