Chapman University's Alpha Gamma Delta President & VP Chapter Wellness to Step Down

Chapman University's Alpha Gamma Delta President & VP Chapter Wellness to Step Down

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Jasmine Labrador started this petition to Alpha Gamma Delta International Headquarters

On Saturday May 30, 2020 at 4:14pm, a recent Black Chapman University alumna from the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority (who will be referred to as Jane Doe to respect anonymity) posted on Chapman University’s Alpha Gamma Delta, Delta Tau Chapter’s Facebook group. In the wake of George Floyd’s death, many people have become enraged about the injustice that has unrightly occurred to the Black and people of color communities on multiple occasions since. As many communities join in solidarity for the Black community, Jane Doe reached out to her sorority for their support, or rather their lack of, by posting her thoughts on the sorority’s Facebook group. The President, Makayla Hall, and VP Chapter Wellness, Kathryn Bernhardt, took it upon themselves to silence Jane Doe by requesting she take down the post due to it being “abrasive,” they then proceeded to remove her from the sorority Facebook group.


Jane Doe posted, “I may have not been the most active member of this sorority, but I am EXTREMELY DISAPPOINTED with the lack of response and support to what is currently going on and has been going on this week. and a repost from HQ, that literally just says “stay tuned” does not count at all. for a group that suggests that they are one of the most inclusive sororities on campus, it is damaging to see the lack of support towards the black students at Chapman let alone in this sorority. if you are unable to come up with the words on your own, please take advantage and look at the many petitions and donation links that have surely been circling your social media feeds. something, is better than nothing. and if you're still unable to come up with the words, reach out to your active black members to reach out and see how they are feeling and how they would like you to support them and others during this time.” 


At 4:33pm on May 30, 2020, Kathryn Bernhardt messaged Jane Doe. Kathryn’s message is as follows: “Hi [Jane Doe]! I don’t know if we’ve met but I’m current VP Chapter Wellness. I completely understand where you’re coming from and am also upset by everything happening. I appreciate you vocalizing your frustrations, but unfortunately IHQs response is slow because they’re a huge organization and response time just take a little longer. Many of our chapter members have been doing things on their own so I know people are trying their best to show support and help the cause. Because I know everyone is doing what they can to help in their own way I would appreciate it if you could take down your post. I would be happy to post causes to donate to or any ideas you have on how we can help! Also just so you know since semester is officially over we are taking alumni out the page soon”. 

Later that night, Jane Doe was removed from the page, while no other alumni members were removed. At 11:25pm, the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority of Chapman University posted to show their support and ways to help. The following day on May 31, 2020, Kathryn apologized to Jane Doe and that she was re-added to the group stating that, “it was in the moment reaction … I hadn’t ever had to deal with it before.” 


On Wednesday June 3, 2020, Chapman University’s BSU hosted an open forum Zoom call. During the Zoom call, BSU members had the opportunity to speak. Jane Doe publicly spoke out about being asked to remove her post from her sorority page and then consequently being removed from the group, but did not disclose the chapter she was affiliated with. Alpha Gamma Delta President, Makayla Hall, was present on the call and did not comment. Many people on the call begged Jane Doe to call out the chapter in order for the chapter to hold accountability for its action. 


Later that night on June 3, 2020, Makayla emailed Jane Doe an apology stating that she had an assumption that Jane Doe had been disaffiliated with the Chapter but had not been removed. Makayla told Jane that “[she] was very misinformed and apologized for that rash moment.”


On June 4, 2020, Jane Doe requested Makayla to apologize to both the entire sorority chapter and the public. The public apology was posted that same day to the Facebook group where no members (actives and recent alums) or executive council had knowledge of both Makayla’s and Kathryn’s actions on silencing a member. 


The public apology was posted on both Makalya’s and Kathryn’s private Instagram story and was reposted on Chapman University’s Alpha Gamma Delta Instagram story. 

Following the apology, no further actions were taken regarding the incident, and, as a result, a Diversity and Inclusion Committee was formed that was led by another EC member. Many recent alums took it upon themselves to educate active members on what was happening behind closed doors in regards to the Jane Doe incident. Recent alums began asking Jane Doe and BSU what actions they would like to happen. Alums have called to action, including Jane Doe, by personally messaging, calling, and posting on the Facebook page that Makayla Hall and Kathryn Bernhardt from the Alpha Gamma Delta sorority should step down from their positions. This action would ensure justice being rightly served since Makayla Hall and Kathryn Bernhardt do not represent Alpha Gamma Delta’s values and its members due to their rash and ignorant decisions. Advisors have not taken the time to listen to other EC members or other actives and aulms on the matter and believe the apology was enough. IHQ believes the same. They are trying to sweep this matter under the rug, treating it as a slap on the wrist. This is an attempt to cover Alpha Gamma Delta’s image using PR tactics rather than resolving the underlying issues at hand. 


This is not a personal attack against Makayla Hall and Kathryn Bernhardt, however this incident clearly indicates the lack of education, integrity, and respect they hold. They are not a suitable fit to be a representative for all of Alpha Gamma Delta, Delta Tau Chapter members in its entirety, and should be removed from their positions as President and VP Chapter Wellness.

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