Suing for admission to Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority

by Walter Olson on March 8, 2013

The Howard University students’ feelings were hurt, it seems [Will Sommer, Washington City Paper via Huffington Post]:

Some of the “hazing” rules sound innocuous, if extensive, like being forbidden from wearing the sorority colors of pink and green or any colors that could be blended into pink and green. In one humorous moment, the lawsuit notes that the pledges, who were called the “sweets,” couldn’t even wear white pearls.

Other hazing allegations are more serious. At one point, the pledges were told not to talk to non-sorority members at Howard, according to the suit. “[Alpha Kappa Alpha members] on campus addressed the sweets by calling them weak bitches,” Compton’s mother wrote in a complaint to the sorority.

After Cofield’s mother, also an Alpha Kappa Alpha sister, complained, the two pledges found themselves ostracized in the sorority for being “snitch-friendly” or “snitch-sympathists.”…

The aspiring sisters say they’re being discriminated against because, as legacies, their mothers were also in the sorority. In other words, they’re being treated differently because of their “familial status”—a protected class under the D.C. Human Rights Act. In addition to monetary damages, the would-be Alpha Kappa Alphas want the court to grant an injunction putting the pledging process on hold.

P.S. In 2008 we covered the “Oprichniki” lawsuit involving Miss Porter’s School in Connecticut (follow-up). And there’s a current controversy over what one alumna calls the “pretty tame” hazing dished out on a voluntary basis during a Bryn Mawr tradition known as Hell Week [Julie Gerstein/The Frisky, Philly.com]

{ 6 comments }

1 Incunabulum 03.08.13 at 8:06 pm

“. . .as legacies, their mothers were also in the sorority”

Wait, you can sue for being *positively* discriminated against?

2 1389AD 03.08.13 at 9:10 pm

Being accepted to AKA, or for that matter, any sorority or any university these days, reminds me of being popular on Facebook.

It’s like being asked to sit at the cool table in the cafeteria of a mental institution.

3 nevins 03.09.13 at 10:10 am

Seems like the best plan is to admit them, then snub them. They will be effectively persona non grata with any social organization on campus as a result.

4 wfjag 03.09.13 at 12:19 pm

When I first read the article I thought it was an “Over involved girlfriend does Greek Week” spoof.

5 mikelo 03.09.13 at 11:24 pm

acceptance to a fraternity/sorority might still require candidates to be secretive about certain activities on certain occasions; if a candidate has a “snitch” like attitude, then he/she doesn’t understand the need for such secrecy and merit his/her non-acceptance.

6 steve mansfield 03.11.13 at 6:22 pm

Full disclosure: I am married to an AKA. That being said, I have a problem with anti-hazing laws as all of the participants are of legal age and can can refuse to participate if they don’t wish to be hazed. I myself did not join a frat when I was in school because I chose not to do silly things and be bossed around by some yahoo with an IQ 30 points less than mine.

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