A UCLA fraternity is currently in trouble, and this time it’s for reasons of racism. The school’s Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and Alpha Phi sorority threw a party on October 6 with the theme of Kanye West, and apparently took it too far in the wrong direction.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, UCLA’s Afrikan Student Union was outraged by the way the party-goers were dressed for the event. Baggy clothes, fake butt implants, and using “black-face” were the norm at the party in question.
The group protesting the party organized outside the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity with signs stating “Black Bruins Matter,” an amalgamation of the Black Lives Matter movement and the school’s College Football team name. They even used the phrase in a social media hashtag to get the public’s attention. The group chanted “Our culture is not a costume,” and led to an investigation into racism after the UCLA fraternity party. They gathered in the office of Jerry Kang, vice chancellor for UCLA’s Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, to express their disappointment.
As Daily Bruin reports, some newcomers to the school were horrified that this was their introduction to college life, questioning whether black students were actually welcome. Jewel Bourne, a fifth-year English and Gender Studies student, said she was “not surprised.”
Adrena Collins, another student at the college, told the press her feelings on the situation.
“It’s kind of insane to me. I thought the only colors that are supposed to matter here are blue and gold. Why do kids not know that it’s wrong to go to parties like this? Why are we still having these same basic conversations? I don’t think that it’s everybody. I think there are people that are supporters, and that do believe that this is an issue.”
A representative for Sigma Phi Epsilon has come out to inform the public that their organization has “zero tolerance for racist behavior,” such as that of the predominantly white UCLA fraternity in question.
E! Online says that the local news channels have received a response from UCLA to the party’s racist behavior.
“We are concerned about these allegations and earnestly working to gather information about what occurred, talking to all those involved. While we do not yet have all the facts, the alleged behavior is inconsistent with good judgment as well as our principles of community. We remind students that while they are free to celebrate in ways that draw on popular culture, their specific choices can cause harm and pain to fellow members of their community. Put simply: Just because you can do something does not mean you should.”
The UCLA fraternity is only the latest in a disturbing trend of problems stemming from Greek college culture. The University of Central Florida’s Sigma Nu fraternity was similarly found engaged in unfortunately embarrassing behavior, heard chanting “rape some b****es” in a video. A Penn State fraternity was suspended for alleged nude photos posted on Facebook.
The Los Angeles Times states Jerry Kang expressed his disappointment in front of protesters over the racist actions of the UCLA fraternity, “It’s one thing to suggest you are actually focusing on one celebrity who is African American, it’s another thing to take it as a license to perform every attribute, every stereotype, every grotesque minstrelsy that you see.”
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) October 8, 2015
It is unknown if the subject of this racist party is even aware of the UCLA fraternity’s actions. Kanye West has shown no reaction to the Sigma Phi Epsilon chapter’s party bearing his name. It is possible that he is too busy preparing to run for President of the United States in 2020, as previously reported by the Inquisitr.
As the facts are gathered, and students are discovered to have participated in this “Kanye Western” party, it is likely that suspensions will be handed out liberally.
[Feature image via UCLA]