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Sorority sisters from the University of New Mexico chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority are under fire after they allegedly made racist remarks during a Greek life event for new members.

The chapter is under investigation after complaints that members mocked an African-American speaker on 17 September, reports the New York Post.

During a talk by the university’s director of counselling at the Student Health Counselling, two sorority girls were allegedly heard making racist comments including:

Black people, get away from me.

As well as:

Black people, stop wearing grills.

Student Nieajua Gonzalez alleges that she overheard the racist remarks and confronted the sorority sisters, one of whom apologised, reports the university’s newspaper Daily Lobo.

She commented:

I said ‘I don’t care how you meant it, there’s no right way to say it.'

Speaking to news station KOAT, the Black Student Union Vice President Dannelle Kirven said:

This situation, it is not an isolated situation.

The national branch of the KKG sorority said in a statement that they were unaware of the incident, and that they were in touch with members of the UNM chapter.

The statement read:

KKG values diversity and inclusion among our membership, and we encourage our members to promote and demonstrate an understanding of these values, both on the college campus and in the world community

Members of the UNM Black student union planned a meeting with school officials about the incident to push for sensitivity training. Speaking to KOAT, a representative said:

I think that they need to put more emphasis on an unconscious bias training for their members.

They need to educate their members on how to interact with people of colour.

The university’s president Garnett Stokes said he had spoken to students about the campus climate.

In a statement he said:

I have recently engaged with members of the Black Student Alliance and African American Student Services, and take to heart their concerns about our campus climate, and opportunities for improvement.

Creating and sustaining a welcoming and respectful environment at UNM is a shared responsibility, that must be infused across both academic and social dimensions of campus life.

HT New York Post

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