Feb

23

Mixer Mix-Up

Written by

japan

Members of Columbia’s Kappa Alpha Theta chapter have come under fire for posting pictures that many consider racist from their mixer last night on Facebook and other social media websites. While the mixer was reportedly “Olympic team” themed, Bwog thinks it would be difficult to play sports in a sombrero and fake mustache.

Spec posted a picture of one the Mexican group, which used sombreros, thick mustaches, and maracas. But sisters also dressed up in themed attire for the Netherlands, Japan, Jamaica, Germany, France, and other countries. “Team Japan” wore high stockings, pigtails, and chopsticks in their hair, and puts up peace signs for the camera. While sororities themselves are not allowed to have mixers or alcohol in their houses, we’ve been told that this particular mixer was held in Sig Ep and was registered with the administration. The pictures below have been submitted to tips@bwog.com since the Olympic mixer happened last night.

Update (6:27 pm): Jessica Chi, President of the Columbia University Panhellenic Association, just released the following statement, saying she “truly apologize[d] for any harm the incident and photos in question” may have caused and that the “concerns brought to light by this incident do not at all reflect the shared values” of the Greek community.  See it below the jump.

Update (11:33 pm): We have received a rumor that Theta members met today to discuss the incident and were instructed not to speak to the press.

Update (12:23 am)The Chicano Caucus Executive Board has released a statement regarding the issue, reproduced below.

Update (3:26 pm): The incident was picked up by Business Insider and Huffington Post.

Update (7:02 PM): Statement released by Dean Martinez in response.

Update:

The Columbia University Panhellenic Association fully recognizes the seriousness of the issue at hand and sincerely apologizes for any harm that these pictures may have caused. We are taking this matter very seriously and are working directly with members of the organization involved to address the situation thoroughly. We would like to stress that the concerns brought to light by this incident do not at all reflect the shared values of the Panhellenic community, or of Columbia’s greater Greek community, but rather the unfortunate and unintentional misjudgment of a few individuals.

Though it is our understanding that the photos were not posted with the intent to offend or alienate any group or individual, the Panhellenic Association would also like to emphasize that it does not at all condone behavior or language representing any form of cultural insensitivity, whether intentional or not. Moving forward, we will continue engaging in conversations and educational efforts with our chapters’ members and leaders to promote a strong understanding of, and commitment to, the diversity we so deeply value within the Greek community, on campus, and beyond.

Again, we truly apologize for any harm the incident and photos in question may have caused and are actively working to rectify the situation, as well as to address the concerns of the community, to the best of our ability.

From Chicano Caucus:

On Saturday, February 22nd, photographs of Columbia’s Kappa Alpha Theta members dressed in stereotypical Mexican attire surfaced on social media sites and came to the attention of Chicano Caucus’ executive board.While we understand that the actions taken by these members may not have intended to be harmful, they were in fact offensive. Stereotypes are used to oppress marginalized communities. These pictures caricaturize Mexican culture and should not be overlooked. The attire trivializes an entire nation’s history, its peoples, and its cultures, reducing them to a mere mustache and sombrero. Though the attire was meant to represent Mexico in a game of Beer Olympics, in actuality it perpetuates the American stereotype of the sombrero-wearing Mexican-American migrant worker, distorting the culture into a form of entertainment.That’s not to say that members outside of the Mexican culture cannot dress in our cultural garb or partake in our traditions. However, altering the Mexican flag is not the way to participate in a respectful manner. One way a nation is able to share its culture is through its respective flag. The center of the Mexican flag displays an eagle holding a serpent atop a cactus, symbolizing the founding of Tenochtitlan, what is now Mexico City. In the pictures, the students wear what is meant to be the Mexican flag, but it is defaced through the removal of the national coat of arms in order to include the letters of sorority insignia. This act strips away a foundation of our culture and pride.After the incident was made public, one of Chicano Caucus’ presidential co-chairs received a verbal apology from the president of Columbia’s Kappa Alpha Theta chapter, and we appreciate the gesture. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. In fact, similar situations have occurred in the past with other organizations on Columbia’s campus.  These photos reflect a larger issue at Columbia University in which cultural consciousness is not at the forefront of social and academic dialogue.While we cannot speak for every Mexican, Mexican-American, or Chican@, we feel that any form of cultural appropriation is humiliating and perpetuates that group’s oppression in the United States by reinforcing a general culture of disrespect.

