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A UT Fraternity Threw Another Racist Party

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A fraternity at UT is having a PR nightmare after throwing a party guests say was “border-patrol themed,” according to a report from The Daily Texan.

Phi Gamma Delta, or Texas Fiji, threw the party at their mansion-esque chapter house, just north of the University campus, on Saturday night. According to Julia Brouillette’s article in the Texan, guests showed up wearing “construction gear, ponchos, and sombreros.” Others wore hard hats and nametags labeled “Jefe” and “Pablo Sanchez.” Brouillette also writes that the bar was painted to look like the Mexican flag, with the shape of Texas in the middle.

Based on what Andrew Campbell, the chapter’s current president, said to The Daily Texan, it was all just a big misunderstanding! Texas Fiji members were told in an email before the party that the theme was Western, “not south of the border or anything Mexican related.” Why an email memo clarifying that the theme is definitely not racist was necessary is a little unclear, but hey, you do you, Campbell.

Texas fraternities and sororities are kind of notorious for throwing “border crossing” or “fiesta-themed” parties. Back in September 2012, the UT chapter of Alpha Tau Omega cancelled it’s “Fiestau” party after students reacted negatively to a planned event that involved guests crossing an obstacle, meant to represent the U.S.-Mexico border. That same month, two UT sororities, Delta Delta Delta and Zeta Tau Alpha, threw a joint “fiesta-themed” party, where guests showed up wearing ponchos, sombreros, and fake mustaches. In 2014 Gawker reported that Texas Tech’s chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha allegedly threw a “border-patrol bash.”

University officials have made it clear that racism, bias, and intolerance are unacceptable, and according to a post uploaded yesterday to UT’s official Tumblr account, officials with the Campus Climate Response Team are investigating complaints related to Saturday’s Fiji party.

Included in that Tumblr post is a handy two-page guide, provided by the dean of students, for planning your next appropriately themed party. The guide is meant to be used by sororities and fraternities, but it has some great advice for anyone planning a theme party in the future. Some appropriate themes listed in the guide include pajama jam (NO skimpy lingerie), Viva Las Vegas, Once Upon A Time (fairytales), and Outer Space/Aliens.

Some of the inappropriate themes include Ghetto Fabulous/”Urban”/G’d Up, Golf Pros and Tennis Hos (just say NO to anything involving the word “ho”), Gnarly on a Harley, Headmasters and Schoolgirls, South of the Border/Fiesta, and Lingerie (a.k.a., let’s get women to wear as little as possible)—basically nothing that could possibly encourage racist or sexist attire.

The guide urges you, as you’re planning your next themed event, to ask yourself a few simple questions to avoid winding up in national headlines as Texas Fiji did. Take a few minutes to pause and consider whether or not your theme relies “on stereotypes of certain groups or encourages offensive costumes,” and most importantly, if you would “be willing to send photos of your event to your parents, your national office, the campus newspaper, or campus administrators.”

Photo by Julia Brouillette

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  • Redacted

    Shut down the party but leave the border wide open

  • Michael Bilger

    Oh gosh more soccer mom news! Who cares about this? NO ONE except for the PC Police. TM focus on our politics and culture not 21 year old drunken party ideas. Leave this journalism to the UT Student paper where it belongs – Michael Bilger (guest signature) native Texan – avid reader

    • Codewizard

      TM has been heading down the toilet for decades. The left-wing-nuts who write for TM just can’t help themselves. They have to trot out the holier-than-thou articles. It’s how they feel good about themselves. They even think it’s clever.

  • Toby Miller

    How was a costume party racist?

  • Colorado_Kool_Aid

    are Mexican food restaurants with decorations going to be labeled racist next?

  • westtexaspartygirl

    How is Gnarly on a Harley bad exactly. Also, not stupid, and I do understand that was a minor part of the article, lol

  • Nana Cheshire

    Get over yourself Texas Monthly and find something noteworthy to write about.

    • Blue Dogs

      Let the fraternities & sororities at UT do whatever they want!

  • josh

    Yeah TM, UT frats and sororities being bigot’s are nothing new or newsworthy. Can we please move on to something more important, like spring football.

    • jimmyd787

      something important like “you can’t make a noun plural by adding an apostrophe and a s”

  • Larry youngblood

    Why is it in todays society everyone worries about what the other person is doing? I reality it’s just a party. If we had cameras and phones earlier our parents and grandparents would be in worse trouble than some of the youth today. Yes somethings might be out of line but again its a party, and if someone doesnt like the theme then they can LEAVE.

