Chi Omega and Discrimination during World War II


Wilma B. Prescott (Class of 1945) describes in an interview the discrimination that the sorority Chi Omega practiced during the World War II. According to Prescott, the Chi Omegas discriminated in their membership policies, which explains why the sorority is no longer on campus. Chi Omegas could not take "oriental or Jewish" members into the sorority. As Prescott explains, "You were a WASP...." Prescott points to the war as an explanation for discrimination against the Japanese in their membership policies. She also reports that, at one convention, some Chi Omega delegates created a raucous in protest against the discriminatory policies. This group had the Chi Omega charter taken from them.
During this period, there were not a lot of minorities at Dickinson College. Prescott remembers a couple of female students with "Semitic blood" who practiced as Episcopalians. "We just put Episcopalian [on the statistics], that was okay," Prescott explains. She does not recall the presence of any students of color on campus.