A sorority at Methodist University in Fayetteville, North Carolina, has been suspended after a presentation by one of its members.
A white female student and member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority made a presentation last week that allegedly included derogatory comments about the physical features of Black members of the 2020 Methodist football team. Parts of the presentation were then immediately shared to social media by students who witnessed it.
The Facebook post shows a screenshot of a woman, who is white, standing in front of a large screen with the faces of four Black men, all of whom are Monarch football players, according to social media comments and interviews with students. The words, “Large Nostrils” accompany the images projected onto the screen.
Students and comments on social media indicate that the presentation was given before a gathering of sorority members and was about things the presenter found unattractive.
One of the players who was included in the presentation told WRAL that he didn't understand how the presentation was supposed to be funny.
"I don't see why something along the lines of this is funny. I don't see how it's funny," Ja-Quez Harrell told the station.
"With everybody that was there, how come nobody stopped it?"
WRAL said it had seen an apologetic direct message "purportedly" from the woman who made the presentation to one of the football players she included in it. The message said the presentation was not intended to be malicious.
University is investigating
The university said Tuesday afternoon that it began its investigation into the presentation and its origins last week. The school announced the suspension of the sorority in an update from president Dr. Stanley T. Weardon. In it, Weardon and the school's diversity officer Dr. Quincy Malloy remarked that "we are also a microcosm of the larger society and we must continue to struggle to eliminate racism everywhere it exists."
You can read the statement in full below.
We Believe in Action pic.twitter.com/RPqqh73ERb
— Methodist University (@MethodistU) September 21, 2021
The school also announced that it had begun the student conduct hearing process regarding the presentation.
"We believe in action and we are taking action. Last week we immediately launched a thorough investigation of a reported incident. This week, the hearing process is already underway. We will complete the hearing process as soon as we can while also following our established protocols. In addition, we have suspended Alpha Delta Pi sorority indefinitely, pending further investigation. Alpha Delta Pi has been told to cease and desist from all activities."
A spokesperson for the Alpha Delta Pi national chapter told the Observer that the woman’s actions “directly contradict the values” of the sorority and that the Theta Epsilon chapter at the school had been suspended by the national chapter as well.
“Sorority staff and volunteers are working directly with chapter members to learn more and provide support to those who have been harmed, and we are grateful for Methodist University’s partnership and professional resources available to students,” she wrote. “Racism has no place in our sisterhood, and we will continue to work for inclusive spaces and restorative justice in our chapters, on our campuses, and in our communities.”