The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has been called in to probe sexual misconduct allegations against one of the nation’s oldest Black College Sororities, on the campus of Fort Valley State University.
The university was founded in 1895 as Fort Valley High and Industrial School to provide education for descendants of people who had been enslaved on Middle Georgia cotton and peach plantations.
In 1939, the school was purchased by the State of Georgia, designated as a land-grant college and renamed Fort Valley State College. In the 21st century the school received the university designation.
One female administrator who works in the president’s office has been placed on leave pending the outcome of the GBI investigation. It has been reported that this administrator is a graduate member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. (AKA).
The GBI has been cautious with the information they are releasing at this time, but it is believed the allegations involved female students who wished to pledge the AKA Sorority, but could not afford the $1500 pledge fee.
There are allegations pledgees were informed there was another way to come up with their pledge fee. Our sources indicate that if a young woman was willing to be pimped around the campus and the Fort Valley Community to either men or women, they would receive credit for each encounter until they reached the pledge fee.
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority wasted little time in getting a statement out on the allegations of hazing and sexual misconduct. Leona Dotson, chairman of the AKA Communication Committee released a statement which read in part:
“Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority has a zero-tolerance policy for hazing, members sexual misconduct, and harassment, and we take any allegations of this nature very seriously. We were appalled to learn of allegations of sexual misconduct against a Fort Valley State University employee who also is a graduate member of the sorority. We understand the person in question has been placed on administrative leave from the university.”
On April 16th Fort Valley State University issued the following statement:
“Fort Valley State University recently notified the University System of Georgia about potential employee misconduct. We can confirm that the University of Georgia is now conducting an investigation into the alleged employee misconduct, and an FVSU employee who is allegedly involved has been placed on administrative leave. We can also confirm that the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Office of the Attorney General are involved and investigating whether criminal activity has occurred…”
Alpha Kappa Alpha was founded on January 15,1908 at Howard University by nine female college students. It is the oldest Greek-Lettered sorority for Black women in the world. Its motto, which was created by founder Beulah Elizabeth Burke is: “By Culture and by Merit.”
Their guiding principles include “Sisterhood, Scholarship and Service to Humankind,” all of which makes the alleged hazing and sexual misconduct stupefying.
The GBI has seized several laptops from the university’s administrative offices. Sources tell us a “black book” or electronic ledger was kept that indicates the amount of funds earned by the students and the name of the person serviced by the student. We are told the “black book” contains the names of high ranking university and community leaders.
If these allegations prove to be true, this case would be a first, as hazing cases usually involve physical abuse to pledgees, including beatings and forced intoxications. Rarely do hazing cases involve pimping pledgees for them to gain admittance into the fraternal or sorority order. Also, this could open up new avenues of concern for proponents of the “METOO” movement.
Fearing that too much information about the investigation had been leaked to the press, the Chancellor of the University System of Georgia requested the GBI remove Special Agent A. T. Ricketson from the investigation. The agency responded by saying they were moving the investigation up its chain of command.
Meanwhile, in this quiet rural college town, Fort Valley State and the Fort Valley community remain on pins and needles waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist. He is a Contributor at The Hill, SCLC National Magazine, Southern Changes Magazine and Black College Nines. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org