The term “cultural appropriation” is not one that is discussed often at Columbia, and it is not one that is easy to define. We hope that these photos promote campus-wide discussions as to what “cultural appropriation” entails and why it is a controversial topic to groups who are often the subjects of such actions.

One of Chicano Caucus’ goals is to initiate and participate in activities that foster inter-group relations among the Columbia University community. We want to use this opportunity as a starting point to establish a coalition against cultural appropriation to actualize institutional change within Columbia University.

Tangible solutions need to be reached so that this does not happen again.

-Chicano Caucus Executive Board

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194 Comments

  1. Anonymous  

    cultural appropriation yo

  2. ????  

    There's a big difference between celebrating a culture and mocking it.

  3. Pablo Sanchez

    Hola soy Pablo. Me gusta beisbol y Theta chicas!!! Live mas

  4. really bwog?  

    "fun hip cool mixers"

  5. Anonymous  

    I agree that some of these are offensive, but why is the Jamaican one bad? It's just the flag.

  6. Anonymous  

    the "Mexico" outfits, are you kidding me? what is wrong with you people?

  7. Pablo Sanchez

    i sharted when i saw this

  8. Anonymous

    They couldn't have at least said "tres"?

  9. Anon  

    I really only have an issue with the Mexico themed photo. It would've been one thing to wear the colors of the flag, but mustaches and sombreros? I understand the fun in dressing up, but they should've been more conscious.

  10. Anon  

    At least the sigep guys that held this mixer with theta were smart enough not to post the pictures on facebook.

  11. NBC  

    Offensiveness Medal Ceremony

    Gold: Team Mexico, by a landslide!
    Silver: Team France, with the "Sexy Flight Attendants Hold Bread" look
    Bronze: Team Japan, not sure what the girl on the bottom right is going for

    Runners up: Team Jamaica and Team Netherlands, better luck next time

    And now back to Bob Costas' infected eyes. Take it away Bob!

  12. Anonymous

    It was an international dress up party.

  13. cultural appropriation

    Wow, this is disgusting

  14. Anonymous

    This further proves that sororities weren't made for people of color.

    • Are you serious?

      My best friend is African American and in theta, and LOVES IT. There are many girls of color in sororities. Don't generalize. Everyone can make mistakes. Also, Theta is great for her. Now maybe if more people of color joined these things wouldn't happen, but then again we are in college. Next time don't make such ludicrous statements like that, its offensive to women of color and the Greek system.

      • Appreciated  

        Like this comment. It's real and seems like it's written by a person that isn't hypersensitive, but who is also adequately conscious of actions and words.

      • Anon  

        @Are you serious?:

        Your friend may love being a sorority but you can't ignore the fact that the number of women of color in that sorority is ridiculously low. I can almost figure out who you're talking about by you mentioning her race. Girls who rush sororities do not completely pick their own choices, instead they are chosen by each sorority as the Rush process dictates. And there were plenty of women of color who rushed this year compared to the number of the women of color who were chosen by the society is significantly lower. I'm not saying that sororities are specifically excluding people because of a race but I am saying that diversity doesn't seem to be a priority for them from the way they choose their members.

      • Anonymous  

        It's great that your friend has a good time in Theta, but I think instances like this are just an example of how a lot of sororities can be really culturally (and racially) insensitive. Just realistically speaking. Columbia's a lot better than some schools, but I've sororities to automatically bar girls who aren't white from rushing, unless there's an extenuating circumstance (i.e., she has connections). It can be a really toxic environment.

        • Is it possible that...  

          We are the ones being insensitive? According to comments on the post about the CC, the hosts of each party chose their themes based on their own cultural heritage. Why do we get to sit back and assume that all of these women identify as white americans? Apparently Bwog and spec failed to mention that the Mexico party was hosted by a girl from Mexico, the Japan one was hosted by a girl from Japan, the Netherlands was hosted by a girl from Holland, the Canadian one was a girl from Canada...the list goes on. Is it possible that these women were merely asking their friends and sisters to help them represent and celebrate a country that means very much to them (just as the CC did at Glass House Rocks?)

      • Are YOU serious?  