    • Codewizard

      Because to Democrats (aka Progressives, liberals) they have to create victims or they can’t get elected. They are the “great white hope” for the brown, black, and yellow man.

  • SO

    Hannah Smothers is apparently a terrible reporter trying to incite racism where there is none

    • Codewizard

      She’s just a typical liberal do-gooder with little real world common sense. Just read her other articles. They read like a J-school student who minored in Women’s Studies wrote them.

  • WhitePanchoJabronBillQi

    It’s not racist to throw a border party! And what is this crap about a “western” themed party? Who were the first Cowboys? Mexicans!!!!! Sheeple please. Infowars.com

  • Rudytejano Pena

    With all due respects those who believe the first cowboys
    were Mexican, historically that’s incorrect.
    Of course this is what we are taught in school, college and university.
    Here are some historical Texas facts from our Texas historical archives.

    The province of Tejas under New Spain, existed long before
    the country of Mexico was established in 1824, Along with the Spanish
    colonizers approximately around 1650’s, the the Tejanos began to emerge, evolve
    and develop here in Tejas.

    It was the Tejano vaqueros, along with the Spanish, that
    were conducting cattle drives. It was
    the Tejano vaqueros, under the leadership of General Galvez, who drove herds of
    cattle to Louisiana and joined the struggle against the British, during the
    American Revolution to assist George Washington’s army.

    This is not make believe, it’s part of Tejas, Tejano
    History, that has been excluded to accommodate the Mexican and the
    Mexican-American studies. Most of you must be wondering or questioning, is this
    true and if It is, why have we been kept in the dark. Well check it out and
    draw your own conclusions. If you are a Tejano or Tejana, but did not know it,
    now you know and it’s up to you to help others learn about our Tejano
    ethnicity, identity, culture, heritage and our unique Tejas/Texas History.

    Let’s promote our own U.S., Texas pride and true colors
    instead of being critical of foreigners, who choose to disrespect our nation by
    exhibiting the colors and customs of the country, they chose to leave behind.
    Let’s make sure our schools, colleges and Universities leaders take
    responsibility and act accordingly to dissuade all those, who are here legally
    or illegally to show respect for our nations way of life or face the


    [email protected]

    • Jed

      and tejano vaqueros in the 17th and 18th centuries were members of what nation?

      not texas.

      • Codewizard

        Jed, maybe next time you will read the text BEFORE you make an ass of yourself, err I mean comment.

      • Rudytejano Pena

        Jed, I have been out of pocket for some time, please excuse me for not responding sooner. Actually the early Tejano vaqueros, as I explained were part of and served under New Spain, at “La provincia De Tejas De La
        Nueva Espana” Tejanos were part of the Tejas (Texas) New Spain Spanish Province. You are correct Tejas was not a nation at that time. I hope this helps you.

  • Notsuoh

    Joanne Herring would be chased out of town if she were still throwing wild parties in today’s words-can-kill-me world.

  • Jacob

    I’m sending my kids to Rice, A&M, or Harvard. What pathetic morality that school promotes.

    • Codewizard

      Why you would send your kids to Harvard is beyond me. You think Harvard is any different from UT?

      Rice had a “conservative” as their grad speaker in 2012 (i think) who was/is a complete phony. They knew it, too. They just wanted to look like they were open minded.

      They love the economic justice BS at Rice, and Harvard.

  • e jerry powell

    I’m so old I can still remember the Texas Tech ΠΚΑ/Fashion Board “Party in the Projects” mixer the same year TTU elected its first black Homecoming Queen.

    Privileged young white people still don’t get it, do they? DON’T TAKE PICTURES.

    In short, no surprises here.

  • Madrigalian

    As an American citizen I fully support your right to be offended.

    • e jerry powell

      Oh, I’ll go you one better: I fully support their right to culturally insensitive idiocy, as long as they don’t try hiding behind the First Amendment in pathetic attempts to deflect negative consequences (more intended to mean blowback than “punishment,” because the University is limited in the kinds of sanctions they can impose for conduct that isn’t criminal), because that won’t work and believing that it can is even dumber.

      • Madrigalian

        I have no problem with community ‘blowback’ or consequences of social fallout. That’s the risk one takes by being ‘out there’. But it does indeed remain a First Amendment issue and the school has no business even trying to “punish” anyone for expressing themselves peacefully. Moreover, your right to be offended does not trump another person’s right to say or be offensive. When free speech is ‘punished’ by authority (any authority) for it’s perceived offensive nature, it is no longer, by definition, ‘free’ speech.

