PETITION FOR DIVERSITY, INCLUSION, AND ANTI-RACISM IN GREEK LIFE ORGANIZATIONS

PETITION FOR DIVERSITY, INCLUSION, AND ANTI-RACISM IN GREEK LIFE ORGANIZATIONS

 

Including the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC), North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC), All 26 NPC Member Sororities and 60 NIC Member Fraternities, non NIC members (Kappa Alpha Order, Kappa Sigma, Lambda Chi, Phi Delta, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Tau Kappa Epsilon) and all Affiliated Universities 

 

[ATHENS, GEORGIA, July 31] – We, Pledge Against Racism, are calling upon National Panhellenic Conference (NPC), North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC), all 26 NPC Member Sororities and 60 NIC Member Fraternities, non NIC members (Kappa Alpha Order, Kappa Sigma, Lambda Chi Alpha, Phi Delta Theta, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Tau Kappa Epsilon) and all Affiliated Universities to end racist and discriminatory practices and work towards a new, inclusive future. We write to you as current members and alumni of these organizations demanding an end to the exclusion of Black, Indigious, People of Color (BIPOC).

 

After collecting 200 testimonies of racism and discrimination within the University of Georgia and Louisiana State University NPC and NIC organizations, and over 4,200 signatures on our petition, it is imperative that we offer reparations and reform the current system. Greek organizations claim to hold their members to higher standards, yet there is a lack of accountability for racist and discriminatory behavior. It is time to make legitimate changes and create an environment that BIPOC feel safe to join and actively participate in. 

 

The goal of this petition is to provide a roadmap to build effective foundations and foster an inclusive future of Greek organizations. These demands are realistic and tangible, and if followed can offer substantial organizational reform. 

 

We demand the following from the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC), North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC), All 26 NPC Member Sororities and 60 NIC Member Fraternities, non NIC members (Kappa Alpha Order, Kappa Sigma, Lambda Chi, Phi Delta, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Tau Kappa Epsilon) and all Affiliated Universities: 

  • Add an anti-discrimination policy to their national by-laws and each of their chapter by-laws

  • Commit to a two-strike system for all their chapters to enforce disciplinary action against racism and discrimination of any kind by their members

  • Establish a Diversity and Inclusion Board that screens candidates for the chapter Diversity and Inclusion position and monitors every election, as well as recruitment 

  • Conduct additional screening for house directors, including an interview with the member sorority’s Diversity and Inclusion Board

  • Require all member sororities and fraternities to establish an educational curriculum on anti-discrimination and anti-racism

  • Calling for the following structure of checks and balances

    • NPC and NIC to each create a Diversity Board

    • All individual NPC National Sororities and NIC National Fraternities to create a Diversity Board

    • All Greek Life Offices at Affiliated Universities to create a Diversity Board

    • All local chapters of NPC National Sororities and NIC National Fraternities to create a Diversity and Inclusion Position on their Executive Boards

 

Our full petition demands are as follows: 

 

From the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC):

  1. We are calling for the NPC to require each of their 26 member sororities to add an anti-discrimination policy to their national by-laws and each of their chapter by-laws (as follows) 

    1. “As a member organization of the National Panhellenic Conference, [member sorority name] does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, membership selection, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members, staff, clients, volunteers, subcontractors, vendors, and clients.”

  2. We are calling for the NPC to require that each of their 26 member sororities commit to a two-strike system for all their chapters to enforce disciplinary action against racism and discrimination of any kind by their members. (Two Strike System is outlined below)

    1. The 26 member organizations include the following sororities: Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Epsilon Phi, Alpha Gamma Delta, Alpha Omicron Pi, Alpha Phi, Alpha Sigma Alpha, Alpha Sigma Tau, Alpha Xi Delta, Chi Omega, Delta Delta Delta, Delta Gamma, Delta Phi Epsilon, Delta Zeta, Gamma Phi Beta, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Delta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Phi Mu, Phi Sigma Sigma, Pi Beta Phi, Sigma Delta Tau, Sigma Kappa, Sigma Sigma Sigma, Theta Phi Alpha, Zeta Tau Alpha

  3. We are calling upon NPC to establish a Diversity and Inclusion Board that screens candidates for the chapter Diversity and Inclusion position and monitors every election, as well as recruitment. 

  4. We are calling upon NPC to require member sororities to conduct additional screening for house directors in addition to thorough rounds of interviews, but also including an interview with the member sorority’s Diversity and Inclusion Board, which they have to pass in order to be named house director.  

  5. We are calling upon NPC to require each chapter philanthropy chair to hold at least one philanthropy event per year that specifically benefits an organization of their choosing that supports the BIPOC community. The philanthropy event will require that at least 75% of the fraternity be present and participate in the event. 

