Group criticizes media guidelines for Univ. of Alabama rush

Group criticizes media guidelines for Univ. of Alabama rush

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(Source: WBRC video) (Source: WBRC video)
TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) -

Rush week is about to wrap up. Friday was the last day for sorority recruitment at the University of Alabama, but some people are questioning the way UA wants the media to cover it.

We're told a record number of girls are taking part in sorority recruitment. Last year, this process was cloaked in controversary. Reports of discrimation among soroties surfaced.

In its wake, the University made changes and said this type of segregation would no longer take place.

In a university-issued video, Panhellenic President Hannah McBrayer says being more diverse is a goal of the sororities this year.

UA won't make McBrayer available to reporters to ask questions. That was made clear in a list of media guidelines for sorority recruitment.

The university says the media can't walk up to houses asking for interviews and should stay on sidewalks near those houses.

Officials say no one from the Greek system will be available for comment and any questions should be directed to media relations.

Frank LoMonte is the director of the Student Press Law Center in Virginia. His group got wind of the media guidelines and sent a letter of concern to the university.

The group feels Alabama might be stepping on the first amendment.

"For a university to use its authority to try and steer the press away from interviewing the people who have the information and to funnel them all into a public relations spokesperson who doesn't have any first hand knowledge just smacks of image control," LoMonte said.

A UA spokesperson tells FOX6 News off camera that the university isn't restrciting media access.

Officals blame the sororities busy schedules saying it makes it difficult for everyone taking part to speak to the media.

UA also says as always reporters are free to solicit interviews and information from anyone they want to contact.

FOX 6 asked a few times for University relations to do an on camera interview about this, but they sent us statements instead.

Bid day is August 16 at Bryant Denny Stadium. Media is being told to stay outside on the sidewalk.

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