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‘Bring Your Inner Thug’—White Students at SMU Plan Racially Offensive Party, Claim Black Women Unqualified for Sororities

IceAge_join21On Tuesday, members of the fraternities, AEPI and PIKE, began planning and promoting an off-campus party with racially offensive themes and images. The flyer contained an image of a Black man with a gold grill and gold chain in his mouth, and a Black woman “twerking” in the reflection of his shades.

The fraternities posted the following for their event description:

Ladies and Gents,

The fine gentlemen of AEPI and PIKE are joining forces in order to accomplish one righteous goal; to throw the most savage banger in SMU history. We brought together the dankest venue, dopest DJS, and most legendary artist just for you. So bring out your bling, jerseys, and inner thug.

Tickets will be rolling out soon. 100% of the profits will be donated to the Boys and Girls Club of Dallas. This is an open smu event. Please feel free to send out invites to any of your friends.

Students quickly became aware of the promotion of the event, and the flyer began to go viral on social media.

On Thursday, the university ordered the the two fraternities to cancel the party and delete the Facebook event.

In a statement posted on twitter, university President R. Gerald Turner wrote:

“It is simply unacceptable for any campus group or individual to employ images and language that promote negative stereotypes and are demeaning to the dignity of any member of our campus community,” he said. “If students choose to create themes based on their ideas of popular culture, they should be aware of the potential impact and always keep in mind respect for others.”

But this was not the only racial incident to occur at SMU this semester. Early, this month the university posted a photo of four students to the school’s admissions website. The photo showed four Black women with the caption: “African and Middle Eastern Studies.” However, none were students of the African and Middle Eastern Studies programs.

In a statement, the university said, “We are disappointed the mistake was made. It was not intended to misrepresent anyone. We saw her concern and it has been addressed. The photo is now down.”

While university administration began their investigation on the two fraternities, a student claiming to be a sorority member wrote disparaging comments about Black women seeking membership on Greek website

The initial comment read:

The reality is is that black pnms are often unqualified for recruitment (low GPA, bad grades, not involved on campus, know nothing about the houses) and are heavily unprepared (no letters of recommendations or letters of support) and generally come from a completely different background (impoverished lower class).

Screenshots of the comments began to circulate on social media. Students created the hashtag #BlackatSMU to express their reactions to the recent events and experiences at the school.

The University issued a response on Thursday addressing the anonymous post:

The content of these anonymous posts on GreekRank is clearly abhorrent and would not represent standards and values at SMU. GreekRank is an independent site that has no ties with the University. The difficulty with anonymous postings on social media is clearly demonstrated in this case. The postings from what may be one person can easily be amplified to incorrectly represent the opinions of many, even if there is no actual affiliation with the group they purport to represent nor truth in what they post. The GreekRank postings have created a widespread response from members of our campus community who are actively rejecting and criticizing these comments now that they have surfaced.

Students have said the statements are not enough and continue to demand more from the university.

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