        Why would people of color ever join theta? As a fellow black girl, we know we aren't welcome there. Most of us also wouldn't fit in. We don't have the 300 dollars for dues to a sorority organization, a good percentage of us come fromvery conservative backgrounds and cannto go drinking evry night. Not to mention, sorority bids are literally based on attractiveness and being blue-blooded. Many black girls are at a social disadvantage there. If you look around and see no black girls in your sorority, in a school where minorities make up at least 15% of the population, it's not them, it's YOU. Have you made efforts to reach out to the black community? the latino one?
        Have you made black girls in your sorority feel welcome? Or do you spend a lot of time praising here because she's " not like all the other black girls". We black girls are here, we're watching you and we look at the theta,and delta and we see very few black girls there. Sorry, we're not showing up to your shit party.

      • lol  

        "My best friend is black and now I'm going to speak for her!"

    • POC

      As a person of color in a sorority, I take issue with this widespread belief that "sororities weren't made for people of color". My experience in a sorority has made my time at columbia SO much more meaningful both socially and academically, and has helped maintain a positive outlook in such a stressful place.

      In this situation, mistakes were made, but people will learn from their mistakes. College is the time for such learning and growth to happen, so I'd like to believe that this experience will make students more aware of the effects of their future actions on others.

    • Yo  

      What the fuck does "person of color" eve mean

    • girl in a sorority  

      there's actually six multicultural sororities that act out against things like this on campus, so don't generalize

  15. you've got to be kidding me  

    Columbia needs to take its head out of its ass and stop being offended by every fucking thing. I hail from a developing country and I don't see why this is inappropriate at all. If they had dressed up in the traditional garb of my country I would be flattered, not offended.

    • um  

      i don't see anyone wearing "traditional garb" in these photos...

    • yep  

      that's the traditional garb for all those countries

    • Absolutely Not  

      Just because you are not offended doesn't mean that other people cannot be. Also, a lot of these costumes are not "traditional garb" but rather stereotypes of all of the countries. Personally, I don't think they were aware that what they were doing could be considered racist, but I think that is due to their own insensitivity and the fact that Columbia fosters a community where making fun of someone else's culture is not worthy of contempt and protected by comments like yours. I agree that Columbia does need to get their head out of their ass, but not for the reason you think. Columbia is not as liberal or tolerant as people want to walk around claim that we are. In fact, Columbia has an unsettling number of disgusting classist, racist, homophobic, ableist, and transphobic people on this campus and even more moderates who, instead of taking a stand, would rather take the polite road and make excuses for or ignore them.

      • So,  

        Being respectful is one thing, and, we always should be. However, there is such a thing as being hypersensitive. In todays day and age I think many people fall in to this category.

        We don't know what their intentions were or whether or not this was malicious. Malicious intent or conscious ignorance should not be tolerable.

        If their only intention was to go out to a party with their sorority sisters and have a good time and dress up as stereotypes, then that is not the end of the world or reason for condemnation.

        To a greater degree than most think: people do offensive things, but we choose to let it offend us.

        Live and let live.

  16. But let's be real here

    France and Jamaica are the hottest

  17. anon  

    and here I was thinking this kind of offensive behavior wouldn't happen at my school. way to put greeks in a bad light (again)

  18. CC'16  

    I don't understand-- why is it okay for them to dress up as Greeks every day, but when they try to branch out they get pounced on? C'mon now

  19. Chill Out  

    I am not in a sorority and I am international (from a developing country). I understand that people need to be more conscious of the potentially offensive nature of their action, but on the list of things wrong with Columbia, this ranks very very very low. Not a single one of these costumes shed any negative light on the cultures it represented.
    Funny how they don't mention there was a team USA.
    France: Bread, berets and stripes... merde!
    Jamaica: THEY ACTUALLY HAD A BOBSLED TEAM. The costume was literally just a flag
    Netherlands: it was a beer olympics themed party. they wore a dutch beer shirt. how is this offensive?
    Now with Japan and Mexico, I think people really need to step back and consider who is being offensive here. Neither team chose offensive stereotypes. In claiming these to be offensive, we are subordinating their cultures and saying there is something inferior about them.
    And to the person who said that this shows sororities aren't for people of color, NOTHING in here was inherently racist, and furthermore, many students of color enjoy internationally themed parties because we aren't filled with guilt and trying to prove to our liberal Columbia friends how "culturally informed" we are instead of just living our lives.
    CHILL OUT CU, we have REAL problems to focus on

    • No, bro  

      "Neither team chose offensive stereotypes. In claiming these to be offensive, we are subordinating their cultures and saying there is something inferior about them."

