Fraternity Falls Into National Trend: Guilty of Racist Party?

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During the first week of the spring semester, sisters of McDaniel’s Phi Sigma Sigma sorority and the Phi Delta Theta fraternity assembled in the Phi Delta Theta’s off-campus house near the end of Pennsylvania Avenue for an evening of music and drinking. The event was not a school-sanctioned social, but simply a weekend party.

The theme was “CMT versus BET,” or Country Music Television versus Black Entertainment Television. While the Phi Sigma Sigma sisters donned cut-off shorts, plaid shirts tied in the front, and boots, the brothers of Phi Delt wore baggy clothing, chains, and baseball hats turned backward.

While McDaniel’s Phi Delta Theta fraternity was not officially under investigation late last month for an inappropriately-themed party, the Office of Student Engagement did talk to the organization about the issues insensitive themes raise.

Also in January, approximately a week before the “CMT/BET” party, a fraternity of Arizona State University made national headlines for hosting a Martin Luther King Jr.-themed party. Pictures from the Tau Kappa Epsilon party posted on social media sites featured baggy clothes, gang signs, hollowed out watermelon cups, and hashtags like “blackoutformlk.” ASU responded by expelling the fraternity, but the community and local civil rights leaders still called for the expulsion of the students responsible for planning the social.

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident; 2013 was wrought with similar headlines. From Duke University’s Asain-themed rager, “Herro Nice Duke Peopre,” to California Polytechnic State University’s “Colonial Bros and Nava-hos,” the only thing that seems to change about the story is the school name and targeted racial minority. These themes also make light of child abuse and gender inequality with themes like “Pedophiles and Juveniles,” “Creepy Guys and Cutie Pies,” and “Presidents and Interns.”

In response to headlines connecting Greek life and social injustice, Dominic Seelig, President of McDaniel’s Phi Delta Theta chapter, responded, “Phi Delt is especially diverse. The people in my fraternity would never do that because they’d be offended first.”

While the party-goers may not have had malicious intentions, other campus organizations are not impressed. When asked, Jennifer Jimenez Maraña, Director of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, provided this statement: “Part of the mission of the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs (ODMA) is to develop programs and services to promote diversity awareness and understanding within the larger campus community. ODMA does not condone college-sponsored or college-related events that promote the reinforcement of stereotypes.”

The Black Student Union President, Serena Hueitt, expressed concerns that perhaps some of the fraternity brothers knew their theme was not politically correct, as the group did not complete paperwork through the Office of Student Engagement to be approved as an official Greek social. “The BSU is trying to change the way others view people of African-American descent,” Heuitt explained, “and dressing up seems to play into the stereotypes of people of African-American descent. I don’t think it’s right to do that.”

The Student Handbook clearly dictates the investigation process for individual students. However, there is no written investigation policy for organizations. The Handbook addresses Greek events alongside event and alcohol policies: “Greek organizations must meet with all social event policy guidelines in accordance with their respective governing council and all events must be registered in order to be considered sanctioned.”

Conduct issues concerning fraternities and sororities are otherwise investigated and handled on a case-by-case basis. Some instances may call for the complete discharge of an organization; others cases, like this one, mean an unofficial conversation between the administration and the group in question.

“Just because they’re looking into something doesn’t mean you’re in trouble,” Seelig explained, “We haven’t heard from Campo or the Office of Student Affairs—only the Office of Student Engagement.” The OSE could not comment, as this is an ongoing issue of student conduct. Phi Delt shared, however, that they did send an official statement relaying what they could about the party in question to the Director of Student Engagement, Christine Workman.

Seelig is adamant that his fraternity has not had any incidents like this in the past. They’d used the same party theme before, but without incident. The organization’s themes are more often, according to Seelig, a letter of the alphabet, formal attire, or sports-related.

The organization has discussed this issue and decided that they will not condone any theme that is even remotely close to insensitive. Seelig is well aware of his fraternity’s situation on campus, explaining, “There are only four frats on campus, so it’s not like you can hide. We’re always under scrutiny.”