        • e jerry powell

          Philosophically, okay, but you’re only partly right from a legal standpoint. The First Amendment affords no protection of free speech from any entity other than the government (or, importantly in the case of public universities, agencies thereof). Had this happened at, say, Baylor or Southern Methodist, the school could have punished the fraternity with impunity. Private schools can — and do — legally establish and enforce speech/conduct codes that apply to students, faculty and staff.

          • Madrigalian

            I don’t disagree. They do have that right. It’s still however a 1st amendment issue. Just one you already chose to abdicate when you chose to attend a private school.

          • e jerry powell

            Exactly. The impression that I’m getting, though — one that you may not at all intend, in which case I apologize for misinterpreting — is that First Amendment protections are absolute — i.e. I can say what I want wherever I want to and nobody else can do anything about it — which just isn’t the case, because, again, the First Amandment. Entities within the private sector — individuals and formal aggregates thereof, companies, corporations, and other types of organizations — are in no way bound to permit free expression with which they do not agree and are allowed to suppress it — or not — at will, as a matter of free association (thinking in terms of something as simple as employment termination over statements or images posted on social media).

            ETA: Okay, looking at my own circuitous argument: First Amendment: The government can’t penalize you for expressing yourself. As far as non-government goes, free expression is and should be discretionary; having an opinion or holding a particular belief is one thing, and publicly expressing it is something else altogether, and is not to be taken lightly, as though there were no obligation to endure negative consequences from any sector for any cause or none at all.

  • jk

    Coming up in the next TM issue: second-graders sent to reform school after being caught playing Cowboys and “Indians”!

    Question: Is it okay to host a white trash-themed party — cheap beer, Twinkies, etc. — if you *are* white and trashy?

  • Christopher A. Sirakowski

    You people are correct. These subsidized shit bags should not be featured in this student publication. These kids that come from affluent families will soon have a place in politics that their parents have bought for them. Their juvenile, small minded, racist policies will eventually hurt thousands of citizens with their bigotry. Not only should their names be taken out of the press, but their bodies should be dragged out of their frat houses as they have the living shit kicked out of them. If white privilege refuses to die on its own, kill it.

  • Fantasy Maker

    Amazing how some people get so bent out of shape over trivial things yet are complete clueless about the sieve that is the southern border.

    • CodeQAChecker

      @fantasymaker:disqus – I agree! Everything south of West Virginia should be sealed off and quarantined!

  • Codewizard

    I can’t wait to hear about all the “racist” parties that happen on Cinco de Mayo.

    Oh wait, it’s racist of me to notice it’s NOT an American holiday, and it’s a day that celebrates Mexico.

    OK, what about on St. Patrick’s day? That’s not racist to say … is it? Oops Religious holiday, that must be eradicated. It’s bigoted to be a Christian these days.

    And what about Texas Independence Day? Isn’t that racist, too? Think about it. The “white man” surely won because he victimized the “brown man” somehow.

    • CodeQAChecker

      Codewizard, Cinco De Mayo is an American holiday! Mexicans don’t celebrate it! It only celebrated in the United States and mostly in the south.

  • Juan Nabers

    This is so dumb, no one cares.

  • Sean Ridley

    This just in Animal House threw a toga party and romans got sand in their vaginas. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18eaNSxhK5c

  • seth

    lol and wow at codewizard who seems to have nothing else to do but comment on articles and make me feel uncomfortable and embarrassed for him (probably a man)

  • The TRUTH

    Telling them to go as aliens is racist against aliens and shows ignorance to their culture/ignorance to their appearances (since you don’t dress how REAL aliens look). Viva las Vegas will get shut down by the entire school- as it encourages gambling, prositituion and drugs. A fairy tale theme encourages pedophilia because most women at college parties dress in a promiscuous manner to attract males, and fairy tales are most readily associated with children.

    SERIOUSLY?! Just quit it already. You may have an issue with these groups for their ideas. Here’s something you may already know- if you have an issue with this, you will have issues with people your entire life. Probably every single day- as you find the behaviour of other humans unnacceptable.

    REALLY though, I am glad you find college party themes unacceptable but still find 1000’s of starvation-related DAILY deaths in North Korea as acceptable. Great for you Texans rallying behind this oh-so-righteous cause of college morality.