U.S. attorney's office monitors UA segregation allegationsBy Abbey Crain | 09/20/2013 12:23pm
U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance announced Thursday that her office is monitoring allegations of racial discrimination following The Crimson White’s article, “The Final Barrier.”
The article reported that at least two black potential new members who went through this year’s sorority recruitment were dropped from all 16 Panhellenic sorority houses as a result of alumnae interference.
According to the United States Department of Justice website, Vance is responsible for the prosecution of federal crimes, defense of civil cases and collection of debts owed to the U.S.
“We’re charged with enforcing of the civil rights laws in this country,” Vance said. “We take that obligation very seriously, but more than litigation — one of the most important services that the department of justice can provide to the community, and a role that it often plays in areas where there’s a racial divide is a conciliation service. Conciliation is probably a bad word — we actually have a great deal of expertise at sponsoring a community conversation and helping communities move themselves forward by understanding what the issues are and finding a resolution to those issues.”
There is no active investigation, but Vance said she plans to stay in touch with administrators to support racial progress on campus.
“We can really honor the sacrifices that people made like Vivian Malone Jones that integrated the University by finally having transformational leadership that moves us to a place where sorority applicants are judged by their caliber, not by the color of their skin,” Vance said.
Vance encourages students, faculty and administration to reach out to her office when issues of physical safety or questioned law enforcement are concerned.
“I think there’s a general sense among people on the campus that it’s time to evolve past this,” Vance said. “This history of segregation in the greek system is incredibly harmful because it’s not just 40 years and then it’s done. It’s really shaped many of the business and social relationships that survived long past college, so it’s in many ways a generational issue.”