    1. The Diversity and Inclusion Board will provide a non-exhaustive list that they can choose from. Organizations not on the list must be approved by the Diversity and Inclusion Board.  

  6. We are calling upon NPC to create a Diversity and Inclusion in Recruitment Fund that will cover the recruitment registration fees for all BIPOC women who apply (up to $300 per potential new member) to incentivize diversity in NPC affiliated Universities and lessen the financial burden on BIPOC women seeking to participate in recruitment. 

    1. The purpose of this fund is not to imply BIPOC women are unable to pay recruitment fees, but it is one step further to give them agency in the process to not feel tied to the financial burden of recruitment if they experience discrimination.

  7. We are calling upon NPC to require all member sororities to establish an educational curriculum on anti-discrimination and anti-racism.

    1. This curriculum workshop will occur twice per semester as well as one additional workshop for all new members. 

    2. This includes but is not limited to the history of access and exclusion within broader higher education in regards to race and racism, the history of racist laws put in place to regulate the participation of BIPOC students before and after segregated education, how access does not translate to full opportunity to participate, the history of the creation of NPHC and Divine Nine Greek Life organizations during the Jim Crow era, and the history of using the link between race and Christianity as a way to refuse membership to Jewish students.

    3. These workshops are mandatory and failure to attend will result in a fine determined by each NPC sorority.

  8. We are calling upon NPC to prohibit and deny any alumni donations to NPC or any NPC member organizations that do not actively uphold the new culture being established by the anti-discrimination policies. 

  9. We are calling upon NPC to prohibit the preference of NPC member legacies, requirement of preference letters, internal organization pre-recruitment advocating (ie slideshows with pictures of women who members are to be on the lookout for prior to recruitment), and pre-recruitment submissions of headshots in recruitment that perpetuates systemic issues and prohibits diversity and inclusion. 

  10. We are calling upon NPC to launch a formal investigation with all 26 members sororities and affiliated Universities to explore a deferred spring recruitment instead of the traditional fall recruitment nationwide. 


 

From the North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC):

  1. We are calling for the NIC to require each of their 60 member fraternities to add an anti-discrimination policy to their national by-laws and each of their individual chapter by-laws (similar to the statement as follows)

    1. “As a member organization of the North American Interfraternity Conference, [member fraternity name] does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, membership selection, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members, staff, clients, volunteers, subcontractors, vendors, and clients.” 

  2. We are calling for the NIC to require that each of their 60 member fraternities commit to a two-strike system for all their chapters to enforce disciplinary action against racism and discrimination of any kind by their members (Two Strike System is outlined in the appendix below)

    1. The 60 member fraternities include the following: Acacia, Alpha Chi Rho, Alpha Delta Gamma, Alpha Delta Phi, Alpha Epsilon Pi, Alpha Gamma Rho, Alpha Kappa Lambda, Alpha Phi Alpha, Alpha Sigma Phi, Alpha Tau Omega, Beta Chi Theta, Beta Sigma Psi, Beta Theta Pi, Beta Upsilon Chi, Chi Phi, Chi Psi, Delta Chi, Delta Kappa Epsilon, Delta Lambda Phi, Delta Phi, Delta Sigma Phi, Delta Tau Delta, Delta Upsilon, FarmHouse, Iota Nu Delta, Iota Phi Theta, Kappa Alpha Psi, Kappa Alpha Society, Kappa Delta Phi, Kappa Delta Rho, Lambda Sigma Upsilon, Lambda Theta Phi, Nu Alpha Kappa, Phi Gamma Delta, Phi Iota Alpha, Phi Kappa Psi, Phi Kappa Sigma, Phi Kappa Tau, Phi Kappa Theta, Phi Lambda Chi, Phi Mu Delta, Phi Sigma Kappa, Phi Sigma Phi, Pi Kappa Alpha, Pi Kappa Phi, Pi Lambda Phi, Psi Upsilon, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Sigma Alpha Mu, Sigma Chi, Sigma Nu, Sigma Pi, Sigma Tau Gamma, Tau Delta Phi, Tau Epsilon Phi, Theta Xi, Theta Chi, Triangle, Zeta Beta Tau, Zeta Psi

  3. We are calling upon NIC to establish a Diversity and Inclusion Board that screens candidates for the chapter Diversity and Inclusion position and monitors every election, as well as recruitment. 

  4. We are calling upon NIC to add additional screening for house directors in addition to thorough rounds of interviews, but also including an interview with the Diversity and Inclusion Board, which they have to pass in order to be named house director. 

  5. We are calling upon NIC to require each chapter philanthropy chair to hold at least one philanthropy event per year that specifically benefits an organization of their choosing that supports the BIPOC local community. The philanthropy event will require that at least 75% of the fraternity be present and participate in the event. 