      The rich cultures and traditions of Mexico and Japan (which may not be meaningful to you but are really fucking meaningful to the people of those heritages) were reduced to sombreros, mustaches, maracas, and hair chopsticks, peace hand signs, and schoolgirls. What's not offensive about that??? These stereotypes are not equivalent to the actual cultures. So saying the stereotypes are offensive isn't subordinating the culture because THEY ARE TWO VERY, VERY DIFFERENT THINGS.

      IMO they should've just stuck to doing flags like those Team Jamaica chicks.

      • Anonymous  

        because dressing up in dumb costumes is the same thing as saying "MEXICANS == SOMBREROS". Why is the assumption that if you jokingly dress as a stereotype that suddenly you believe that stereotype to be completely and totally representative of the country it belongs to? This is for a party, not a UN visit

      • Clinton 2016  

        NO ONE is trying to use these TRADITIONAL COSTUMES as a way to say "look, this is the entirety of Mexican culture" or "this is all that Mexicans are." The costumes are fun, and no, they're not racist--if they are, then address how Mexico's sole participant in the olympics dressed as a mariachi? And if they are racist, then why aren't the French outfits also racist? And if the French outfits are racist, how can you be selective in your criticism of racism?

  20. Dear Dean Martinez  

    Perhaps Columbia's diversity strategy of "recruiting all colors of the ultrawealthy" is backfiring because ultrawealthy are their own wacky homogenous race

  21. Anonymous  

    *deep sigh of relief that there was no blackface*

  22. Speedy Gonzalez

    i fulfill your wishes with taco flavored kisses

  23. anon  

    That's p much the equivalent of being like "I'm not racist cause I have like two black friends"

  24. please  

    costume parties are for creative outfits, not tired stereotypes

  25. Not in theta  

    Its in good spirit. Calm down people

  26. Anonymous  

    SDT was founded by a woman of color so please do some research before spewing off ignorant statements.

  27. Non-greek man  

    Is it racist if its true? I mean have you guys ever been to mexico? Sombreros and Mustaches everywhere. Maybe someone has a better idea of how to dress up as someone from team mexico? Maybe dressing as a mariachi band? Is that racist too? dafaq people just because it is a sterotype does not mean its bad

  28. JD  

    Maybe it is because I have never experienced discrimination or had to deal with racism, but I am confused with how this is derogatory or hurtful. The impression I am getting is that this was just an international themed party. If someone wore an American flag and a cowboy hat I wouldn't feel offended, even though I am not a cowboy.

    Is it the idea that they are promoting stereotypes? Or is it because they are sorority girls that this is a problem. I feel as though I have seen costumes just like this for halloween, at ec parties, and even during parades, and they were never a problem or offensive.

    If Columbia is so anti-international students/anti-other cultures, I feel as though there is a much bigger problem to be addressed.

    • Anonymous  

      > Maybe it is because I have never experienced discrimination

      you answered your own question

    • No, bro  

      "I feel as though I have seen costumes just like this for halloween, at ec parties, and even during parades, and they were never a problem or offensive."

      Yes, they were equally a problem and equally offensive as this. Hence the "I'm a culture, not a costume" campaign every year around Halloween time. Two wrongs don't make a right.

  29. Cabron  

    Oh no a bunch of hypersensitive babies got offended about something. Me chupa un huevo.

  30. Anonymous

    They could have had soooo much more fun with this.

    Russia - ushankas, pour Everclear in Ukraine's drink when they're not looking

    Norway - shields and axes, raid everyone else's booze

  31. Anonymous  

    I hate it when people get all pissy and oversensitive. Racism is obviously not a problem and doesn't need to be discussed. #seriously #stop #gobacktobutler #hashtag

  32. the observer  

    lol white people

    • Hold up  

      @the observer: "lol white people"??? And how is this not generalizing and racist? Two wrongs don't make a right..... Responding to this issue of cultural appropriation in this manner perpetuates hate and allows for all groups to feel like they have the right to generalize culture's other than their own.

