On Tuesday, the university condemned the student’s actions and announced that the sorority was suspended indefinitely.
“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,” the school said in a statement last week.
The national headquarters of Alpha Delta Pi suspended the sorority’s membership on Sept. 17, a spokeswoman told the Observer.
“Alpha Delta Pi was outraged and deeply saddened to learn of the racist behavior of a member,” she wrote over email in response to questions. She added, ”Her actions directly contradict the values of Alpha Delta Pi.”
Methodist is the latest university grappling with accusations of racism in Greek life. Over the past year and a half, many students have been inspired by the country’s racial reckoning and recognized that sororities and fraternities have historically disenfranchised minorities. At some universities, chapters have voted to disband and campus leaders have resigned.
With a student population of about 2,000, Methodist University prides itself on its diverse student body, according to the Observer. Enrollment data from the university shows that the undergraduate student body is about 42 percent White and about 20 percent Black.
A photo of the presentation spread quickly last week. A Facebook post with the image was shared hundreds of times, according to the Observer. People also shared and denounced it on Instagram, Twitter and TikTok.
During the slide show presentation, WRAL reported, an Alpha Delta Pi member showed pictures of Black players on last year’s football team and allegedly pointed out features she found unattractive. The presentation, students told WRAL, was supposed to be funny.
But other students didn’t find it humorous. In an Instagram story, one called the presentation “extremely racist.”
“The fact that they went out of their way to post members of our football community … you should be ashamed of yourself,” the student wrote.
A football player at Methodist who was featured in the slide show allegedly received an apology from the sorority member in a direct message, WRAL reported, citing screenshots the station received of the message.
“I am beyond sorry. … I am fully aware of how my actions caused pain to others now and I will accept with full responsibility the punishment that is decided with this matter with the school,” the message said, according to the station. “Again, I am truly sorry and did not mean for this to hurt anybody and it was not targeted at African Americans in any way. I can promise that.”
University leadership said the school “immediately launched a thorough investigation” after learning about the incident. Alpha Delta Pi’s national office said it was assisting Methodist with the inquiry.
“Racism has no place in our sisterhood, and we will continue to work for inclusive spaces and restorative justice in our chapters, on our campuses, and in our communities,” the office said in a statement.