It is undeniable that Greek organizations bring a lot to campus. They give back to the college and local communities through volunteer work and social events. As the school’s website explains, “The Fraternity and Sorority Community at McDaniel College has a long tradition of fostering student leadership and development…..Greek-letter organizations were founded on the ideals of scholarship, leadership, community service and friendship. McDaniel College’s eight Greek-letter organizations continue to hold these ideals today.”

In this stead, Phi Delta Theta and the Office of Student Engagement have discussed the possibility of a campaign or event to raise awareness about issues of intolerance. “We don’t promote negativity in our frat or on campus, for that matter,” concluded Seelig.

Even so, questions have been raised about what the college administration is doing to actively deter “everyday” intolerance of minority groups.

Editor’s Note: Phi Delta Theta is currently under investigation for this incident.

88 Comments on "Fraternity Falls Into National Trend: Guilty of Racist Party?"

  1. Ray Magini | March 5, 2014 at 12:28 pm |

    Must be careful to not wear a backwards baseball cap in future. Don’t want to be brought under investigation by the school.

  2. Anonymous | March 5, 2014 at 2:49 pm |

    This was a social theme not a human rights rally. Get over it. If anyone has ever watched a BET program or a Tyler Perry movie (both of which proudly promote African American stereotypes) Phi Delt would not be under investigation for this incident. We used to have the theme “GI Joes and Barbie Hoes”; good thing ROTC didn’t see that– could be offensive to America’s heroes…and Mattel.

    • TFA Teacher from McDaniel Class 2013 | March 6, 2014 at 5:02 pm |

      Is there a reason you believe that “Barbie Hoes” is not offensive to anyone?

      Also, there is fault in your logic: “[BET Program or a Tyler Perry Movie}proudly promote African American stereotypes].” Just because something else or someone else perpetuates judgments on race doesn’t mean it isn’t still wrong if you or someone else does it.

      • Oh, Sweetie. | March 6, 2014 at 6:06 pm |

        I’m sorry to have to be the one to tell you this, but Barbie isn’t a real person. She’s a doll. That’s like saying a Justice League party is offensive because it promotes stereotypes about superheroes. While superheroes are a minority group that are often stereotyped (Capes, masks, and underwear on the outside? Ridiculous.), it’s okay. Because – and here’s where things really get tricky, so pay close attention – they aren’t real. If you want to argue about parties with offensive stereotypes, stick to the ones that are real.

        • TFA Teacher from McDaniel Class 2013 | March 6, 2014 at 6:44 pm |

          Sorry, I should have specified. “Hoes….” attached to the word “Barbies” which are women….

          • The only women being referred to as “hoes” are the ones dressing up as Barbie at the parties. And really, have you seen the things Barbie wears? If you don’t want to be a “Barbie-Hoe” you don’t have to be. Don’t dress up as a promiscuous (a.k.a. typical) Barbie doll and don’t go to the party. If I had a Stupid People Party and told everyone to just show up as themselves, you wouldn’t show up if you didn’t want to be considered a stupid person. Just like with “Hoes”, the term “Stupid” is offensive to both anyone who showed up to the party and anyone who self-identifies as stupid. If you self-identify as something offensive or you go to a party of which the theme is demeaning to you, then that’s on you.

    • When the Wayan Brothers became White Chicks….America laughed their butts off. Not a racial party…just college students releasing some steam. There are bigger issues in the world. Look at the good these organizations do. It’s easy to look at the glass half empty when you are looking at it half full. Chill out people. I think Justin Bieber wears his hat backwards and his pants half down..,but wait he is white and there are African-American country singers…WHAAAAAAAAAAT? Get out!!!

  3. Doesn't even go here anymore | March 5, 2014 at 2:59 pm |

    Just in time for Black History Month! Good article. Many Greek orgs have a long history of exclusion and racism. Groups should go out of their way to prevent any semblance of racial stereotyping. To be fair to the chapters involved, I’m certain this isn’t the most racist social that has occurred on campus.

    Alternative social themes: Boats and strong women throughout history. Social Justice Greats. Supreme Court Justices.

    I’ve always wanted to see somebody in a sexy Ruth Bader Ginsburg costume make out with somebody dressed as a boat captain. Now that’s a party.

