A University of Alabama sorority stripped its president of her title and expelled another member after a racist text in a group chat was circulated online, The Birmingham News reported.
According to screenshots of the group message, Alpha Phi president Katherine Anthony wrote, “I’m gonna yack, it smells so bad in here,” referring to a Tuscaloosa bar. Responding to Anthony’s message, member Kylie Klueger wrote, “cigs, weed and black girl.” Alpha Phi posted a statement on its Instagram page Thursday saying the sorority was aware a member used “racist and hateful” language and confirmed the removal of the sorority member who sent that text. The statement said the chapter’s judiciary board was investigating the other people involved in the group message.
“We deeply apologize for the racist behavior displayed by the former member and the harm and trauma this text message has caused to members of the Alabama community and the general public,” the Instagram message read.
The Alabama Panhellenic Association posted its own statement to Instagram, writing that the group message circulated online was in “direct contradiction” to the association’s vision and that it was “gravely disappointed with this offensive behavior.”
A spokesperson for the University of Alabama wrote in a statement Monday, “Alpha Phi informed the University of the inappropriate student communication and made us aware that the local chapter and national organization are taking steps to address concerns with their members’ behavior. The communication is offensive, disappointing, and contrary to the University’s core values emphasizing collegiality, respect and inclusivity.”
Alpha Phi has been involved in racist controversy before. In 2015, the chapter removed a recruitment video from YouTube after it gained national attention for being racially and aesthetically homogeneous, appearing to suggest the sorority is only for attractive white women. In 2018, student Harley Barber was expelled from Alpha Phi and the university after a video of her repeating multiple racial slurs on Martin Luther King Jr. Day was made public.