BLACK VOICES
03/06/2013 06:58 pm ET | Updated Mar 11, 2013

Laurin Compton And Lauren Cofield Lawsuit: Howard University Students Sue Sorority (UPDATED)

An odd sorority lawsuit out of Washington.

The Washington City Paper reports that two Howard University students have sued Alpha Kappa Alpha, accusing the sorority of human rights violations; the plaintiffs have also sued Howard University, for allegedly refusing to protect sorority pledges:

According to the lawsuit, [Laurin] Compton and [Lauren] Cofield's trouble began when they were invited to "Ivy Day," a ceremony for outgoing and prospective AKA members in the second semester of 2010. The two then-freshmen were expecting to find sisterhood, but what they allegedly found instead was hazing!

Some of the "hazing" rules sound innocuous, if extensive, like being forbidden from wearing the sorority colors of pink and green or any colors that could be blended into pink and green. In one humorous moment, the lawsuit notes that the pledges, who were called the "sweets," couldn't even wear white pearls.

Other hazing allegations are more serious. At one point, the pledges were told not to talk to non-sorority members at Howard, according to the suit. "[Alpha Kappa Alpha members] on campus addressed the sweets by calling them weak bitches," Compton's mother wrote in a complaint to the sorority.

After Cofield's mother, also an Alpha Kappa Alpha sister, complained, the two pledges found themselves ostracized in the sorority for being "snitch-friendly" or "snitch-sympathists."

The sorority also stands accused of forcing the plaintiffs to pick up sorority members from the airport and instructing them not to eat at a particular restaurant.

Read the complaint, filed at the end of February in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, here -- it includes not only the disappointed pledges, but also their mothers, as plaintiffs. The plaintiffs are asking the court either for money damages and for the sorority to be stopped from accepting new members, or for the sorority to be ordered to bring in Compton and Cofield as members.

Here's the sorority's filing with the court explaining why it shouldn't be stopped from taking in new members while this case is being litigated.

D.C. history note: The lawyer representing the plaintiffs is J. Wyndal Gordon. Gordon, who refers to himself as the "Warrior Lawyer" -- his Twitter handle is even @warriorlawyer. Gordon was the attorney for D.C. sniper John Allen Muhammad (he claims Muhammad was "wrongly convicted," according to the Baltimore Sun).

Read part one of the City Paper's story here and part two here.

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