The Student News Site of Wofford College

Old Gold & Black

Breaking News
  • Issue 10 Out Now!

Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Scott Kull: The new Director of Athletics
Abigail Taylor, Contributing Writer • April 16, 2024

Discrimination Dispute

Kappa+Sigma+fraternity+house+at+the+Greek+Village
Kappa Sigma fraternity house at the Greek Village

Conflicting narrative about how Wofford will address issues of discrimination in regards to access to fraternity organization parties

Several of the stories shared this summer on the Instagram account @blackatwofford involved instances of racial discrimination at the Kappa Alpha Order and Kappa Sigma fraternity houses.

Matthew Hammett, Assistant Dean of Students for Student Involvement, shared that the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life received a report of gender discrimination related to access in the Greek Village in the spring, but has not received reports related to racial discrimination. 

Policy at the time of these instances dictated that organizations had to fully complete and maintain a sign-in sheet throughout the duration of their social events while keeping the occupancy levels below the set limit for each house. 

Story continues below advertisement

There is a slightly conflicting narrative from the administrative level about how the Office of Sorority and Interfraternity Council (IFC) organizations will move forward to address these racially-charged incidents.

Dean of Students Roberta Bigger claimed that IFC organizations will not be allowed to reopen immediately post-coronavius without a new system to combat discrimination practices. 

“I read the stories and heard about the horrific things that have happened to our own students that say, try to go to a Kappa Sig party or a KA party,” Bigger said.”You know, and what I have told the IFC is that they will not reopen those houses until they commit to a different system.”

Hammett’s response slightly varied from Bigger’s: “Dean Bigger’s messaging to me was that the Interfraternity Council organizations must participate in anti-racism work if they wish to continue hosting events in the future.”

According to Hammett, the system has already been changed: “once organizations return to hosting social events, they will be required to turn in a guest list the week of the event that will be reviewed by the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life. Organizations will be required to follow the guest list and not be allowed to admit individuals unless their name is on the list,” forcing organizations to be consistent in how they allow access.

It appears then that there will be no disruption in the reopening of the Greek Village post-COVID-19 as Bigger suggested there could be, given that Hammett noted that each of the Greek letter organizations is already participating in the campus-wide student organization anti-racism challenge that the Office of Diversity and Inclusion spearheaded.

Ross Campbell ‘21, fraternity president of Kappa Sigma said the organization decided not to publish a statement in response to the testimonies that implicated the fraternity on @blackatwofford in order to uplift and respect the brave voices by decentering their organization from the conversation. 

“We saw the creation of that page as an opportunity for our organization to lend a receptive ear and to self reflect on ways in which we can better both our organization and the Wofford community as a whole to prevent such experiences from happening again,” Campbell said.

Kappa Sigma also implemented a new diversity and inclusion committee composed of 5 brothers and chaired by Will Haltiwanger ‘21.

Cade Kagley ‘21, Vice President of Kappa Alpha Order similarly asserted that the bravery of the individuals who shared their stories is inspiring and that “it was clear to us that alterations needed to be made to how we admitted guests to our parties. We are still trying to figure out exactly what system will work best but we are committed to making our house and our parties more inclusive to all students on campus.”

Kappa Alpha Order currently has a diversity and inclusion committee that is open to any member of the chapter to join. During officer turnover, the chapter will elect their first head of diversity and inclusion.

In November, the IFC will hold an event that is open to the college and will focus on what each organization learned through its anti-racism work this semester. Each organization will lead a presentation and talk through their outcomes and things they are doing to implement the high-impact practice in the areas of equity and inclusion. 

Hammett reflected, “I have had many conversations with our Interfraternity Council about how we must reflect and take in the important voices that are being shared, voices that have been oppressed for far too long. They will have to rise above and accept where they’ve made mistakes as chapters and work to repair the harm. It will be their actions that determine how much they learned through this anti-racism work.”

Donate to Old Gold & Black
$0
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Wofford College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to Old Gold & Black
$0
$500
Contributed
Our Goal