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University Expels Fraternity For Racist MLK Day Party

Arizona State University has expelled the fraternity who threw a racist “black party” on Martin Luther King Day earlier this week, which featured students wearing stereotypically black clothing and drinking out of watermelon cups. Tau Kappa Epsilon had its recognition permanently revoked by the university over code of conduct violations. The group has been removed from ASU’s website and will be banned from recruiting members and holding meetings on campus. However, others believe that despite being the party being tasteless, the fraternity was simply exercising free speech.

ASU President Michael Crow said that four points in the university’s code of conduct were violated: engaging in discriminatory activities, violating alcohol rules, violating the terms of earlier disciplinary sanctions and off-campus conduct that may present a risk or danger. “Students who violate these standards will be subject to disciplinary sanctions in order to promote their own personal development, to protect the university community, and to maintain order and stability on our campuses,” said Crow.

The national chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon apologized in a statement earlier this week, declaring they do not “condone or support any actions by its members that would be defined as racist, discriminatory and/or offensive.” Meanwhile, local civil rights leaders applauded the expulsion. “They did the right thing to defend the legacy of Dr. King,” said Rev. Jarrett Maupin. “To say to the nation and to the state, and everyone who is watching, that there is a zero-tolerance policy for racism and discrimination at Arizona State University.”

But Robert Shibley, vice president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), felt that the university was taking the wrong approach. “Parties with controversial themes pop up on campuses every year,” he explained. “The right response to speech we don’t like is more speech, not censorship or punishment.”

(Photo: Instagram)

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  • KEVIN HURST

    THE POSSIBLE REPERCUSSIONS FOR THERE BLATANT RACISM, IS AGAINST THE GRAIN OF THE DIRECTION THAT THE MAJORITY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WANT OUR COUNTRY TO MOVE IN . THESE ATTACKS ON OUR NATIONAL HEROES OR LEADERS ARE RIPPING AT THE MORAL FIBER OF OUR NATION THE MLK MOVEMENT WAS NOT A MOVEMENT FOR ONLY BLACK PEOPLE, IT WAS A MOVEMENT THAT ATTEMPTED TO BRING ALL PEOPLE TOGETHER IN HARMONY EXACTLY WHAT GOOD DID THEY ANTICIPATE WOULD COME FROM THERE ACTION’S , THERE HAD TO BE A PURPOSE, I BELIEVE THAT IN ORDER TO GET TO THE BOTTOM OF THE PROBLEM HERE DEEPER INVESTIGATION INTO WHAT , WHY , THEY CHOSE THIS FORUM AS THE ONE TO ATTACK , IT IS NOT BORN RACISM SO WHERE ARE THEY GETTING THIS TEACHING FROM , THEY HAVE CHOSEN TO BRING IT INTO THE EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION WHAT DID THEY EXPECT TO ACCOMPLISH AND WHY . I CAN ONLY CHALK THIS UP TO LACK OF INTELLECT , EDUCATION , OR COWARDICE OR GOOD OLD FASHION HATRED AND SINCE THEY ARE TO YOUNG FOR THIS EXPERIENCE THEY ARE OBVIOUSLY BEING TAUGHT BY OTHER MISGUIDED HATE MONGERS . I WOULD SUGGEST A CLOSER LOOK AT THIS INCIDENT THERE ARE TO MANY SLIPPING THROUGH OUR SYSTEM WITH MISINFORMATION , CARRYING A HATRED WITHOUT SENSIBLE REASONING .

    • LizDavies

      Agreed… but–just a thought–could you possibly not use all capital letters? If you have vision problems, there are ways to increase the size of words on your computer screen. Writing in all-caps makes your quite reasonable comment appear to be shouted.

  • Leota Scott

    Sending a strong message now will discourage others from doing the same thing. This is what was needed a no non-sense, swift action. I would gladly send my child to Arizona State U, if he wants to go.