Letter of Concern, written on 2/9/15

To Whom It May Concern,

We have recently learned about Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI)’s “Western-Themed” party, where people who were invited to attend were told it was a "border patrol" party and were seen wearing sombreros, ponchos, and other "traditional Mexican" paraphernalia. Although "the chapter did not endorse insensitivity," this, unfortunately, is not the first, nor the second time, similar “themed” parties have been hosted by student organizations at The University of Texas at Austin.

On September 25, 2012, a Letter of Concern was written in response to Alpha Tau Omega and their attempt to host a "Crossing the Border" party. A few days prior, Zeta Tau Alpha and Delta Delta Delta had their annual “Zeta-Tri Delt Fiesta Party” where students were also seen dressed in ponchos and sombreros, as well as shirts that read “illegal” and/or “border patrol.” These events are not only seen as offensive to members of the Latino community because they present negative and hurtful stereotypes, but they degrade members of other communities as well. In addition, Texas Tribe held a party named "Cowboys and Indians" where they dressed up as Native Americans and were seen making offensive hand gestures and engaging in harmful stereotypes. We do recognize that these are not the only organizations on campus who have planned these events, but they are some of the ones who received the most publicity. Moreover, the members of these organizations are supposed to be setting the standard for their new members, as well as what members of other organizations consider acceptable.

Just as Alpha Tau Omega, Zeta Tau Alpha, Delta Delta Delta and Texas Tribe began to take ownership for their actions, Phi Gamma Delta must take the lead in setting a positive and inclusive atmosphere by moving away from throwing these types of themed parties. Instead, they should focus on events that celebrate the richness and diversity of the student body rather than single out particular groups for ridicule.

We have created this petition in order to express our concern at the reoccurrence of these themed parties and to ask for your support in denouncing these parties. Moreover, it is our goal that The University of Texas at Austin actually implement proper repercussions for organizations who choose to partake in such activities that promote the ridicule of different cultures. There has to be an end to these parties.

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    Organizations in Support:

    Latino Community Affairs (Author) ------------------------------- ACACIA Acts of Kindness Afrikan American Affairs Allan Hancock College Latino Affairs Council alpha Kappa Delta Phi Alpha Phi Omega Alpha Psi Lambda Asian Student Organization CCC Beta Chi Theta National Fraternity, Incorporated - Eta Chapter Beta Kappa Gamma Center for Asian American Studies CSE Graduate Student Council Dartmouth College - La Alianza Latina Delta Alpha Omega Multicultural Fraternity, Incorporated Delta Lambda Phi Diamond Way Buddhism Hermandad de Sigma Iota Alpha, Inc. Hermandad de Sigma Iota Alpha, Incorporada - Chi Chapter Hispanic Health Professions Organization Hispanic Undergraduate Law Review Hispanic Women's Network of Texas International Socialist Organization Kappa Delta Chi La Asociación Latina - Cornell University La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc. - Beta Mu Chapter Labyrinth Progressive Student Ministry Lakes College England Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Incorporated Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Incorporated - UC Irvine Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity Incorporated - Alpha Eta Chapter Latino Fellowship - Intervarsity LEADATX Longhorn Honeys Longhorn LULAC LULAC - Utah LULAC District 12 & El Concilio Mexican-American Neighborhoods East Austin LULAC District 15 MEChA de Lane Community College Minorities in Advertising Minority Women Pursuing Law Mount Holyoke College - Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (MEChA) Naadasudha National Council of Hispano Deaf and Hard of Hearing Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity - Alpha Xi Chapter Queer People of Color and Allies Round About Players Sam Houston State University- International Hispanic Association Sigma Delta Lambda Sorority, Incorporated Sigma Lambda Alpha Sorority, Incorporated Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity, Inc. - Eta Alpha Chapter Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity, Inc. - Mu Delta Chapter Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity, Inc. - Sigma Beta Chapter Sigma Lambda Beta International Fraternity, Inc. - UT Dallas Colony Sigma Lambda Gamma National Sorority, Incorporated - Pi Chapter SMC Latino Student Union South Texas East Coasters Student African American Brotherhood Students for Equity and Diversity Students for Stateless Society Texas Darlins Texas Forensics Union Individual Events Team Texas Graduate Student Diversity Texas Latino Council of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Texas Track & Field Texas Women's Rugby The National Society of Black Engineers The Ohio State University — Latino Student Association The Plate Project Theta Chi Fraternity TTU Students in Support of The World Food Programme UMOJA United Students Against Sweatshops Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México University Leadership Initiative University of Arizona - Miss Native American University of Houston - Hispanic Student Association- Graduate College of Social Work University of Houston - MAES: Latinos in Science and Engineering University of Maryland - Asian American Student Union University of Maryland - Political Latinx United for Movement and Action in Society (P.L.U.M.A.S.) University of Northern Iowa - Hispanic Latino Student Union UT Institute of Latin American Studies Student Association (ILASSA) UT Latino-Jewsih Student Coalition UT National Press Photographers Association Women In Science Young Americans for Liberty
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