A representative for Arizona State University said school officials have suspended Tau Kappa Epsilon's chapter operations while they investigate an unregistered Greek event that has many on campus offended.ASU students were offended, including senior Frank Hogan:
Pictures from the event, coined "MLK Black Party" by the group, show members and guests dressed in basketball jerseys, flashing gang signs and even drinking from watermelon cups.
"This isn't appropriate at all and you really have no business dressing like this on a day that's sort of revered for African-Americans," said ASU senior Frank Hogan after seeing some of the pictures.He went on to add:
"They obviously need to be checked on what they're doing, how they're acting and how they're presenting themselves. Not only as a fraternity of brothers, but as people," said Hogan.An area civil rights activist was equally outraged:
Rev. Jarrett Maupin said he contacted university President Michael Crow overnight. By early Monday morning, operations had been pulled from the chapter.It remains unclear what further action will be taken against the students and/or the fraternity.
Maupin said an African-American student who was invited to the party told him that partygoers had to "dress like black people" and drink from watermelon cups. Pictures were posted to social media sites but were later pulled.
"There should be a zero tolerance policy for racism at ASU. Period," Maupin said in a statement.
"An estimated 80 to 100 people took part in ritualistic racism. That's very dangerous especially on a university campus. A cup made out of a watermelon is advanced racism. Dressing up like, quote, ‘black people' -- that requires research and is advanced racism. We're not talking about rookie racists," Maupin told KTAR.