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Rutgers sorority takes action after member posts racially insensitive tweet on social media

<p>A member of Phi Sigma Sigma sorority received backlash this week after posting a photo on Instagram with the caption "I'm not really that pale, my roommates are just African." Her caption was subsequently reposted criticized on twitter.</p>

A member of Phi Sigma Sigma sorority received backlash this week after posting a photo on Instagram with the caption "I'm not really that pale, my roommates are just African." Her caption was subsequently reposted criticized on twitter.


A member of Rutgers’ Phi Sigma Sigma sorority posted a picture on Instagram with a perceived racially insensitive caption Sunday and subsequently gained significant negative attention from the Rutgers community.

Amanda Slomkowski tagged two fellow members of her sorority and captioned the image, “I’m really not that pale, my roommates are just African.”

A screenshot of the post was tweeted that same night by another Rutgers student, questioning the sorority’s association with Rutgers — a University with proclaimed devotion to diversity and inclusivity.

The tweet received over 200 likes and retweets.

Slomkowski has since removed the original post and replaced it with an image of a quote about tolerance by Michael Pritchard.

In the caption section of the quote, she thanked the Rutgers community for calling her out on her culturally insensitive comment.

“It was never my intention to offend or upset anyone,” she wrote. “I should have been more socially conscious of the world around me and how my comment could hurt people. This is not an accurate portrayal of who I am as a woman nor the organization I am a part of.”

Phi Sigma Sigma’s national headquarters worked directly with their Rutgers chapter to address the situation, said Michelle Ardern, executive director of the sorority’s headquarters.

“The sister in question not only removed the post but issued an apology taking responsibility for the hurtful words and expressing her deep desire to learn from this situation,” she said in an email to The Daily Targum.

In accordance with the sorority’s standards and membership expectations, the sister will meet with her chapter's standards board where an action plan will be developed, Ardern said.

The plan will include sensitivity and diversity training, she said.

“The sister has taken full responsibility for her action,” Ardern said. “As an organization that values diversity and is focused on educating and empowering women, our role is to ensure our members learn from this experience and understand how their words and actions can hurt those around them.”


Stephen Weiss is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore majoring in philosophy. He is an associate news editor for The Daily Targum.


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