A fraternity and sorority at McDaniel College in Maryland are in deep water after allegations of ethnic stereotyping during a party–but it’s the kind of party that’s been happening for a while in fraternities and sororities around the USA. The administration at the Baltimore university is very unhappy with the Phi Delta Theta fraternity and the Phi Sigma Sigma sorority for joining in on the fun. That might be because of one controversial pic (as seen above) where the gleeful stereotyping got a little too close to blackface.
We’ve seen BET vs. CMT events where the crowd was racially mixed, with everyone celebrating the stereotypes of African-American gals with large behinds and white girls with Daisy Dukes and tied-off shirts. Now it seems that the theme is about to generate some serious debate. In the case of the McDaniel party, the night could result in the loss of the charter for both the sorority and fraternity.
In a statement, a McDaniel vice president said: “McDaniel supports inclusiveness. Any event that promotes negatives stereotypes or disrespect of others is reprehensible.” Beth Gerl, as Vice-President of Student Affairs, told the Baltimore Sun that the university doesn’t “tolerate any kind of situation like this, and any time there is a Greek organization that we feel has violated a campus policy or their national headquarters’ policy, an investigation is launched.”
There’s a heavy accusation of racism hidden in there–and it looks like the frats and sororities are going to have to quit being so casual in considering the theme to be another harmless party. The national headquarters of both the Greek organizations at McDaniel are “looking into the issue,” which probably means that BET/CMT mixers are about to become officially banned.
It doesn’t help, of course, that there have been some parties that are genuinely troubling–such as recent “Olympic” themed parties at Columbia, and “Asian” themed parties at Duke. Maybe the big lesson that really needs to be hammered in (again and again) is that social media isn’t restricted just to your fellow frat bro’s and sorority sisters. Maybe it’s time to just stick to getting really drunk and maybe streaking. Leave the stereotypes out of it.