    1. The Diversity and Inclusion Board will provide a non-exhaustive list that they can choose from. Organizations not on the list must be approved by the Diversity and Inclusion Board.  

  6. We are calling upon NIC to require all member fraternities to establish and teach an educational curriculum on anti-discrimination and anti-racism. 

    1. This mandatory curriculum workshop will occur twice per semester as well as one additional workshop for all new members. 

    2. This includes but is not limited to the history of access and exclusion within broader higher education in regards to race and racism, the history of racist laws put in place to regulate the participation of BIPOC students before and after segregated education, how access does not translate to full opportunity to participate, the history of the creation of NPHC and Divine Nine Greek Life organizations during the Jim Crow era, and the history of using the link between race and Christianity as a way to refuse membership to Jewish students.

    3. These workshops are mandatory and failure to attend will result in a fine determined by each NIC fraternity.

  7. We are calling upon NIC to prohibit and deny any alumni donations to NIC or any NIC member organizations and chapters that do not actively uphold the new culture being established by the anti-discrimination policies.

  8. We are calling upon NIC to launch a formal investigation with all 60 member fraternities and affiliated Universities to explore a deferred spring recruitment instead of the traditional fall recruitment nationwide. 

 

From all 26 NPC Member Sororities, 60 NIC Member Fraternities, and non NIC members (Kappa Alpha Order, Kappa Sigma, Lambda Chi, Phi Delta, Sigma Phi Epsilon, Tau Kappa Epsilon):

  1. We are calling for all 26 NPC Member Sororities, 60 NIC Member Fraternities, and Non NIC Member Fraternities to add an anti-discrimination policy to their national and individual chapter by-laws:

    1. “As a member organization of the [University name], [member organization and chapter name] shall follow the [University name]’s anti-discrimination policy. In addition, [member organization and chapter name] does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, membership selection, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members, staff, clients, volunteers, subcontractors, vendors, and clients.”

  2. We are calling for all 26 NPC Member Sororities, 60 NIC Member Fraternities, and Non NIC Member Fraternities to commit to a two-strike system for all chapters to enforce disciplinary action against racism and discrimination of any kind by their members  (Two Strike System is outlined in the appendix below)

  3. We are calling for all 26 NPC Member Sororities, 60 NIC Member Fraternities, and Non NIC Member Fraternities to add a Diversity and Inclusion position to their chapter executive council that upholds the Anti-Discrimination policy. 

  4. We are calling upon all 26 NPC Member Sororities, 60 NIC Member Fraternities, and Non NIC Member Fraternities to establish and teach an educational curriculum on anti-discrimination and anti-racism.

    1. This mandatory curriculum workshop will occur twice per semester as well as one additional workshop for all new members. 

    2. This curriculum will also include the history of each organization and past cultural issues of discrimination in NPC and NIC.

    3. This mandatory curriculum workshop will occur twice per semester as well as one additional workshop for all new members. 

    4. This includes but is not limited to the history of access and exclusion within broader higher education in regards to race and racism, the history of racist laws put in place to regulate the participation of BIPOC students before and after segregated education, how access does not translate to full opportunity to participate, the history of the creation of NPHC and Divine Nine Greek Life organizations during the Jim Crow era, and the history of using the link between race and Christianity as a way to refuse membership to Jewish students.

    5. These workshops are mandatory and failure to attend will result in a fine determined by each NPC sorority and NIC fraternity.

  5. We are calling upon all 26 NPC Member Sororities, 60 NIC Member Fraternities, and Non NIC Member Fraternities to prohibit and deny any alumni donations that do not actively uphold the new culture being established by the anti-discrimination policies.

  6. We are calling upon all 26 NPC Member Sororities, 60 NIC Member Fraternities, and Non NIC Member Fraternities to launch a formal investigation with affiliated Universities to explore deferred spring recruitment instead of the traditional fall recruitment nationwide. 

 

From all Affiliated Universities with NPC Member Sororities and NIC Member Fraternities:

  1. We are calling on all affiliated Universities to require all campus affiliated NPC Member Sororities, NIC Member Fraternities, and Non-NIC Member Fraternities to sign, acknowledge, and adopt the Universities Anti-Discrimination policy and also to adopt the following anti-discrimination policy in their own chapter before allowing the University to support and allow their involvement on their campus and Greek Life Office. 

    1. “As a member organization of the [University name], [member organization and chapter name] shall follow the [University name]’s anti-discrimination policy. In addition, [member organization and chapter name] does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to, membership selection, hiring and firing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members, staff, clients, volunteers, subcontractors, vendors, and clients.”

  2. We are calling on all affiliated Universities to establish an anonymous reporting system within their University for any submission of discrimination. The form shall be user friendly, and easy to submit via an online portal. This is to allow NPC and NIC members, as well as University students, to anonymously report discrimination.

