The Lookout

Duke students to protest fraternity’s ‘racist rager’

Dylan Stableford, Yahoo News
The Lookout

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Fliers protesting a themed party hosted by a Duke fraternity (Asian Students Association)

Students at Duke University are planning a rally on Wednesday to protest a themed fraternity party that some are calling a "racist rager."

Photos from the party—held by Kappa Sigma on Friday—posted to Facebook showed students in traditional Asian attire. An email invite included stereotypical misspellings ("Herro," "Chank You") and an image from the film "Team America: World Police."'

Three seniors from the university's Asian Students Association posted fliers across Duke's campus showing the invite and photos. "If you're not outraged," a caption added to one of the fliers reads, "you're not paying attention."

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An annotated email invite to the fraternity party (Asian Students Association)

“This is not just about Asians, one party or one frat,” Ashley Tsai, one of the seniors, told Duke's the Chronicle. “This is a consistent thing happening. We want serious things to be done by the student body and the university so that this never happens again.”

The fraternity was formally recognized by the school last year after being unrecognized for nearly a decade.

Kappa Sigma did not immediately return an email seeking comment.

The Feb. 1 party almost didn't happen. According to the Chronicle, a report was filed with the university's Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life complaining about the email invite to the event, which was originally called "Kappa Sigma Asia Prime." A second email was sent by the fraternity announcing a new party, "International Relations," in its place:

The Brothers of Kappa Sigma regret to inform you that our forebrothers' secrets of the far east have not survived the move back onto campus. Without them, Asia Prime cannot go on and must be cancelled.

Instead, Kappa Sigma presents: International Relations. A celebration of all cultures and the diversity of Duke.

The protest is planned for 1 p.m. on Duke's west campus. According to its Facebook page, more than 700 people plan on attending the rally.

As Gawker pointed out, Duke students are certainly not the first to hold a themed party that's been deemed racist. Last year, a Penn State sorority held a Mexican-themed party, at which "all the members decided to wear ponchos, sombreros and mustaches, and two women held signs, one of which read 'Will Mow Lawn for Weed + Beer' and the other 'I Don't Cut Grass, I Smoke It.'"

The sorority, Chi Omega, later apologized "for portraying inappropriate and untrue stereotypes."

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