The Fight for Integration at the University of Alabama

Sororities and fraternities need to change their ways, but what about the rest of the student body?

Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images
Mike Zarrilli/Getty Images

The fraternities and sororities are private groups, run by and large by the students. Most college students don’t take kindly to authority, which means that any change at the University of Alabama cannot truly take place unless more students like Sam Creden see the problem

“A lot of my fraternity brothers are actually worried that this will be supporting sort of forced integration,” said Mr. Creden, a junior from Chicago.

Those who marched, he said, are hoping for a deeper, systemic change.

“We don’t want this to be the facade of integration,” Mr. Creden said. “We want people to truly accept people of all backgrounds and races.”

There is no question as to the importance of Greek life on any college campus, the University of Alabama included, but to home in on the important issue of discrimination by sororities and fraternities is slightly misguided. It’s a problem that’s bigger than the school’s 13 white sororities and 27 white fraternities. Just because change may come there, how can change extend to the students who choose not to join any Greek organization? Real changes will come when the entire student body notices that most of the black and white students still choose to sit among themselves, separate from one another, at lunchtime.