Racist texts in group message lead to Alpha Phi president’s removal, member’s termination 

Ainsley Platt, Staff Reporter

Alpha Phi member Kylie Klueger sent a racist text in a private group message with some of her sorority sisters, including Alpha Phi’s then-president Katherine Anthony. On Thursday, the sorority ousted Anthony as president and terminated Klueger’s membership. 

Anthony and Klueger did not return The Crimson White’s requests for comment sent on Wednesday and Thursday respectively.

“I’m gonna yack, it smells so bad in here,” Anthony wrote from inside a Tuscaloosa bar. Another member agreed, before Klueger wrote, “cigs, weed and black girl.”

Screenshots from the original group message circulated online earlier this week, followed by screenshots from official Alpha Phi group messages. Members’ names were redacted from the official sorority group messages. 

The screenshots were initially posted in an Instagram story by @bamabarbz, a Nicki Minaj stan account run by four UA students, after an Alpha Phi member anonymously provided them to the account. One of the students who manages the account contributes to The Crimson White’s culture and opinion desks.

Some members have anonymously confirmed their intentions to leave the sorority because of the messages and the sorority’s response, but told The Crimson White they cannot speak publicly until the process is complete to avoid violation of Alpha Phi’s membership contract. 

The Alpha Phi social media contract states that “sharing Chapter Business will not be tolerated.” If the chapter initiates its “Social Media Emergency Procedures,” members must refrain from making any statements on behalf of the chapter.

Alpha Phi posted a statement to its Instagram page on Thursday and turned off comments on the post. The statement confirmed the president’s removal from her position and said the chapter’s judiciary board process was underway.  

“We adamantly condemn this racist behavior and understand we must do more to enforce the shared values of our organization,” the statement read. “We deeply apologize for the racist behavior displayed by the former member and the harm and trauma this text message has caused to members of the Alabama community and the general public. As Alpha Phis, we aim to celebrate diversity and do our part to make Alabama more inclusive. Unfortunately, the recent actions of those affiliated with our organization do not adhere to the standards we hold of our members.”

Alpha Phi has faced scrutiny in recent years. In 2015, the chapter removed a recruitment video from YouTube after it gained national attention for being “racially and aesthetically homogenous.” Three years later, Harley Barber’s membership was terminated and she was expelled from the University after a video of her repeating multiple racial slurs was made public.

“We have worked so hard to build from that [racist] reputation, and our own exec [executive board members] are the ones bringing that reputation back,” an anonymous member wrote in the group message. 

One member wrote that the sorority’s executives seemed more focused on “stalking our social medias to find a picture that we look drunk in or not wearing enough clothing than looking into the girls we are giving bids too.”

Abby Hunt, the sorority’s interim president and vice president of health, wellness and accountability, sent a message in the sorority’s GroupMe instructing members to not talk to the media. Hunt has not returned The Crimson White’s request for comment sent on Wednesday. 

In response to Hunt’s message, an anonymous member wrote in the group message that she would not “lie on behalf of the chapter” if asked about the situation. She said she “ran out of patience a long time ago when the President of the chapter abandoned everyone.”

In an Alpha Phi group message, members expressed their outrage at a lack of communication about the situation from their leadership. 

“Are y’all genuinely gonna leave us all in the dark to deal with this??” a member wrote. 

The Alabama Panhellenic Association did not respond to a request for comment sent on Wednesday, and the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life directed requests to the University.

“The communication is offensive, disappointing, and contrary to the University’s core values emphasizing collegiality, respect, and inclusivity,” Monica Watts, UA associate vice president for communications, said in a statement. “We expect our students and organizations to reinforce and enhance those values and appreciate when they appropriately hold each other accountable. The University takes these behaviors seriously and is committed to building a more inclusive community, which will take the ongoing, steadfast work of us all.” 

Watts said the University is planning a campuswide initiative early next semester “to help our campus continue to develop strategies required to collectively build a better community.” 

Alpha Phi International did not respond to requests for comment.