Penn State Students for a Democratic Society and Young Democratic Socialist is a collective of the student left committed to challenging systems of oppression on our campus and in our community by means of direct action and participatory democracy.
We are contacting you today to address a photo that has surfaced in our community recently. The photo features sisters of the Chi Omega Nu Gamma chapter. These Penn State students are wearing sombreros and fake black moustaches, donning multi-colored serapes, and holding maracas. Additionally, the students are seen holding two signs: one reads “Will mow lawn for weed and beer” and the other, “I don’t cut grass I smoke it.” This display is absolutely racist and it perpetuates stereotypes about Mexicans, Latinos and Hispanics that are untrue.
We believe that sororities are an example of the student community and at all times should be committed to social responsibility. Our university must be presented in the most positive light. As with previous issues of controversy, SDS and YDS believes the Penn State administration has done a poor job of properly addressing the situation. When our university is already in a vulnerable position after the Sandusky child rape scandal that broke last Fall, it is even more reprehensible that a respected sorority on campus would allow it’s sisters to display such an irrefutable display of racism. The photo in question has been circulated widely on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr where it received over 700 notes within less than 24 hours.
Chi Omega Nu Gamma is not the first chapter of the Greek system to channel racial epithets in themed parties, nor will they be the last. In theory college is a place where young people go to broaden their minds to different ideas but the reality tells us a different story. The existence of these parties is evidence to show that the United States is far from achieving a post-racial society. SDS and YDS is asking you to help us circulate this story and the photo so that we can pressure the University to make the correct judgement in handling racial insensitivity on campus.
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If you would like more information on this topic please contact Aly Motah at 562-237-0159 or email Aly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, you can contact Luis Caza at 973-393-3865 and email@example.com.