University of Michigan’s Theta Xi fraternity chapter is being investigated after plans for an offensive party sparked anger among many students at the school.
The party, which is now cancelled, was set to be on November 7th and was called “World Star Hip Hop Presents: Hood Ratchet Thursday.” The Facebook invite featured a picture of a black man holding cash and read, “we goin back to da hood again!!” and “hood IDs will be checked.” Several students were deeply offended at what they call racist and filed official complaints with the school.
The mostly white fraternity is in hot water as the school investigates the matter. Along with the racial offenses, the invitation also referred to women as “bad bitches” and referred to twerking, used gang references, and repeatedly used the word “ratchet.”
“It was very important that we all get together and discuss the impact this unfortunate event has had on the University community, as well as our expectations moving forward,” said Dean of Students Laura Blake Jones after a meeting with Theta Xi President Eric Quang, Greek Life Director Mary Beth Seiler, and Interfraternity Council leaders. “Obviously, the way the party was both conceived of and executed is in direct contradiction to the standards of our university.”
Jones lodged a formal complaint against the fraternity, and an investigation is currently underway. In the meantime, Jones is meeting with students to try to figure out ways to rectify the situation as well as making sure their concerns regarding racial issues on the college campus are attended to.
“In society we certainly see examples, not only in parties but in the media and how people present themselves; it’s certainly not a problem unique to Greek Life or our campus,” said Jones. “The incident in question was not only racially offensive, but degrading to women in general, and the most restorative way to move forward is to provide education on why this is not acceptable.”
Theta Xi president Eric Quang penned a written statement, saying that the event was not the result of any sort of vote or official endorsement.
“I would like to apologize to all of the members of our student body, including those of all ethnicities, and to all women, for our extraordinary lack of consideration, and lapse in judgment,” said Quang in the statement.
Theta Xi’s national office is also investigating the matter, and has suspended the University of Michigan chapter from participating in social events.