Walter Kimbrough has testified
as an expert witness in
Based on the idea of brotherhood or sisterhood, Greek organizations are a unique university culture.
And Walter Kimbrough wants to keep it that way.
Kimbrough is the author of “Black Greek 101: The Customs, Culture, and Challenges of Black Fraternities and Sororities.”
Based on more than 10 years of research, “Black Greek 101” chronicles the history of Black Greek organizations, membership intake, the pledging process, and hazing — a subject that particularly concerns Kimbrough.
Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Greek Life Andre D. Vann said he supports Kimbrough and his book.
“I know Walter well,” said Vann. “He is an expert in this area and shines the light on issues that are not always popular to fraternities and sororities.”
Hazing is defined as any action or situation which intentionally or unintentionally endangers a student for admission to, or affiliation with, any student organization.
This includes striking, treating a person in a degrading manner, sleep deprivation and forced consumption of alcoholic beverages.
“The deaths of two women in California last September highlight the seriousness of the problem,” he said. “This book addresses those concerns and others in depth. It offers strategies to hopefully avoid future tragedies.”
Kimbrough said he wants to get away from the stereotypical view of Greek life and provide concrete information about the entire history of these organizations.
“I hope that national organizations use this book as a guideline for setting policies for their fraternities and sororities,” Kimbrough said.
Kimbrough said he understands his book may cause some controversy — and that’s fine with him.
“I am not concerned with any negativity the book might bring,” he said. “I have a no-holds-barred approach. My book is based on research and chronicles major cases. I hope that anyone who disagrees with my book will come up with an alternate approach of their own.”
Derek Woods, of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, says it’s important for Greeks to know their past. “Greek letter organizations are part of our history,” said Woods. “And anytime we get a chance to learn more, we should take advantage.”
Kimbrough, a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, is vice president for student affairs at Albany State University in Georgia. He has served as an expert witness in hazing cases.
Kimbrough said he hopes his book helps Greek organizations return to the principles of academic achievement, brotherhood and community service.