Denied by AKA, Howard Students Sue for Human Rights Violations

Two Howard University seniors say that Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority wrongly refused to admit them, and they're using the D.C. Human Rights Act to take the organization to court. 

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Members of Howard University's AKA chapter in 2010 (YouTube)

In a lawsuit filed on Feb. 28 in federal court, two Howard University students are suing Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority for violating their human rights by refusing to admit them and for hazing them when they were prospective members, the Washington City Paper reports.  

Laurin Compton and Lauren Cofield, who are daughters of women who were in the sorority -- or "legacies" -- allege that the group discriminated against them because of their "familial status," which is a protected class under the D.C. Human Rights Act.

In addition to suing the oldest Greek-letter organization for African-American college women, a lawyer representing the two has reportedly named Howard as a defendant, accusing the school of failing to protect the young women from the hazing.

According to the lawsuit, Compton and Cofield's trouble began when they were invited to "Ivy Day," a ceremony for outgoing and prospective AKA members in the second semester of 2010. The two then-freshmen were expecting to find sisterhood, but what they allegedly found instead was hazing!

Some of the "hazing" rules sound innocuous, if extensive, like being forbidden from wearing the sorority colors of pink and green or any colors that could be blended into pink and green. In one humorous moment, the lawsuit notes that the pledges, who were called the "sweets," couldn't even wear white pearls.

Other hazing allegations are more serious. At one point, the pledges were told not to talk to non-sorority members at Howard, according to the suit. "[Alpha Kappa Alpha members] on campus addressed the sweets by calling them weak bitches," Compton's mother wrote in a complaint to the sorority.

After Cofield's mother, also an Alpha Kappa Alpha sister, complained, the two pledges found themselves ostracized in the sorority for being "snitch-friendly" or "snitch-sympathists."

Read more at the Washington City Paper.

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