Education

Methodist University suspends sorority following racist presentation

Posted September 21, 2021 7:14 p.m. EDT
Updated September 22, 2021 12:13 a.m. EDT

— Methodist University has suspended a sorority as complaints mount on social media over a presentation last week at a sorority event that many found racist.

During the PowerPoint presentation, a member of the Alpha Delta Pi rated pictures of Black players on last year's Methodist football team and pointed out features, such as dreadlocks noses and lips, that she found unattractive. The presentation was supposed to be funny, but few found humor in it.

"I don't see why something along the lines of this is funny. I don't see how it's funny," said Ja-Quez Harrell, a Methodist senior and former member of the football team who was sent a photo of the presentation the following day.

"With everybody that was there, how come nobody stopped it?" Harrell asked.

A member of a Methodist fraternity shared with WRAL News a screenshot of an apology sent to one of the football players pictured, purportedly from the sorority member who made the presentation.

"I did not mean for any of this to be targeted towards individuals and certainly did not mean any of this in a malicious way," she said in the direct message. "It was not targeted at African Americans in any way, I can promise that."

Methodist officials said in a statement Tuesday that they began investigating the incident last week and have already started the hearing process for the students involved. They also ordered Alpha Delta Pi to "cease and desist from all activities" on campus.

"Methodist University is committed to principles of diversity, equity, inclusion and justice. We abhor racism in any form on our campus, and we immediately investigate all possible incidents of racism and act on them appropriately, as warranted by the facts," officials said in a statement.

All of the social media accounts for the Methodist chapter of Alpha Delta Pi had been shut down by Tuesday, and representatives of the sorority's national headquarters didn't respond to WRAL's request for comment.

Methodist is a private university with about 2,000 students, more than a third of whom identify as students of color, officials said.

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