A fraternity at Duke University is under fire this week for having an Asian-themed party, complete with kimonos, conical hats and sumo-wrestling outfits.
Kappa Sigma fraternity sent out an email for the party on January 29, calling it “Kappa Sigma Asia Prime.” The email begins with, “Herro Nice Duke Peopre!!”
“We are proud to announce the return of Kappa Sigma Asia Prime, this Friday! We look forward to having Mi, Yu, You, and Yo Friends...over for some Sake.”
The email ended with, “Chank You, The Brothers of Kappa Sigma.”
Outrage soon ignited across campus, with hundreds of students organizing a protest rally Wednesday.
Wednesday’s rally is organized by the Asian Students Association and more than 700 have signed up to participate. They will also hold an “open discussion” with Duke’s student government on Thursday.
The fraternity’s party was reported before it began on Friday, so they changed the name of it to “International Relations.”
Despite changing the name, the party was still “Asian themed.”
Kappa Sigma sent out a second invitation that said:
“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.”
Students were able to discover that the party was still Asian themed by looking at Facebook photos. Students Ashley Tsai, Tong Xiang, and Ting-Ting Zhou found the racist pictures.
“This is not just about Asians, one party or one frat,” Tsai said. “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.”
Soon, the photos started a debate on Facebook over whether it was racist or not.
One student, Michelle Bard, defended the fraternity.
“It’s called having a sense of humor. You guys should get to know this group of people before spending hours trying to trash their reputations,” she said.
Zachary Glanz fired back with, “This party had nothing to do with with a sense of humor. It had to do with a sense of hatred and ignorance.”
Abbey Bucher Ness also thought the party was wrong.
“I hope that people who claim to have a ‘sense of humor’ will one day realize that a sense of humor grounded in the debasing of other people is wrong,” she said.
Duke’s rally against the party is scheduled for 1pm Wednesday afternoon.
Photo: Latino Rebels