  33. Confused non-Greek woman  

    Why can't sororities have parties or alcohol but frats can?

  34. Absolutely Not  

    Once again, just because you are not offended doesn't mean that others cannot be. I think that living and let live should apply to this as well. Let others be offended by what they are going to be offended by, and when they are offended, allow them to be and listen to their reasons why. That's when learning starts.

  35. anchorbiotch  

    DG top house!

  36. Blunts in Butler  

    Anyone wanna smoke a bowl?

  37. Anonymous  

    France wins in a landslide. Would smash

  38. anon  

    what more can you expect from people who pay money to have friends?

  39. I think

    the focus of the "sensitive" parts of the student body on the mexican costume is more racist than any of the costumes themselves

  40. As a Chicano

    While I may be offended slightly, I would still let every one of these chicas sit on my face.

  41. Anonymous

    What a waste of time and resources. I am Mexican and you know what.... I could care less about an Olympic party with some country themed costumes.
    Not everyone wears sombreros in Mexico but go to any cultural event in Mexico and you will see them everywhere. For all you whiners...spend more time on something important.
    It looks like the whiner who started all this has gotten a lot of people in trouble , people who did and do not deserve it. Do you feel good now?

  42. D  

    I'm curious, what should the mexican team dressed up as to be recognizable and culturally sensitive? [Serious]

    • Um  

      Wear clothes that are red, white, and green

    • Anonymous  

      I mean, the sombreros and mustaches are pretty ridiculous on these white girls who obviously didn't do any research to understand Mexican culture. They're using another culture as a costume to wear for a party and drawing what they think is true from stereotypes. I think unless you really know about Mexico and what the people there are like, how they dress, all of that, you should refrain altogether. Cultural appropriation can (rightfully) be a really touchy subject because a lot of people feel that their cultures are disrespected when white people use them purely for instances like this (Halloween parties, Greek mixers, etc.), often mockingly.

    • Anonymous  

      Fact A: Any outfit that can be easily recognized as representing a particular cultural group is necessarily stereotypical.

      Fact B: According to half the people at this school, any form of stereotyping is racist and offensive.

      Therefore, anyone who attempts to embody another culture through clothing is committing a racist act.

      That is why I just burned the ninja costume that my 6-year-old brother wore last Halloween- I am ashamed that my parents allowed him to leave the house in a costume that was so clearly malicious and bigoted. I told him that next year, he should just wear jeans and a white t-shirt and go as a "human being." I wouldn't want him trying to get creative and accidentally offending someone.

      Oh shit, will that offend white Americans? Nevermind, who gives a fuck, they're white! They should just check their white privilege at the door.

      • Anonymous  

        Disagree. I don't think that people shouldn't be allowed to wear anything that traditionally comes from another culture. But I do think that they should understand it. My culture isn't a costume for white sorority girls to wear because it's funny. If you want to wear something from it, is it too much to ask that you learn something about it first, just to be respectful?

        Your brother's six. These girls are adults, go to Columbia, and should know better.

        • genuinely confused

          so is it about intention or not? seems like you are saying it is. i've read in a lot of other comments that it's not. really just trying to understand what it is that is especially offensive in this and similar situations.

        • Anonymous  

          Who said they thought it was funny? Did they in any way indicate that they thought negatively of sombreros and mustaches? In fact, who is to say that some, if not all, of these girls actually like the appearance of sombreros and mustaches? Maybe they find them stylish and attractive.

          And more importantly, why did you have to single out "white" sorority girls? Not all of the girls in these photos are "white," and even if they were, would it be ok for "black," "Asian," "Middle-Eastern," or "Hispanic" (I know I'm mixing racial and ethnic identities here) sorority girls to wear these costumes? As a URM, I am sick of the reverse racism and anti-white sentiments that pervade this campus, and the belief that it is somehow acceptable to criticize and condemn an entire racial group simply because they are supposedly "privileged."

          While you are entitled to your opinion, by emphasizing the "whiteness" of the girls and condemning the entirety of "white sorority girls" for the actions of a few, you are perpetuating the idea that certain forms of racism are acceptable. Racism is racism, and the hypocrisy on this campus is intolerable.

