Duke frat suspended over Asian-themed 'racist rager' party

Posted By KATE STANTON, UPI.com   |   Feb. 7, 2013 at 12:18 PM   |   Comments

Feb. 7 (UPI) -- Duke University students are protesting an Asian-themed frat party, dubbed a "racist rager," to which Kappa Sigma brothers and partygoers wore stereotypical cone hats, sumo wrestler outfits and geisha robes last Friday, according to CBS News.

Students from the school's Asian American Alliance posted fliers of party's original email invitation all over campus on Tuesday, which featured "Team America's" Kim Jong Il character and intentionally misspelled words, alongside photos of the parties costumed attendees.

"Herro Nice Duke Peopre," the invite read. "We look forward to having Mi, Yu, You, and Yo Friends over for some sake. Chank you."

After students reported the original email to the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, Kappa Sigma changed the name of the party to "International Relations: A Celebration of All Cultures and the Diversity of Duke," a decision which apparently had no bearing on the wardrobe choices of the partygoers, as seen in photos posted to Facebook.

According to the Duke Chronicle, the fraternity's parent organization suspended the chapter Wednesday pending an investigation. Kappa Sigma President Luke Keohane issued this statement:

Upon learning of the deeply damaging effects of our email to our fellow students, we should have completely canceled the aforementioned party.The Duke Community in which we exist is one that we see too often as divided, and while our actions have brought attention to and widened that divide, it is our sincere intention to work to contribute to a United Duke.

Duke's Asian American Alliance and other students protested on campus Wednesday. After the controversy garnered national media attention, a more formal march in support of "inclusive Duke" is planned for Thursday:

The events of the past week have deeply hurt students in our community. In previous incidents, campus sentiment has devolved to us-against-them mentalities. Tomorrow we won't use our platform to alienate, to provide more fodder for stereotypes about Duke, or to trivialize any person's experience. Instead we will use this opportunity to spread an awareness of why the events of the past week were hurtful and to establish a concrete plan for how our community can move forward from these events.

More than 900 people said they would attend.

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