UA President gives update on diversity in the Greek community

On Tuesday morning, Dr. Judy Bonner issued an update to The University of Alabama community about the on-going efforts to ensure diversity in UA's Greek system.

You'll remember, the UA administration instituted continuous open bidding in order to diversify traditionally white sororities on campus.{}

So far,{}200 bids have been offered.{} 145 were{}accepted.{} Among those, 23{}were minorities, including 14 African Americans.{}{}Twelve{}UA{}sororities now have African American members, and all sororities have minority members.

Bonner said the University is also working with fraternities to increase minority membership.{} In the coming days, Bonner added the University{}will also{}meet{}with officers of the{}National Pan-Hellenic Council, or NPHC, and{}the United Greek Council organizations. "One NPHC and 6 UGC chapters already can claim diversity in their membership, but these doors, too, must be opened even more," Bonner said.

A full transcript of Bonner's statement is below:

"I want to provide you with an update on where we are with our plans to ensure access and opportunity throughout our Greek community at The University of Alabama.

The National Panhellenic Council or NPC sorority presidents have provided outstanding leadership and the members have demonstrated genuine commitment throughout the process of Continuous Open Bidding. Every sorority has reached out to a diverse group of young women.

To date, 200 bids have been offered during the past few weeks.{} 145 women have accepted those bids.{} 23 are minorities, including 14 African Americans.{} It is important to note that now 12 of our sororities have African American members and all sororities have minority members. Prior to formal recruitment this fall, the NPC chapters had significant Hispanic and Asian membership as well as members who reported more than one race or ethnicity.

You can be assured that The Office for Greek Affairs will continue to work with both local chapters and national organizations to provide support for all members, and we continue to develop plans for the spring 2014 and fall 2014 recruitment periods, so our progress will translate into lasting change in the months and years to come.

As you might imagine, in order to expand access throughout our Greek community we have also been meeting with the officers of our Interfraternity Council or IFC fraternities. We are pleased to report that the fraternity presidents met and reaffirmed their commitment to diversity and inclusiveness with a resolution signed by every fraternity president. At this point, all of our IFC fraternities have minority members and 7 fraternities have African American members.

In the coming days, we will also be meeting with officers of our National Pan-Hellenic Council or NPHC and our United Greek Council or UGC organizations. One NPHC and 6 UGC chapters already can claim diversity in their membership but these doors, too, must be opened even more.

On a personal note, I cannot say enough about our students,our faculty and our alumni.{} They continue to encourage and support proactive steps forward and the changes that have been made are due in no small part to their leadership and persistence.{} Special thanks to the National Alumni Association, which passed a resolution expressing their total commitment to this important task.

As you might imagine, we have received encouraging calls, emails and letters from all across the nation.{} In fact, we have also heard from other universities, who have watched what The University of Alabama has done in the span of less than a month, and who have asked for suggestions about ways they can follow our lead.

Let me be clear, we have not reached our destination but we are moving forward with resolve, energy and enthusiasm.

We are determined. We are focused.{} We will succeed in creating and maintaining a welcoming and inclusive campus that is defined by access and opportunity.

Thank you for your support and your commitment to making our goal a reality."