- Paul Sherman/Daily
By Alicia Adamczyk, Daily Staff Reporter
Published December 23, 2013
Dean of Students Laura Blake Jones and the Greek Activities Review Panel — the judicial body for the Panhellenic Association, the Interfraternity Council, the National Panhellenic Council and the Multicultural Greek Council — announced Monday that the University’s chapter of the Theta Xi fraternity will be suspended from the IFC pending completion of five sanctions requested by the panel. The suspension comes in the wake of an offensive “Hood Ratchet”-themed party planned in October.
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The “Hood Ratchet” party — created by LSA junior Allen Wu, a brother of the fraternity — went viral online and elicited outrage from many people across campus who viewed it as being both sexist and racist. The party promised a twerking contest and used terms such as “bad bitches” and “ratchet pussy” to refer to female guests.
The party was later cancelled and Jones sent an e-mail to the University community condemning the incident, stating it was against University standards and “denigrated all women and African American/black identified people.”
Music, Theatre & Dance senior Erica Nagy and LSA seniors Erin Fischer and Brian Thomas brought a case against the fraternity in November, alleging that it violated sections of the Standards of Conduct for Recognized Student Organizations. GARP, which oversaw the disciplinary hearing in November, supported their allegations in its official decision, saying that Theta Xi violated the Non-Discrimination provision of the Standards of Conduct.
“Throughout the hearing, testimony by both the plaintiff and the defendant, as well as their witnesses, left no doubt in the minds of the GARP Justices that the actions of Theta Xi created an environment that prompted feelings of anger, appropriation, and disappointment not only within students of color and women, but the entire University community,” the University’s official decision statement read.
LSA senior Eric Quang, Theta Xi's president, and Wu could not be reached for comment Monday.
GARP, which is comprised of five members of the Greek community, recommended that Theta Xi be required to design “an educational program on issues of race and gender” for the Winter 2014 Social Meeting of Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Association Chapter Officers and that every member of the fraternity attend a Bystander Intervention Workshop sponsored by the University’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center and attend a CommonGround Workshop.
Additionally, Theta Xi must initiate a conversation on race relations at the Winter 2014 IMPACT Weekend, which is a retreat attended by the chapter and council presidents of each of the four Greek councils. Additionally, the decision stated that the fraternity should develop and host an education seminar open to the public that will “embody the education that Theta Xi will have undergone through their previously completed sanctions.”
In the official decision, GARP noted that Theta Xi’s actions “do not represent the extent to which these issues plague the University community,” and that further action on campus is necessary to combat social injustices.
“It is undeniable that the lack of understanding and bias illustrated here extends far beyond the membership of one organization,” the statement read.
The University upheld GARP’s sanctions and confirmed that the fraternity will be suspended until each sanction is carried out — noting that they must be completed no later than May 1, 2014.