Clemson University put its Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity chapter on probation for two years over a party the frat threw last Christmas, the Associated Press reports. An investigation found that the gang-themed party violated the university’s alcohol rules and student-conduct codes.
Students attended the gathering, dubbed a “Cripmas” party, dressed like Crips and Bloods gang members and posed for pictures, which were posted on social media.
The timing of the party made matters worse. It happened shortly after campus protests over a Ferguson, Mo., grand jury’s decision not to indict the white police officer who fatally shot unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown last August.
Images from the off-campus party ignited concerns among African-American students about the racial climate, according to the Greenville News. Many black students—who represent just 6 percent of the student population—registered their anger on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. They also told university officials that the university is failing to promote racial tolerance on campus, according to AP.
In addition to the two-year probation, the fraternity must also complete educational programs on alcohol, social justice and gangs.
The national Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity also condemned the party. It issued an apology and said in a statement that the behavior of a few members “in no way reflects the values and creed of the fraternity.”
This comes on the heels of the University of Oklahoma’s disbanding of its SAE chapter after a video surfaced of some members engaging in a racist chant.