Liberals are upset that the University of Texas–Austin is refusing to punish students for wearing politically incorrect clothing to an off-campus party.
On Februay 7, members of Phi Gamma Delta threw an off-campus party that fraternity president Andrew Campbell said was supposed to be “western” themed. Some of the guests, however, had apparently heard it was a “border patrol” themed party, and showed up in “culturally insensitive” attire such as construction gear and sombreros, according to an article in the Daily Texan, the school’s official student newspaper.
School administrators decided that although they would work to educate the frat members about cultural sensitivity, they could not punish anyone formally because the party was off-campus. After all, a university can hardly dictate to students what to wear everywhere they go.
To me, this decision seems obvious. But some of UT’s social-justice, pro-diversity warriors are disgusted that the school will not police clothing choices for the sake of of political correctness.
“People . . . were seen wearing sombreros, ponchos, and other ‘traditional Mexican’ paraphernalia,” states a “Letter of Concern” written by the student-run Latino Community Affairs.
“It is our goal that The University of Texas at Austin actually implement proper repercussions for organizations who choose to partake in such activities that promote the ridicule of different cultures,” the letter continues. “There has to be an end to these parties.”
One UT–Austin student, Alexandra Samuels, wrote an article for USA Today featuring other students’ reactions to the school’s refusal to formally punish the fraternity.
“I really am disappointed in the university for allowing this and not taking some kind of disciplinary action,” sophomore Nick Habel said.
“How can minorities hope to feel respected in an institution of higher learning when things like this go unpunished?” sophomore Diana Padilla asked. “Such a big let down by a school I love so much.”
(I would consider the school’s believing it had the right to decide what was permissible for adult students wear at home would be a greater sign of disrespect, both to the students and to free speech, but what do I know?)
Samuels’ article, published yesterday, also claimed that the “Letter of Concern” had more than 400 signatures.
The angry students did not clarify in their demands whether they think that the school should be moderating outfit choices for all students at all times, wherever they may be, or if there were a specific distance away from campus that students could safely wear a sombrero without fear of punishment.
— Katherine Timpf is a reporter for National Review Online.