  4. A Fellow Greek | March 5, 2014 at 3:48 pm |

    Appropriate theme or not, chapter business is CHAPTER business-. There’s no reason to blast the current status of any organization all over the Internet–especially when any exact sanctions or consequences are unknown. So much of this article is vague and without concrete evidence (read: no quote or confirmation from OSE or Student Affairs).

  5. Yea Buddy | March 5, 2014 at 3:51 pm |

    Is it possible to make sure my tuition doesn’t go to the free press?

    • TFA Teacher from McDaniel Class 2013 | March 6, 2014 at 5:04 pm |

      Is it possible to make sure my tuition doesn’t go to McDaniel Fraternities who throw parties that perpetuate racist stereotypes?

  6. Free Press blows | March 5, 2014 at 4:04 pm |

    Yeah that’s it Free Press. Let’s write about something that happened in January and not worry about the fact that students were shot out last weekend. You stay classy, McDaniel.

    • You Don't Seem to Understand | March 6, 2014 at 9:08 pm |

      As someone who lives in Whiteford, please stop bringing this up.

      In the adult world, things take time. The Free Press is showing its mature journalism by not jumping to publish things before the facts have been verified.

      It’s the police department’s job to be on top of the shooting, not the Free Press’.

  7. Non Greek Student | March 5, 2014 at 4:14 pm |

    It is important that you get your facts right before you publish something like this. You are putting people on blast and listen to the wrong information that “faculty” tell you, without knowing the truth.

  8. Anonymous | March 5, 2014 at 5:13 pm |

    loving all the people saying more important things should be covered, like that’s a reason to completely ignore racism. let’s solve everything else first, right?

  9. Disappointed Reader | March 5, 2014 at 5:25 pm |

    As a journalism major myself, I’m strongly disappointed by this article. For one, there is absolutely no real attempt to eliminate bias. Secondly, very few credible sources were actually cited. Comparisons being drawn between a tv channel-themed social and a social using watermelon cups (which is blatantly racist) are completely out of line. What Ms. Hull clearly failed to address is the fact that those involved may not have been dressing to portray a stereotype of an African-American, but rather the stereotype of what’s on those television channels. Sadly, this seems to be a case of a journalist trying to make a name for herself by cashing in on a nation-wide sweep of reports against greek life instead of upholding her responsibility to report the full story.

  10. We don’t have a journalism major at McDaniel.

    • Disappointed Reader | March 5, 2014 at 6:59 pm |

      I was led here by the Baltimore Sun article, “Human”. But that does explain a lot looking at this article.

  11. This article change words that I kno were actually said by mr.seelig no fraternity member would ever identify their fraternity as a “frat.” Also this article is bias with no proof of any of these events from a credible source the racist ones in this situation might as we’ll be the author themself for bring race into a tv channel as if only certain races are allowed to watch them.

    • Embarrassed | March 6, 2014 at 7:09 pm |

      There were pictures posted on social media!! So this story was not bias! of course they are taken down now but greeks at McDaniel don’t know how to keep there unofficial greek themes parties to themselves. maybe you should get your facts straight.

  12. Disappointed reader | March 5, 2014 at 7:02 pm |

    Calling someone names does hurt especially when we throw out words like racist. Many throw this word around and don’t even know what it really means. Sure it is possible to spot a racist, but what if I told you assuming everything is racist just makes you racist yourself? Are you not creating the stereotype of a certain race by saying this certain culture does one thing differently than another? I could call you a racist but I won’t, because then I would be questioning your integrity. Let’s consider the definition of racism: “a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial difference produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.” Now go and tell the media that. But yet, how many of us TRUELY understand this definition when we call someone a racist? Do we really understand the seriousness of those labels? Or, are we simply indulging in destructive name-calling based on political correctness? It’s gone so far that political correctness has become a bigger problem than the problem it was intended to address

  13. This nonsense | March 5, 2014 at 7:04 pm |

    If you want to talk about racism what about when glar served fried chicken and watermelon for black history month.

