Pepperdine Greek life emailed responses

*The following Greek Life organizations had representatives participate in full interviews, rather than submit emailed responses:

  • Sigma Chi
  • Delta Delta Delta

Alec Jordan, president of Alpha Tau Omega

“I can say on behalf of the fraternity that we will continue to treat others with the utmost love and respect. It saddens me to see so many hurtful and wrongful acts that have been committed against the Black community at Pepperdine. As a professing Christian, I am called to “do unto others as I would have them do unto me.” As I have led this group of men, I have done my very best to lead by this standard. Over the summer, we partnered with other fraternities and sororities in raising money to bring awareness to these issues, and we are actively looking for avenues to help within our own community. 

As far as the instagram page and specific posts mentioning ATO, I believe the self reflection that the page inspires can actively help people evaluate the situation on campus, within organizations, and even themselves. As a fraternity, we do not condone any acts of racism or discrimination. Since I have been a member, this has been the standard and will continue to be the standard. Actions such as these are wrong and inexcusable. Our fraternity motto is “love and respect.” We will continue to act out of this motto in both our actions and our words. We understand that our community at Pepperdine is not perfect, and we wish to help be a part of the group that betters campus life for everyone.”

Delta Gamma

“As Delta Gammas, we strive to “Do Good.” This shared purpose has anchored our bonds of sisterhood since 1873, but today more than ever, it is important to remember that doing good requires action. It is not about looking good or about being seen doing good. We want to do good in the world in the hopes that our world will become a better place for all people. This means that our sisterhood needs to become more diverse. More actively inclusive. More equitable. We recognize this need, and we know that this commitment has not always been showcased as a top priority in our past. We are committed to changing that, and we don’t expect the campus community to just take our word for it. We promise to demonstrate that commitment with tangible action in support of all students from all backgrounds. Pepperdine’s Eta Alpha chapter of Delta Gamma cares deeply for the women of color in our chapter, the panhellenic community and the campus as a whole.  We are committed to addressing inclusion in alignment with the efforts made by our Executive Offices.”

Kappa Kappa Gamma

“Kappa Kappa Gamma is an organization founded upon the integrity, respect and consideration for all. The appalling events leading up to the support of the Black Lives Matter Movement, as demonstrated through the tragic losses of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, has challenged our commitment to these ideals, and we are grateful for our members of the Eta Beta Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma, and the Pepperdine community at large, for speaking up and holding us accountable for change. We are appalled at the ongoing cycle of racial injustices that the Black community faces on a day-to-day basis, and the many lives taken too early from the violent realities of systemic racism. As a chapter, we have failed to protect and promote the integrity of our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) members and peers within the Pepperdine community, along with our chapter’s contribution to discrimination and racism in the past. The Eta Beta Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma condemns the actions of those who perpetrate hate, bigotry, and violence. We encourage all of our members to speak up against acts of racism and hatred, and expect nothing but our members to promote and demonstrate an understanding of diversity, inclusion and acceptance of all. As an inherently privileged organization, we recognize that words are not enough to affect change, however, we are eager to use our platform to speak conversation when racism, discrimination and social injustice occurs. In order to become part of the solution, we understand that a generous amount of work must be done on our own part, and the Eta Beta Chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma is committed to affecting this change immediately. Our members are continuously eager to support and fundraise the Black Lives Matter movement, and are all committed to learning, growing and inspiring positive reform throughout the course of their lives. We will continue to fight for the love, equality and acceptance of all, and create a chapter that is supportive and safe for the members of the Pepperdine community. Our organization as a whole is eager to demonstrate actionable change, and we are ready to become better allies, sisters, activists and women both on and off our campus.”

Caroline Chance, president of Pi Beta Phi

“The California Mu chapter of Pi Beta Phi for Women at Pepperdine University is committed to being a more diverse, equitable and inclusive organization. Our campus and community are not immune to the challenges of racial discrimination. As a predominantly white organization, my chapter of Pi Beta Phi knows we must continually educate ourselves to know better and do better. We must be part of the solution; we must work against racial discrimination. Information presented by @BlackatPepperdine should concern us all. For me, the posts presented new information and I regret that those stories were the experiences of my peers. As a chapter, we are focusing on growing our skills and knowledge so that we can take informed action. We have appointed a director of Diversity and Inclusion who is helping us engage in frequent discussions around diversity, equity, and inclusion. Collectively, we are reading and studying “White Fragilityby Robin DiAngelo. Members of the chapter have all completed a series of programs on identity development, power and privilege, and implicit bias along with Pi Phis across North America. These are just first steps, but I believe they are important steps. The process of creating this environment within our chapter will take hard work and action. Pi Phi is committed to making every effort to make strides towards this end.”

Michael Semenov, president of Sigma Phi Epsilon

“In reaction to the Instagram account BlackatPepperdine, I am glad there is an outlet for Black students at Pepperdine to express their truthful emotions and opinions, directly. It is an important story to tell here at Pepperdine, and across American colleges. Specifically reacting to the Greek Life on the account, I was appalled. I can only speak for SigEp, but I know that since the rise of the account, we have taken a new approach. We have never had tolerance for mistreatment within the fraternity, and have now made it an actionable offense in our bylaws that any ignorant or derogatory language towards another brother or outside of the fraternity will be punished. We have also taken this chance to create a new diversity chair within the fraternity. The role of this chair is to keep the brotherhood informed and up to date on cultural activities on campus. This is the brother that ensures we work with BSA, ASA, CSA and others, while maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship. The position leads the cultivation of diverse and educated brothers within our fraternity, as well as spearheading collaboration with our diverse Pepperdine community.”

Ally Richards, chief executive pfficer of Kappa Alpha Theta

“As far as specifically pertaining to the stories shared by @BlackatPepperdine, as an organization, Theta supports and encourages the open and safe space that the page has given people. Highlighting stories of the very real struggles and racism that Black students at Pepperdine face (along with other minorities) in a way that cannot be ignored has been so enlightening for the students who have had the privilege to go about their lives without confronting the issues on our campus. It is undeniable that many of these stories involve Greek life and the exclusive culture that it creates. Through the honest sharing and learning that is occurring because of things like @BlackatPepperdine, and continued active work, we can all learn and grow while supporting and love the Black community at Pepperdine … ”

Kappa Alpha Theta also provided a statement that had been previously shared on social media, along with linked local resources on ways to support the Black Community:

“We have been proud to watch our members speak up against racism, march in protests, and raise funds to support Black lives and communities. We acknowledge that’s not enough. As an organization, we remain dedicated to fighting racism and discrimination—in our sisterhood and our communities. We strive to provide a membership experience that is available regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, or socioeconomic status. We wholeheartedly acknowledge sororities’ histories as predominantly white-organizations, and we also recognize our own University’s history. Those both must change. Our chapter has specifically promoted inclusion over the past year by creating new financial support and scholarship structures to combat the socioeconomic disparities that once limited membership opportunities. However, socioeconomic diversity is just one piece of the inequity we must continue to combat. We are implementing a Diversity and Inclusion Officer as a new official position, and we have scheduled and now completed a diversity training workshop for members in the Fall. We want to do better. We need to integrate anti-racism into our daily lives. We hope you will join us in keeping this momentum going and continuing to bring light to #blacklivesmatter.”