CA college frat in trouble for mocking race at Kanye West-themed party

CA college frat in trouble for mocking race at Kanye West-themed party
The Sigma Phi Epsilon house - UCLA chapter. (Source: Owen Emerson/Daily Bruin)
The Sigma Phi Epsilon house - UCLA chapter. (Source: Owen Emerson/Daily Bruin)

LOS ANGELES (WTVM) – A fraternity and sorority on the campus of UCLA are being criticized for a party thrown that may have included some partygoers dressed in blackface and other stereotypical dress that many find offensive.

The party – themed "Kanye Western" – was hosted by Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and the Alpha Phi sorority at UCLA. According to the school's newspaper, the Daily Bruin, the party held on Oct. 6 also included students fashioning clothing that mocked black culture and including black face.

Many of the female students were dressed like Kardashians, with plumped lips and padded backsides, and snapshots of the events posted to social media. Images from social media of the party can be found here on the Daily Bruin. The pictures have since been deleted from those accounts.

The Los Angeles Times says a student with UCLA's Afrikan Student Union addressed the partygoers and were met with apologies, but laughed at when the student organizers asked for a letter to the Afrikan Student Union about the party.

The pictures online were met with the hashtag #BlackBruinsMatter, and UCLA's Afrikan Student Union has rallied around that theme. The student group will be holding a meeting on campus at noon PT on Thursday to openly discuss the matter.

"Yes that's right, a frat decided it would be okay to have their members repeat a part of history that demoralized, mocked and dehumanized African Americans," UCLA student Hanan Worku wrote on Facebook Wednesday night. "And celebrate while doing it! They showed up with their chains and braids with stuffed butts for God knows what reason. True Bruin values amiright????!!!!! Not to mention all of this happened last night which happened to be a part of Black Bruin Welcome Week! Coincidence right?????"

We reached out to UCLA for comment, and their statement is as follows:

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.

Sigma Phi Epsilon and Alpha Phi are affiliated organizations.

Compared to other noted fraternity parties in the past, this incident doesn't appear to be the most egregious.

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