  14. Anonymous | March 5, 2014 at 7:37 pm |

    Every single social organization has done this theme at least once, there is no reason that these two organizations should have been targeted. If you say that you’ve never been to a CMT vs BET party or at least never heard of this before this poorly written article was published, I straight up don’t believe you.

    • Anonymous | March 6, 2014 at 7:25 pm |

      do you live in a frathouse? because no, i have never been to a “CMT vs BET” party and I live in a town where there are straight up KKK rallies.

    • You Don't Seem to Understand | March 6, 2014 at 9:11 pm |

      The fact that you think the popularity of these events makes them okay worries me.

      I don’t think the party was racist, I think it was careless. No one had malicious intent, but stereotypes are not harmless. As adults about to enter a less forgiving world, this should be a big lesson to those involved and people like you who think that popular means acceptable.

  15. Anonymous | March 5, 2014 at 7:41 pm |

    I feel that in today’s society, many actions are easily perceived as racist and offensive. Yes, for one to think the participants of this party dressed as certain races and followed stereotypes would allude to racism. However, because of the musical connotation in the theme, who is to say that the participants were not simply dressing as the musical genres portrayed? Just because you are on CMT channel does not mean you are white. If we want to get technical, Darius Rucker is a country star who is African American. Again, it is all about the perceptions of the viewers. But to compare this event to the clearly racist events that took place at ASU is beyond ridiculous. Dressing like musical genres is in no way comparable to the awful stereotypes portrayed to “celebrate” MLK Jr. Once again, race is socially created and thus this claims of racism are also socially created as well. If it has been brought to the organizations’ attention that it was offensive, I am sure it is being handled and the opinions of others is completely unnecessary and quite frankly, invalid.

  16. Random White Guy | March 5, 2014 at 7:53 pm |

    White people get so salty when they are called racists. Obviously, we don’t have to be part of the KKK to be racist. Not recognizing that a party like that could be seen as insensitive is part of the problem. And “frat” guys have constantly referred to themselves as frats. Frankly, I’ve seen more destruction brought to campus by frats than I have seen anything constructive done by them.

  17. A Bothered Reader. | March 5, 2014 at 8:07 pm |

    As an African-American, I actually don’t find the idea of this party to be “racist”. Yes, it does go into stereotypes, but if you look outside your dorm room window, you see Caucasians and Afrian-Americans both dressing with baggy clothing, pants below the knees, etc. And a lot of African-American’s play into their own stereotype for humour; just look at comedians and actors. If every one got offended every time they were put into a stereotype, no one would get anywhere. I mostly find this a case of being over sensitive. And honestly, when I was on facebook and read “racist party” I thought of something much, much worse.

    • dude come on | March 5, 2014 at 11:36 pm |

      No, you’re not.

    • Embarrassed | March 6, 2014 at 7:05 pm |

      Both races have a reason to be offended not just one race because its embarrassing when something so silly gets out to mainstream media that makes greek life and mcdaniel insensitive to racial sterotypes whether the party meant to be offensive or not its being labeled as wrong.

  18. Concerned | March 5, 2014 at 8:46 pm |

    It is interesting to read comments that indict Ms. Hull; they assume they know her position and her motivations, charge her with publishing false facts, and insinuate that her work is libelous towards the image of Phi Delta Theta and those integral personages in the situation. Have these authors spoken to Ms. Hull to determine her motivations? Have these authors gathered more comprehensive knowledge of the situation as they argue Ms. Hull has not done? They argue for credible sources and accurate facts, yet offer no suggestions of people to talk to or facts that would legitimize the argument. Constructive criticism seems to be absent from these comments whose authors claim they want ‘better journalism.’ Publishing constructive criticism will serve readers, the Free Press staff, and Ms. Hull far better and much more fairly as opposed to coming off as brash and accusatory- at least, this is one reader’s opinion. Perhaps citing those credible sources you so adamantly wish for, or suggesting where to find the facts you so strongly call for would help Ms. Hull and the Free Press staff improve, if that is what you think needs to happen.Yet, I do not see this help. I wonder, is the purpose of these authors to help or hurt the situation?

