The aftermath of the University of Oklahoma racist chant video has caused another school’s Greek organization to take precautionary measures and ban symbols that could be interpreted as having racial implications.
According to the Athens Banner-Herald, the University of Georgia’s fraternity and sorority leaders decided to ban hoop skirts from events following a discussion with the UGA Student Affairs administration.
The conversation centered on how Greek organizations and their members should present themselves to avoid negative attention. The topics included appropriate special event attire, such as the use of period costume, and the “message” certain kinds of dress can send.
After the meeting, the president of UGA’s Panhellenic Society and the president of the Interfraternity Council sent an email about the decision to ban the hoop skirt: “The student leadership, staff and advisers agree that Antebellum hoop skirts are not appropriate in the context of some events. We will continue to review costuming and themes for future events to ensure their appropriateness for our organizations.”
Hoop skirts are sometimes associated with the Confederacy, although they have been worn since the 16th century. Hoop skirts have been worn at UGA Greek events that pay homage to their respective organizations’ Southern heritage, such as Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s “Magnolia Ball” and Kappa Alpha’s “Old South Week.”
The vice president of student affairs at UGA, Victor Wilson, praised the decision to ban the hoop skirt as being part of making “progress.”