  43. Anonymous  

    I just started a petition to have the Dallas Cowboys change their name to the Dallas People. As a Texan (and not a cowboy), I find the "Cowboys" name incredibly offensive. Not everyone in Texas is a cowboy, even if we do all wear cowboy hats!

  44. D  

    Then should I be offended when everyone goes out drinking on Saint Patrick's day to represent the irish which is a solemn, religious holiday in my homeland? Because that's the immediate thing that comes to my mind.

  45. Will.I.Am  

    Lol why is everyone at this school always butthurt, too funny

  46. Ugh  

    Shut up DELTA GRANDMA you will never be on top. Stop trying to steal our spot, it's pathetic. You are irrelevant.

  47. aocutiepi  

    as theta falls, we will rise.

  48. allseeingeye  

    Barclay is going down.

  49. anon  

    But seriously, wtf theta

  50. Anonymous  

    I'm disappointed by the lack of blackface on the Jamaica bobsled team

  51. am I missing something  

    why is the bobsled team biting their fingers?

  52. alum

    I'm a Mexican alum and I don't feel offended by this (probably because I'm used to people bringing up this stereotype all the time). A lot of people make fun of stereotypes and I personally think that is not inherently bad if the intention is not to be offensive (i.e. if it's all in good fun) and if they know that the stereotypes aren't true. But that's just my opinion.

    And fyi, the Mexican athlete wore that suit ironically, making fun of the stereotype imposed on us (it's good to be able to make fun of yourself from time to time). It's not like Mexican athletes do that sort of thing in any other sport or event. Also, he's actually from European nobility and lives in Liechtenstein: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_Hubertus_of_Hohenlohe-Langenburg

  53. Anonymous  

    i don't even know why some people are in college.

  54. Anonymous  

    If anyone has seen the new Lego movie, you might recall a brief scene where a bunch of lego characters are introduced who are supposed to be Mexican. What are they wearing? Sombreros, ponchos and mustaches.
    http://www.collectibleminifigs.com/figimages/mexican.jpg

    If a children's movie and toy is allowed to represent Mexicans this way, why cant college kids? People need to lighten up.

  55. el

    Bravo to the Caucus e-board for crafting such a well-reasoned and thoughtful response.

  56. Anonymous  

    If anyone saw the new Lego movie, you might recall a brief scene where Mexican lego characters were introduced. What were they wearing? Sombreros, ponchos and mustaches. http://www.collectibleminifigs.com/figimages/mexican.jpg

    If a children's movie and toy is allowed to depict Mexicans like this, why cant college kids? People need to lighten up.

  57. Anonymous  

    If I had written this article, I would feel absolutely terrible. The harm done by the potential insensitivity of the costumes to a general group of people doesn't begin to compare to the direct harm that this article is doing to the poor girls being scapegoated in these pictures or in this sorority. The former is a potentially insensitive, and accidental offence. The latter is directly malicious to a group of people whose lives you have changed in a very real and negative way.

    • seriously?

      You think some rich girls not being able to throw a party is worse than offending people by stereotyping their culture?

      • Yes  

        You think that new pledges, who had nothing to do with the organizing of the event, should be publicly shamed for trying to participate in their new sororities event? So yes, I think this is a little worse than people trying to over-inflate what was really just a fun, not serious night.

  58. Anonymous  

    I think its funny how the administration chooses not to address campus rape policy but then decides to crack down on sororities girls outfits. Aren't all costumes some form of stereotype-- I don't recall buying or seeing someone wear a costume that was intentionally ambiguous so as not to offend anyone. These girls were looking for an excuse to dress up and Columbia is blowing it out of the water. Maybe we should hop off the greek community but in any event I'm glad the chiacano causus got a word in because they only ever do anything when these situations arise and yet they are beloved by the administration while greek organizations have to work so hard to be recognized.

  59. Just Curious...  

    Chicano Caucas,

    Can you please release an official statement on Chevys Fresh Mex??

    Especially their birthday song:
    "Happy Happy birthday, from all of us to you,
    We wish it was our birthday, so we could party too, Olé!"
    (Places sombrero on b-day boy's head)

  60. Derice Bannock  

    The Jamaican bobsled team was at least professional looking...all the French team seems to be good for is wielding baguette

  61. Derice Bannock  

    At least the Jamaican bobsled team looks like olympic athletes...all the French team looks like they can do is wield long baguettes

  62. Anonymous  

    Yes, I think maliciously targetting specific people and deliberately scapegoating them in front of their entire community is much worse than accidentally being slightly insensitive to a culture.

