Morgan State University student Brian Stewart has filed a complaint against his school’s chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi, alleging that the fraternity rejected him because he is gay.
In an interview with Fox Baltimore, Stewart, a 20-year-old senior business major, explained that he wanted to become a member of Alpha Kappa Psi ever since he was a kid so that he could follow in the footsteps of his childhood pastor and mentor.
“[I was] born in the projects of Annapolis, growing up in and out of foster care…and raised by different relatives. I never had a positive role model in my life,” Stewart said about life before he met his influential pastor.
Stewart hoped that his drive, campus leadership roles, and his time as a White House intern working under Michelle Obama would help him to secure a spot in the organization, but on October 3, a day after his interview, he received a rejection from the Alpha Iota chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi.
Stewart was made aware that members of Alpha Iota were opposed to his sexuality and he was given a series of text messages between the members, in which some of them used anti-gay slurs regarding him. One message says in part, “Give him the perception of a fair and equal opportunity.”
Stewart then filed a complaint Morgan State University began investigating last week.
“The university doesn’t tolerate or accept any kind of discrimination,” a Morgan State spokesman, Jarrett Carter Sr., said to the Baltimore Sun. “It’s something that the university takes very seriously.”
As for Stewart, he explains that he is hurt that the fraternity overlooked his character and rejected him solely based off their feelings about his sexuality
“I feel hurt, hurt in the sense that I’m not good enough,” said Stewart. “If you don’t agree with how I live my life that does not give you the right to cast negativity or derogatory slurs on what I do.”
Stewart also told the Baltimore Sun, “I didn’t know I was going to have no control — that my interview meant nothing, my achievements meant nothing, because they had already made up their minds.”
Stewart now says that he has no interest in pledging the fraternity. He just wants to bring awareness to the issue.
If the discrimination is real, then it is unfortunate that a fraternity that was founded on the idea of creating solidarity and brotherly bonds between black men can be completely blind to the fact that discriminating against a gay black man is an affront to their founding principles and ideas. We hope that the university takes decisive action and stands behind their words of equality and fairness so that others on the campus will know that any form of discrimination and oppression is intolerable. – nicholas robinson