Mental Health

Penn State Sorority, Chi Omega, Causes Outrage with Racist Mexican-Themed Picture

A photo of Penn State Chi Omega sorority members wearing ponchos, sombreros and fake mustaches -- during a Mexican-themed sorority party -- has surfaced and caused outrage at Penn State, reports the Daily Mail.

In the picture, apparently taken around Halloween, some of the women held cardboard signs that read: "Will Mow Lawn For Weed + Beer" and "I Don’t Cut Grass, I Smoke It."

Cesar Sanchez Lopez, the vice president of the Mexican American Student Association at Penn State, said the stereotypes were offensive and untrue.

Some students responded by putting up posters on the door of Penn State’s Fraternity and Sorority Life offices with the photo and the words: "Racial insensitivity – brought to you by Chi Omega" and "We are racist… Chi Omega."

The president of Chi Omega’s Nu Gamma chapter, Jessica Riccardi, issued a statement: "Our chapter of Chi Omega sincerely apologizes for portraying inappropriate and untrue stereotypes. The picture in question does not support any of Chi Omega’s values or reflect what the organization aspires to be."

The photo was originally reported by OnwardState.com, an alternative student blog at Penn State, which stated:

The connection between Chi Omega and the racist image was discovered when examining the names of the girls pictured. This proved to be easy as those featured in the image were tagged on Facebook. One name...shows up in the tags of the image. Her Twitter bio not only has the Chi Omega letters, ΧΩ, but the phrase “lyrivie” which also appears in the caption of the debated image.

OnwardState.com reports that Penn State’s Greek Life director Dr. Roy Baker, along with other school leaders, have been discussing possible punishments for the sorority.

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