  63. Anonymous  

    Regardless of whether or not things were actually offensive, a theme like this can't be done without offending somebody. The social chairs of Theta and Sig Ep screwed up by not having the foresight to see this issue coming.

  64. GDI Hunter  

    What can't geeds just mind their own business...

  65. WOW

    Oh my gosh, people are just looking for things to argue or get upset about it. GET OVER IT and leave these girls alone

  66. Anonymous

    The spec article is currently the sixth result for "Katie Barclay Columbia" on Google.

    Couldn't have happened to a nicer person.

  67. Anonymous

    Poor girls. In the grand scheme of things, some people walk away a little offended by some girls wearing hats, and the Theta girls walk away with their names tarnished by an overblown Internet circle-jerk accusing them of the oh-so heinous crime of cultural appropriation. These girls' reputations are being harmed much more than anybody who sees these photos ever will be.

    tl; dr - Offense isn't given, it's taken. If you find yourself taking offense to every little thing, other people aren't the problem. It's you.

  68. Where my rights @?  

    Yo, whatever happened to the 1st amendement though?
    The KKK exists, but sorority girls can't wear fun hats?
    #turnuportransfertoupenn

  69. the "model minority" is getting overlooked yet again  

    why was only the chicano caucus eboard contacted for comment? is having a culture appropriated to schoolgirls and chopsticks not offensive enough for bwog to reach out to the japan society as well?

  70. Anonymous  

    Can Chicano Caucus offer an official statement on the cutouts that they had people pose with for pictures at Glass House Rocks? https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.700070940035904.1073741831.479184565457877&type=1

  71. waitwhat  

    "The term “cultural appropriation” is not one that is discussed often at Columbia"

    I'm sorry, is this a joke?

  72. White People LOL

    'Offensive' is me saying you have a stupid-looking face. A French person wouldn't be offended by the pic above, but they would think you were a moron. These pictures weren't offensive, they were just proof that rich white people are fucking clueless. Good luck with those political careers, Thetas!

  73. anon  

    Why doesn't sig nu get called out for having their merica party? With everyone dressing in red, white and blue stuff as an American i take offense to that because it is stereotyping my country.....oh wait i dont give a fuck about what some college kids dress up as because I am not a 4 year old.

  74. Are you serious Chicano Caucus?  

    No fucking way. wow, hypocrisy

  75. Zappa  

    Now is that a real poncho, or is that a sears poncho?

  76. Jaded Graduate Student

    While KAT probably should have known better, why the hell would the Huff. Post and Business Insider want to pick this story up? Especially with all the insanity in Kiev and Caracas over the weekend, a civil war in Syria, an three chemical spills in major waterways (including the Mississippi River), the closing ceremony for the Winter Olympics, and a possible mutation of the polio virus on lose in California? Oh, and nobody seems to be talking about the global banking suicides? Yes, America seriously needs to move away from cultural stereotypes, however this story shouldn't be making national news. We need to get our priorities straight on a journalistic level.

    Also, kudos to the Panhellenic Association and the Chicanos Caucus. They are really handling this situation with a lot of finesse and class.

  77. Jaded Graduate Student

    @anon:

    http://imgur.com/DEPV4w9

    Not sure if related, but good enough.

  78. Anonymous

    Look what I found.....a few more sombreros and mustaches! Why so hard on Theta?

    Chicano Caucus @ Glass House Rocks 2014

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.700070940035904.1073741831.479184565457877&type=3

  79. Jack  

    Until team Japan's feasting on dog and team Mexico's railing a donkey I see nothing wrong with this.

  80. HOW ABOUT

    NOBODY SAY OR DO ANYTHING FROM NOW ON. That way no one will be offended and feel the need to post this kind of useless stuff on campus news. Thank god I'm taking this semester off.

  81. Anonymous  

    "In 2012, students in Penn State’s Chi Omega sorority came under investigation after hosting a “Mexican-themed party,” where students wore sombreros, ponchos, and mustaches and held signs reading “will mow lawn for weed + beer” and “I don’t cut grass, I smoke it.”'

