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Racially Themed Fraternity Party at Maryland College Sparks Investigation

A "CMT versus BET" party held by Phi Sigma Sigma sorority and Phi Delta Theta fraternity at McDaniel College in Westminster is raising objections.

A racially themed party at McDaniel College in Westminster is being investigated. Credit: (Wikimedia Commons: Alan Levine)
A racially themed party at McDaniel College in Westminster is being investigated. Credit: (Wikimedia Commons: Alan Levine)

A party with the theme “CMT versus BET” – with students wearing outfits inspirited by Country Music Television and Black Entertainment Television – is being investigated by leaders at McDaniel College in Westminster.

The incident involved McDaniel's chapters of the Phi Sigma Sigma sorority and the Phi Delta Theta fraternity, the college told FOX45. Officials said the "non-approved college event" was held at an off-campus residence in late January.

"Upon learning of this incident in early February, the college partnered with the national headquarters of these student chapters to launch an ongoing investigation," a college spokesperson said. "Decisions will be forthcoming and sanctions will be determined."

School spokeswoman Cheryl Knauer told CBS DC the college learned of the party in early February and launched an investigation along with the national headquarters of the Phi Sigma Sigma sorority and the Phi Delta Theta fraternity.

The McDaniel Free Press student newspaper reported Wednesday that the women wore cutoff shorts, plaid shirts and boots, while the men wore baggy clothing, chains and backward baseball caps.

Racially themed parties have caused controversy on college campuses across the country. The Kappa Sigma fraternity at Duke University was suspended earlier this month by its parent organization after throwing an Asian-themed party featuring geisha outfits and intentional misspellings. Last month, a party at Arizona State University’s fraternities sparked outrage after using Martin Luther King Jr. as its theme while partygoers flashed gang signs and wore saggy pants and posed with hollowed-out watermelon cups.

McDaniel’s Vice President for Student Affairs Beth Gerl told CBS that the college supports inclusiveness.

“Any event that promotes negative stereotypes or disrespect of others is reprehensible,” she said. “When an incident like this occurs it is a teachable moment.”

The college’s Black Student Union President, Serena Hueitt, told the student newspaper that her group is working to change how African-Americans are viewed, and this might be a setback.

“Dressing up seems to play into the stereotypes of people of African-American descent. I don’t think it’s right to do that,” Hueitt said.

Steven Spiegel March 08, 2014 at 04:32 PM
I WAS BEAT DOWN BY 7 Black boys age 15 from 22 Breaking my femur bone and a lot of bones in my face . When asking them to stop you are killing me there reply was what the f@#k You think we are trying to do ? There were plenty of black people sitting on there steps and when my wife cried out they laughed and said we don't want to get involved. These kids were not provoked by me in anyway . When the police got there all they had to say was another Saturday night in Baltimore and that was that. They never even followed up with questions or even any kind of investigation to try and charge these kids who were by all means were perpetrators of a hate crime and there is no doubt in my mind that if I were a African American man there would have been a huge investigation and every Baltimore city news team would have covered it. We as White people have lost all rights and we are now the oppressed . I have always given respect to people no matter there race and this is the thanks that I have gotten. We need to stop asking what race you are on job applications and ask if you are a citizen instead . We have lost our rights and its just going to get worse until we as a race take it back . We need to do away with the KKK and the NAACP the United Negro college fund has to go . They even have a Black only dating site . Its not right for one group of people to have certain groups that they don't want another to have . I was out of work for 2 years because of the injuries and lived off my life savings and my parents also helped me a lot. There were no investigation what so ever and I believe the reason was because I am white if I was black it would have been a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the racists . I have Mixed grandchildren and love them with all my heart and I have never deprived anyone my friendship because of the color of there skin . I am not asking for anything but equality and this will never stop unless we get our head out of our ass and look
PH March 08, 2014 at 11:05 PM
Steven Spiegel, thank you for telling your story here. You didn't have to do that. Do you have any idea as to why they did that to you? Did you provoke them, even unknowingly? I doubt it, at least not enough to do that to you. It was more like the crap going on now...punch out a white person and run. It's hard not to hold resentments against a race in your situation. I sure would too.
Steven Spiegel March 09, 2014 at 10:48 AM
Hello Pam Thanks for the statement . I don't hate Black people for the action of a few . I believe until we take away Black TV/ The Naacp/ The United Negro college fund / Black only dating service or allow for a White tv or a United Caucasian college fund that there will never be equality in the United State's . If you want to be equal then for God sakes don't want more then the next race . And also why is it OK for a Black Person to hold up there fist and say Black Power but if a White person does it he is a Racist scumbag headed for hell ???? Its time for us to all grow up and be good to one another . And stop trying to be better than one another . I am a Bricklayer who works my tail off for my family when I hire from time to time I don't see race I look at how well the person works . When I be friend someone I don't worry about what there skin color is I worry about how well I am treated . Its time to put away the past and start looking for the future . Instead of breeding hate into our kids Breed Love and affection instead of fists let it be hand shakes and Hugs . If we do away with special groups for races or let us all have them without ridicule then we will all be considered equal . When we allow one we should allow all !!!! I would never judge all for a few peoples actions .

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