‘Ghetto Party’ Thrown By Students Prompts Fairfield University To Take Action

A group of Fairfield University students held a “ghetto-themed” party off campus on Saturday, prompting the university to take action regarding the racial issues going on at their school.

According to the Connecticut Post, the students who attended the “ghetto” party showed up wearing baggy pants, gold chains around their necks, corn rows, and some even wore costume baby bumps.

“The fact that there was even an idea to dress as ‘ghetto’ is an intrinsically perverted issue,” Joe Harding, a junior at Fairfield from Philadelphia, said. “When a party has a theme, the participants are expected to wear a costume. In this case, the partygoers chose to wear clothing and accessories that portrayed their conceptualizations of what it means to be ghetto… Ghetto is not a term of endearment.”

“It is truly disappointing to see my fellow students… behave in such a manner that mocks (another) race,” Anmol Tabassum, a Fairfield sophomore originally from Pakistan, said, adding that she hopes her school will take appropriate action against the party goers.

Jennifer Anderson, the Fairfield University’s vice president of marketing and communications, said they are currently investigating the “ghetto” party, and are working with students and diversity officials to find out what exactly took place.

There was a party on Saturday evening, at a house on the beach,” Anderson explained. “We are working to understand the details.”

“We have confirmed that it was ‘ghetto’ themed, but we have not confirmed that there were any students in blackface or in brown makeup,” Fairfield spokeswoman Teddy DeRosa added, according to ABC News. “We have seen no photographic evidence, and none of the students interviewed have mentioned anything of the sort.”

As of now, there is nothing criminal about the party, and the police are not involved in the investigation. However, the University is determined to figure out what prompted the students to choose “ghetto” as the theme of their party. On Monday, Fairfield University president Jeffrey P. von Arx sent an email calling the theme of the party “perpetuated racial stereotypes that have no place in our community and only serve to offend and devalue people.”

“Both within and outside the classroom, we have spoken to many of our students, and heard the personal accounts for how this incident has impact them,” Arx continued. “Their concerns go beyond the incident this weekend. To some within our community, this incident is symptomatic of conditions on campus that inhibit our many positive efforts to build a more inclusive, respectful and safer community.”

According to USA Today, the university plans on taking the following actions.

  • The Office of Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs will be offering extended hours throughout the week to give students the chance to talk about the “ghetto themed” party.
  • The student government association will also be holding an emergency meeting to construct a student forum about the party.
  • Additionally, the Fairfield faculty and administrators are currently working on a dialogue about the party that will be open to the campus community to discuss racial issues and express their concerns.

“I have encouraged my peers to engage in dialogue with friends around this issue regardless of how uncomfortable it may be,” Anif McDonald, the president of the student association, said.

Fairfield University has issued a statement on the matter while they continue to investigate:

“Fairfield University is explicitly committed as a Jesuit and Catholic university to a culture that embraces and celebrates diversity, and we actively encourage conversations and support programs that deepen our students’ cultural sensitivity, while also impressing upon them that they are expected to be exemplary in their dealings with one another, and with everyone in the community. We expect that our students, faculty and staff maintain the highest level of respect for one another.”

Do you think disciplinary actions should be taken against the students who attended the “ghetto themed” party? Leave your comments below.

[Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]