Sorority on probation for racially-themed award

KENT, Ohio (AP) - A Midwestern chapter of Chi Omega sorority could be disciplined for giving a white woman an award for being its "blackest" member.

Chi Omega's national headquarters is in Memphis.

In northeastern Ohio, Kent State University dean of student Greg Jarvie says the chapter could be suspended or lose its charter.

The 60-member sorority handed out the award at a Saturday formal dinner-dance.

After meeting with Chi Omega leaders and university officials yesterday, President Sasha Parker of Black United Students says her group doesn't believe the Chi-O's are racist, but says the award was insensitive.

Parker noted the woman who received the award brought a date who is black.

Chi Omega national spokeswoman Jessica de Graffenreid says the award was a poor decision and wasn't sanctioned by the sorority. She says the national group is developing guidelines to head off future incidents.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)