    In respect to the content of the article, I must ask why the issue of BET representation is the only problem. To cite Jennifer Jimenez Maraña, ODMA director, as her words are used in the text, “Part of the mission of the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs (ODMA) is to develop programs and services to promote diversity awareness and understanding within the larger campus community. ODMA does not condone college-sponsored or college-related events that promote the reinforcement of stereotypes.” According to this statement, ODMA does not support or tolerate the “reinforcement” of stereotypes. I inquisitively and un-pointedly address the Free Press and Ms. Hull: Why are we not concerned, in this article explicitly, with the equally arguable offensive “reinforcement” of the CMT stereotype? CMT represents a community of people as well, and was portrayed and acted out in a stereotypical way in reasonably the same manner. Why are we picking issues to polarize and sensationalize?

    I am not making the argument, as some commentators have suggested previously, that race tensions are not issues that need to be mediated and improved. I hope that the tone of my argument and comments portrays my desire for respect, understanding, and open communication to repair tensions- a desire that translates to race intolerance and insensitivity. According to Ms. Hull’s source for an official statement, the problem isn’t about race, specifically, but about the principle behind the party theme that acted out stereotypes. Therefore, I am speaking in terms of stereotypes, not race. CMT culture is a stereotype: Cut off shorts and plaid shirts tied in the front (presumably to show skin) insinuate visual rhetoric that constitutes an image of CMT culture and the community that identifies and associates with CMT. Why are these stereotypes not condemned, or even given mention, by the article or the commenters here? If we want to criticize with an attitude of objectivity or enlightenment, I suggest we consider all aspects and parties that may be involved in such a sensitive predicament. I would hope that Ms. Hull and/or the authors on this comment thread do not mean to imply, by exclusion of an entire HALF of the story, that the other community of people affected by the CMT label do not have feelings or sensitivities to stereotypes equal to those individuals that identify with the BET culture presented by the party theme.

    Also, thank you “A Bothered Reader” for your insight, I particularly like your comments.

  19. Rachel Winchester | March 5, 2014 at 9:16 pm |

    I think that the fact that there is a question mark in the title shows that this topic is up for debate. I think Sarah articulated this piece of news very well with good support and brought up a good question we should be asking ourselves on campus, is this kind of behavior offensive?

    • You Don't Seem to Understand | March 6, 2014 at 9:18 pm |

      Ignore my name, I merely forgot to change it at the start of my commenting and now it’s the only tag of identifying my comments.
      Anyway, thanks for this. I wanted to articulate the same idea: that “country” people do not wear such things…hardly ever. I come from a rural town, and I guarantee that some girls there would be offended at the thought of the Daisy Duke stereotype representing their way of life.

  20. Let’s all get along.

  21. Greek Alumni | March 5, 2014 at 10:17 pm |

    This is why no alumni will ever donate. The administration goes out of its way to target Greeks. The lovely director of diversity made it a point to talk about white privilege when I was in peer mentor training, so why aren’t we more sensitive to ALL ethnicities and not just the minorities? Is t that what EQUALITY is? McDaniel is a running joke.

    • Itinerant History Major | March 6, 2014 at 7:01 pm |

      Greek Alumni:

      I’m a little puzzled by your questioning of why we can’t be “more sensitive to ALL ethnicities and not just the minorities”. Generally speaking, white Americans have not been subject to the kind of institutionalized violence and discrimination that ethnic minorities, particularly African-Americans (due to the unique legacy of slavery that America has), have experienced. Should people be sensitive about not reinforcing stereotypes regardless of ethnicity? Yes. But racially or ethnically based stereotypes need to be addressed with particular care, *especially* those revolving around African-Americans, because of that unique historical legacy.

      Equality, by American standards, is an equality of opportunity: allowing everyone the same chances, to do with what they will. And historically speaking, the African-American community has not been provided that. Most credible modern scholarship surrounding the Reconstruction will provide all the evidence you need for that. (If you want sources, I’d start with Eric Foner.) Because of our unique societal legacies, we do have to be extra-sensitive to that. White Americans (myself included) have more institutionalized benefits because of that history. Anyone interested in achieving equality should be far more concerned with the disadvantages that minorities face than “being sensitive to… ethnicities… [that are] not… minorities”.

  22. