University Of Alabama Student Government Finally Votes For Integrating Greek System

Univ. of Alabama students gather on the steps of the Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library to prepare for a march on the Rose Administr
Univ. of Alabama students gather on the steps of the Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library to prepare for a march on the Rose Administration Building in protest of the university's segregated sorority system in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013. About 400 students and faculty marched across the campus to oppose racial segregation among its Greek-letter social organizations. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)

The student government at the University of Alabama voted last week to support full integration of the Greek system.

The vote comes after a year of controversy over the revelation qualified black students were blocked from joining sororities based on the color of their skin, due to influence from a group called "The Machine." The Machine is a secret society at UA that students say effectively controls Greek life.

Less than a month ago, the student government blocked a similar measure to support integrating fraternities and sororities. Katie Smith, the student senator who drafted the earlier resolution, felt it was because of pressure from the Machine that her bill to integrate Greeks failed in March.

The new bill's language was left unadjusted and passed Thursday "with an overwhelming number of votes on the floor," the Crimson White reported. It doesn't require any immediate action by the university or Greek houses, rather, it simply voices support for the goal of integration.

This was the first piece of legislation the new student president, Hamilton Bloom, who was backed the Machine, proposed after beginning his term following spring break. Bloom's version differed from the old in that it offered much more praise of the Greek system at UA.

"I believe the resolution passed tonight is a great solution," Bloom said in a statement Thursday. "My administration and I are dedicated to seeing and encouraging results in the integration of both fraternities and sororities, and I believe the resolution passed tonight, in addition to the Diversity Caucus which will be introduced soon, are incredible first steps."