    1. The University shall establish a permanent Anti-Discrimination committee to investigate reports and uphold its anti-discrimination policy.

  3. We are calling on all affiliated Universities to immediately establish a Diversity and Inclusion Board in their Greek Life Offices to educate, investigate discrimination in tandem with the University Anti-Discrimination committee.

    1. The Diversity and Inclusion Board must be made up of at least 50% of Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC).

  4. We are calling upon all affiliated Universities to require all member sororities and fraternities to establish and teach an educational curriculum on anti-discrimination and anti-racism. 

    1. This mandatory curriculum workshop will occur twice per semester as well as one additional workshop for all new members. 

    2. This curriculum will also include the history of each organization and past cultural issues of discrimination in NPC and NIC. 

    3. This mandatory curriculum workshop will occur twice per semester as well as one additional workshop for all new members. 

    4. This includes but is not limited to the history of access and exclusion within broader higher education in regards to race and racism, the history of racist laws put in place to regulate the participation of BIPOC students before and after segregated education, how access does not translate to full opportunity to participate, the history of the creation of NPHC and Divine Nine Greek Life organizations during the Jim Crow era, and the history of using the link between race and Christianity as a way to refuse membership to Jewish students.

  5. We are calling upon all affiliated Universities to explore deferred spring recruitment instead of the traditional fall recruitment nationwide. 

 

From all current and past NPC, NIC, and Non-NIC Alumni: 

  1. We call upon all NPC, NIC, and Non-NIC Alumni to step forward and show your alliance against discrimination and racism in NPC and NIC member organizations. 

  2. We call upon notable NPC, NIC, and Non-NIC Alumni to show their support publicly, these include, but are not limited to:

    1. Former Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, University of Denver, Alpha Chi Omega sorority

    2. The current governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, University of Georgia, Lambda Chi fraternity 

    3. Elizabeth Banks, University of Pennsylvania, Delta Delta Delta sorority

    4. Jon Stewart, The College of William & Mary, Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity

    5. Ashley Judd, University of Kentucky, Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority

    6. Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, Northwestern, Delta Gamma sorority

    7. Lucy Liu, University of Michigan, Chi Omega sorority

    8. Sophia Bush, University of Southern California, Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority

    9. Including but not limited to notable fraternity members: Lindsey Graham, Mike Pence, Donald Trump Jr., Ted Turner, Jerry Jones, Stephen Spielberg, George Bush, Ashton Kutcher, and David Letterman

    10. Including but not limited to notable sorority members: Meghan Markle, Kourtney Kardashian, RBG, Katie Couric, Ann Coulter, Nancy Grace

    11. The power held by former members of NPC and NIC Greek Life is immense. "As Cornell's official website states, while only 2 percent of America's population is involved in fraternities, 80 percent of Fortune 500 executives, 76 percent of U.S. senators and congressmen, 85 percent of Supreme Court justices, and all but two presidents since 1825 have been fraternity men."


 

Appendix

 

 

Two Strike System

  1. Strike One: Education 

    1. Someone in the chapter is found to have been discriminatory, have racist behavior, or used racial or homophobic/transphobic/xenophobic slurs 

    2. Plan of action

      1. Formal, verbal, in-person apology to the entire chapter for their actions

      2. Attend a chapter run anti-discrimination workshop, hosted by the Diversity and Inclusion chair, working through their own inner privilege

      3. Social probation for 1 semester - this means no social events 

      4. Formal report written by the chapter’s Diversity and Inclusion Chair and submitted to the respective University’s Greek Life Office, Equal Opportunity Office and Student Conduct on the behavior and actions taken by the student and what the chapter is doing to educate that member 

      5. Formal report written by the chapter’s Diversity and Inclusion Chair and submitted to the National Organization on the behavior and actions taken by the member and what the local chapter is doing to educate that member 

  2. Strike Two: Expulsion from Membership

    1. Expulsion of membership from the chapter without appeal 

    2. Formal report written by the chapter’s Diversity and Inclusion Chair and submitted to the respective University’s Greek Life Office, Equal Opportunity Office and Student Conduct on the behavior and actions taken by the student and the expulsion from the chapter

      1. This will result in a formal investigation by the University (Equal Opportunities Office and Student Conduct) on the chapter and their practices, education, and culture.  

    3. Formal report written by the chapter’s Diversity and Inclusion Chair and submitted to the National Organization on the behavior and actions taken by the student and the expulsion from the chapter 

 

[Pledge Against Racism is a community organization based in Athens, Georgia focused on addressing racism in the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) and the North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) at The University of Georgia and all Universities to create a more inclusive environment for the future. Our work has also recently been featured in Good Morning America.]

 

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For more information about this topic, please contact us at pledgeagainstracism@gmail.com