ASU Fraternity Faces Backlash Following Racist MLK Day Party


Members of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity at Arizona State University are learning the hard way what happens when you try to host a "funny" party that perpetuates racist stereotypes.


Calls for the expulsion of the frat (and students involved) are building, even as the university has already suspended its operations, the Associated Press reports.

"We regard the behavior exhibited as completely outrageous, extraordinarily offensive and wholly unacceptable," James Rund, ASU's senior vice president for Educational Outreach and Student Services told AP. "This kind of behavior is not tolerated by the university, and we intend to take swift and immediate action. We just don't have room at the university to tolerate that kind of conduct."

A spokesman for the national fraternity organization, Alex Baker, was also quick to separate the chapter from the overall organization, saying it did not condone the actions.

"It is with embarrassment and regret when a few individuals within our organization make decisions that do not align with the values and principles of Tau Kappa Epsilon," Baker said in a statement.

According to the AP, officials from the university met with fraternity representatives on Tuesday to discuss what happened at the off-campus party over the weekend. Pictures associated with the party show attendees dressed in basketball jerseys, throwing up gang signs and holding watermelon-shaped cups.

Civil rights activist the Rev. Jarret Maupin was outraged by the offensive display, calling for immediate expulsion of all students involved and a permanent ban on the fraternity from affiliation with the university.

"It was just a raucous, racist rally, and they used Dr. King's holiday as a mask for racial villainy and harassment," Maupin said Tuesday.


Other activists also demanded that the university require all staff and students to take diversity classes.

According to AP, this is not the first time that the ASU chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon has had a problem. They were already on probation for an off-campus fight that occurred in 2012.


Read more at the Associated Press.