University of Georgia fraternities, sororities and administrators have agreed to ban antebellum-style hoop skirts from Greek events in the wake of the University of Oklahoma Sigma Alpha Epsilon racist chant video.
“We’ve made a lot of progress,” Vice President for Student Affairs Victor Wilson told the Athens Banner-Herald. “This is just one more step. We applaud our students for being courageous and making a tough call.”
Hoop skirts have been worn at Greek events like SAE’s Magnolia Ball.
“A standard aspect of event planning for Greek organizations is that costuming for events must be evaluated as to its appropriateness,” Ashley Merkel, president of UGA’s Panhellenic Council, and Alex Bosse, president of the Interfraternity Council, said in an email. “The student leadership, staff and advisors agree that Antebellum hoop skirts are not appropriate in the context of some events. We will continue to review costuming and themes for future events to ensure their appropriateness for our organizations.”
SAE and another fraternity with a chapter at UGA, Kappa Alpha, have roots in the Old South. SAE was founded at the University of Alabama in 1856, and most of its early members fought for the Confederacy. Until recently, the organization highlighted that history on its website.
KA—founded in honor of Robert E. Lee in 1865—held parades in which fraternity brothers dressed as Confederate cavalry officers until a few years ago.
The hoop-skirt ban has made statewide and even international news. Atlanta’s Fox 5 taped a segment on the story downtown on Wednesday.
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