Administrators responded to concern over a “Gangsters and Golfers” mixer between the Alpha Eta Chapter of the Sigma Pi Fraternity and the Beta Lambda Chapter of the Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority, as well as a Phi Beta chapter of Kappa Delta Rho’s “War of Northern Aggression” party.
College of William and Mary President Taylor Reveley released a statement regarding the events.
“It is very disappointing that a number of students participated in parties over the past week that included racially insensitive themes and costumes,” Reveley said in an official statement. “When it comes to cultural understanding and civility on campus, we have more work to do. I hope and expect that we will proceed to do it along the lines sketched in my message to the campus last December. Student Affairs staff and others in the administration are talking with everyone involved with last week’s parties. It is important that we have direct, candid conversations about the damage done. A William & Mary community in which all are welcome and respected is crucially important.”
Vice President for Student Affairs Ginger Ambler ’88 Ph.D. ’06 also released a statement on the incidents.
“Listening to our MLK speaker last night, I recognized that his message applies not just to our nation and to realizing the highest ideals of American democracy, but also, it applies more immediately, to us — to William & Mary and to the beloved community we dream of creating in our own time and place,” Ambler said in a statement. “In the context of last weekend’s student organization parties that featured racist costumes and offensive themes, I find myself returning to Dr. Hill’s call to ‘deep listening.’ When it comes to addressing difficult and painful social issues, there is indeed an abundance of talking and a dearth of deep listening. Meaningful dialogue requires both. My hope is that we each take seriously Dr. Hill’s challenge to talk less and listen more.”
After multiple attempts to contact the Interfraternity Council, the Alpha Eta Chapter of the Sigma Pi Fraternity, the Beta Lambda Chapter of the Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority and the Phi Beta chapter of Kappa Delta Rho, all have declined to comment. The Panhellenic Council, however, responded.
“Unfortunately, Panhellenic Executive members were unable to attend the [‘The Dream: Post-Ferguson’] event last night due to the fact that we were in our standing weekly Executive Board meeting,” President of Panhellenic Council Blair Frazier ’15 said. “But because we understand the seriousness of this issue, we devoted our meeting time to brainstorming ways to move our community forward and create a more inclusive environment.”
This follows the apology released by Sigma Pi Executive Director Michael Ayalon.
Additionally, Executive Director of Kappa Delta Rho National Joseph Rosenberg placed the chapter on social suspension. Kappa Alpha Theta’s national directors have taken no action other than an investigation.