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Delta Doubts

A Howard student denounces her sorority and has social media chosing sides

Black Greek Organizations aka “The Divine Nine” have been around for decades as organizations that serve the Black community and fundamental standards, values, and morals. Each of these aspects are essential for the organizations’ mission and upholding a sense of exclusivity for those who went through “the official process” of pledging their specific sorority or fraternity. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Incorporated and Omega Psi Phi are just a few of the most notable Black Greek organizations.

Despite the high praise and qualifying reputations that Black Greek organizations uphold, there are few controversial opinions on the culture that may cast a negative light on the founding principles of the “Divine Nine”. This spring, Zora Sanders, a rising senior attending Howard, crossed the Alpha Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated, but has publicly denounced the organization in a post shared on her Instagram. She also expressed her belief of the organization going against Christianity, the sacred rituals of officially crossing into the sorority and her overall concerns about Black Greek life. However, there has been major controversy regarding the intimate private details of the initiation process that officially welcomes them to Delta Land. Many Black Greek members and non-affiliates were shocked by this surprising revelation while others praised her perspective.

Zora Sanders’ Instagram post

As the announcement continues to spread virally across social media, there have been a variety of comments regarding the manner. One Instagram user @jeidhaguzman stated, “No hate but please delete! As a member of Delta Sigma Theta, I don’t appreciate our sacred info being shown to the public.” Another Instagram user @ebonysips that’s non-affiliated with the sorority stated, “Your interpretations of the process and proceedings are your own but it’s unfortunate that you took the place of a young woman who would have understand the sorority for what it is, not what radical religious tropes make it to be. Peace be unto you.” On the contrary, users that are non-affiliated with the organizations are questioning the motives behind Black Greek history. Instagram user @itsbrookelynne stated, “If what she is saying is all made up and silly why does it bother you? If your organization is so pristine and full of goodness why does a denunciation announcement matter? If the pledging process is perfectly healthy behavior, why is it imperative that it remains secretive?”

Alyssa Hoff, a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated, was appalled and offended that this young woman would publicly release intimate details regarding the organization.  “I can’t believe she did that. I’m not saying that you can’t have your own opinions and feelings on our organization, but she’s the one who seeked out our sorority. That’s how the initial process works,” Hoff said. “This is a complete disgrace. Personally, I don’t believe that our organization goes against Christianity or puts one godly figure over the other. She could have denounced us without putting the rest of our intimate history in jeopardy.”

Kaitlin Manning, a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, thought the responses regarding this manner from social media was intriguing and thought-provoking for the Black Greek organizations.

“This is something you don’t see often or really expect from a line sister that may have crossed with her throughout their process,” Manning said. “It’s almost like a betrayal, but I have seen all the support that’s been coming through by the rest of D9 which feels amazing to have. I’m not a Delta, but I respect them just like the rest of the orgs. But this causes concern of honing down the screening process of initiates more tightly.”

Since Sanders has publicly revealed this sacred information regarding the Delta Sigma Theta organization, members of the chapter have stated their intentions to pursue legal action against her. The Divine Nine aka “D9” was created and intended for Black excellence amongst vast communities. However, this shines a new light on tightening the vetting process for future initiates when pursuing Black Greek organizations.

 

By Kori Barnes, University of Southern California

Instagram: @korixnicole

 

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Written by Kori Barnes

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