Alabama University: Apologizes For Racist T-Shirt Issued By The Kappa Chapter of Alpha Delta PiBy Vinny, UniversityHerald Reporter
A student organization in Alabama has issued an apology Friday after finding T-shirts that showed a black man eating watermelon had been produced by a sorority, which claimed members were unable to spot the racist interpretation initially.
In an email to students and faculty, Samford University President Andy Westmoreland noted that the image was repulsive and he didn't have words to describe his frustration.
A review overseen by the administrators could influence a disciplinary action against the Alpha Delta Pi chapter at Samford, where the shaming revelation came as students and faculty were celebrating graduations at the Birmingham campus Friday, May 13.
Samford University apologizes after images of sorority shirt with offensive images surfaces https://t.co/wWy0ef6jEj
— WIAT 42 (@WIAT42) May 13, 2016
The T-shirt displayed a black person eating watermelon - an image widely treated a repulsive racial stereotype. The shirts also showed a map of Alabama marked with a slew of images.
According to University spokesman Philip Poole, the shirts were ordered as keepsakes for the sorority's spring formal, reports ABC News.
The T-shirts are now to be burned citing complaints on the campus as well as an apology from the Alpha Delta Pi student sorority. Officials at Samford University have issued an apology too. The group found itself in hot water right after the controversy broke, but the group claimed it had not looked into all the details of the design.
In a statement, Lauren Hammond, president of the sorority's Samford chapter acknowledged that the group failed to pay attention on the specific images in the design. Hammond also noted that the sorority members have been instructed not to wear the shirts, which were being collected in order to be destroyed.
Karina Shaver, a media representative for Alpha Delta Pi noted that chapter members actually found the map image via a Google search.
Poole said a staff member of the campus Greek Life office discovered the T-shirts had been delivered and warned administrators Thursday afternoon.
According to reports on CBS News, Samford officials divulged in a statement that the sorority ordered the repulsing T-shirts despite their design been rejected when submitted to the university for permission.
A statement from Alpha Delta Pi's national headquarters noted that the t-shirt design does not reflect "the values of respect and dignity" the organization proudly stands for. The organization also pointed out that it neither approves any design with racial stereotypes nor tolerates any other "offensive images or language."