    Am I the only person disgusted by Christian Zhang's decision to lump this incident with the one at Penn State two years ago? To imply that these two events are even remotely similar in their level of offensiveness is ridiculous and inflammatory.

    One group wore sombreros and mustaches, making no indication that they thought negatively of either their attire or the cultural group it was meant to represent.

    The other wore sombreros and mustaches, and attached negative stereotypes and a degree of racism and delusions of cultural superiority that is unseen in the costumes and actions of the Theta girls.

    Chi Omega's actions were racist and offensive, and perpetuated negative stereotypes of Mexicans. Theta's did not. Chi Omega deserves the condemnation it received. Theta is the undeserving target of a witchhunt.

  82. Honestly

    The reason this kind of stuff keeps happening again and again is b/c people at this school are so insecure. Anytime anything happens, someone always has to get in trouble for it. People love pointing fingers at this school. You will learn quickly that the real world does not work this way. Enjoy the illusions you have at CU while they last.

    • Hello!  

      I'm glad you posted this because I had a quick question. I (full disclosure, "I" here refers to a white american woman, who happens to be in a sorority) and two of my sisters (one white, one hispanic) once attempted to go to an event at the IRC after I saw a poster about it welcoming all members of the Columbia community--I even asked a friend familiar with the IRC if I could attend and she told me I was more than welcome. I was wearing my letter sweatshirt and I believe one friend was wearing gear as well. Someone let us in and greeted us at the door, and then went and said something to another individual in the room. That person then came over to us and asked if we were from [insert name of our organization]. We said that yes, we were members. They then asked us if we could please leave the event as they were attempting to create a safe space. I have heard this has happened to others in the Greek community as well.

      So my questions are: If I come to this event as a member of my organization, will I be asked to leave? Will I be okay if I don't wear letters? What was it about my organization that implied we would disrupt the sanctity of the lecture? Why is the IRC automatically hostile to members of the greek community?

      Possibly if you allowed members of the Greek community into your events without judgement then members of Theta would not be in this situation.

      This campus needs some genuinely open dialogue pronto.

  83. CUOffensive

    I know our school is somewhat boring guys but that's no reason to create scandals from non-issues. Learn how to take a joke.

  84. Anonymous

    @Anon: Who cares..its a freaking costume..do you go out on Halloween and critique people dressed as cops because their shorts aren't that tight and cops don't wear aviator sunglasses? Grow up

  85. CC 15  

    They wore what would enable someone to immediately recognize what country/team they were dressing up as, and yes, that often means using stereotypes. Nothing is more annoying than having to hear "Wait...what are you dressed up as??" 400 times in a night.

    I'm not saying what they did was great, or respectful. But, they did what anyone going to a themed party/mixer/whatever would have done. Show me someone who says a sombrero or anime-esque girl doesn't pop up in the top 10 things when you think of what to wear to a themed party when you're supposed to be Mexico or Japan, and I'll show you a liar. That's just how it is. 'Murica, ladies and gentlemen.

    Really, there are worse things to get upset about. I'm fairly sure that their minds weren't focused on "how can I appropriately represent the culture of this country in a way that won't be called offensive by SOMEONE at Columbia?!" Because 1. sorority party 2. focal points of boys, alcohol, etc 3. everyone here is so touchy I'm sure someone walks outside and gets offended by which direction the wind is blowing.

    Nothing anyone does, especially sorority girls or athletes, is ever going to not offend someone here, aside from them quitting their teams and houses, and sitting in their room 24/7 and never interacting with anybody.

    And then you'd probably just complain that we have no Greek life and our athletics teams win even less than we do now. (PS: I'm an athlete, and we really are trying, I promise.)

    There will always be parties, there will always be slightly questionable things people wear/say/do/think/write/breathe, and there will always be facebook for us to see it all the next day. Seriously, complain about something that you can actually change, and go do something about it. While you're at it, quit commenting on here where I guarantee 0% of the people you're complaining about will see it, thus never changing their actions.

  86. what  

    "The term “cultural appropriation” is not one that is discussed often at Columbia"

    are you kidding me right now

    like are you actually kidding me
    right
    now

  87. seminal vesicle

    Oh I see. People are annoyed because they are less attractive than the girls in the photos so they need to get all PC police on them. Fuck our society.

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