Politics & Policy

Sorority in Big Trouble after Taco Tuesday Event Deemed Racist

International Incident: Sorority girls everywhere love their sombreros.
Students wore "culturally insensitive" attire such as sombreros.

A sorority at California State University Fullerton is in serious trouble because it hosted a Taco Tuesday event where students wore “culturally insensitive attire” such as sombreros.

The school’s chapter of Alpha Delta Pi hosted the event on August 19 as part of recruitment. Ninety percent of attendees wore costumes, which also included sarapes and “in some cases, gang costumes,” according to an article in the Daily Titan, the school’s official newspaper.

The sorority claims it never asked people to wear costumes and that some had chosen on their own to do so. CSUF isn’t buying it, though, and has decided to take “serious sanctions” against every single member of the sorority, whether she attended or not.

“In the end, we have concluded that the women were responsible for the event, that it’s definitely grossly inappropriate, and we’ve awarded a list of sanctions that they have to complete,” the school’s dean of students told the Titan.

In addition to being banned from this semester’s recruitment, the sorority also faces a year of probation, through December 31, 2015.

ADPi must also develop and promote a “We’re a Culture, Not a Costume” program, an initiative that began at Ohio State University in 2011 to stop people from promoting racial and cultural stereotypes through Halloween costume choices.

Examples of unacceptable costumes, according to the campaign, include Asian nerd, Japanese geisha, Native American, and even country farmer, because they’re inaccurate representation of the members of these groups.

CSUF has also demanded that ADPi and develop multiple diversity and “cultural competency” workshops for current and future members.

The group also faces other smaller punishments, such as being banned from winning any awards at Greek Week this semester.

The national sorority headquarters is also investigating the party, and ADPi may face additional consequences after that investigation is complete.

Dean of Students Tonantzin Oseguera tells National Review Online that despite the serious punishments and public accusations of racism, the the school certainly does not mean to embarrass the students or make them feel bad.
 
“In responding to incidents such as this, the University’s aim is not to shame our young people, but to help them learn and move forward,” she says in an email. 
 
 
— Katherine Timpf is a reporter at National Review Online.

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