University restricts media access to rushBy Andy McWhorter | 08/25/2014 5:47pm
Sorority Row at The University of Alabama | CW / Andy McWhorter
A festive environment has descended on Sorority Row at The University of Alabama, as thousands of girls continue to participate in the largest formal recruitment in history. But outside of the ice water teas, skits and parties on Colonial and Magnolia Drives, there is a kind of silence.
One year after The Crimson White reported that black women participating in formal recruitment faced discrimination and were all eventually dropped from the process, the University has restricted media access to those directly involved in rush.
Unlike previous years, no representatives from the University of Alabama office of Greek Affairs, the Panhellenic Executive Council or any sorority will be available for interviews during recruitment week, according to a list of guidelines sent to The Crimson White and other media outlets. Instead, all questions were to be directed to the University’s office of media relations.
The guide said the same will be true for bid day itself, when thousands of hopeful girls will crowd into Bryant-Denny Stadium on Saturday, August 16, to find out which Panhellenic sororities have offered them membership. Media outlets will be provided with a list of girls receiving a bid that day, but all questions are to be directed to the University’s office of media relations.
“Recruitment week is extremely busy for everyone in Greek affairs, for all the girls in Panhellenic,” said Cathy Andreen, director of media relations for the University. “We will certainly have some information available after it’s over, but there’s really not anyone available for interviews right now.”
Media organizations were also told to not encroach upon the lawns of any sorority houses, knock on any doors, enter Bryant-Denny Stadium on bid day or “disrupt students as they move along the sidewalk.”
This year’s recruitment process is the largest ever, with 2,276 women participating in rush. The total number of black women participating was not available, nor was a record of which sororities pledged the 21 minority women who received bids during continuous open bidding last school year.
The University released an interview with Hannah McBrayer, president of the UA Panhellenic Association, last Wednesday, August 6, in advance of recruitment week.
“Inclusion has always been important with the Panhellenic sororities at The University of Alabama,” McBrayer said. “I would say what’s different this year is we’ve been much more intentional with our education.”
McBrayer also said each organization will have a national representative on campus to help ensure that “the mutual selection process is kept pure and that chapters are recruiting based on their national membership standards.”