More Alleged Greek Life Racism, This Time At UCLA

By Sameer Rao Oct 08, 2015

You’ve seen this story before: (insert fraternity/sorority/predominantly-white student group) at (insert university) accused of (blackface/racist epithets/regressive behavior/racist imagery/erasing people of color). To save you some time, we’re presenting the bare bones of what’s been reported in the latest incident of obvious racism on a university campus:

Where: UCLA

Who: A fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon, and sorority, Alpha Phi

What: A "Kanye Western" theme at the Sigma Phi Epsilon party. Photographs from the party emerged on social media, showing party-goers with what looked like charcoal or blackface smudged on their faces and donning big lips and padded butts (seemingly in imitation of Kim Kardashian). 

Reaction: Many students expressed outrage, with some taking to social media and bringing back the "#BlackBruinsMatter" hashtag in conjunction, according to the LA Times, with a protest organized by the Afrikan Student Union this afternoon:

According to one Tweet from the protests, UCLA law professor Jerry Kang spoke and confirmed that both the fraternity and sorority in question had their activities suspended. 

Reaction to the Reaction: In addition to what was stated by Jerry Kang, UCLA officials said that they’re investigating the incident. A spokesman for national Sigma Phi Epsilon, quoted in the LA Times, said that they were also investigating the incident from their end:

“Building diverse and inclusive communities is core to our identity as an organization, and we have zero tolerance for racist behavior,” the organization’s spokesman, Beaux Carriere, said in a statement. “Sigma Phi Epsilon will continue to work with the university and UCLA community to investigate these claims and hold students accountable for any inappropriate behavior.”

What Kanye West thinks: Unclear at press time, although this two-hour video might have some insight…or not, but it’s still pretty crazy. 

(H/t, LA Times, Vulture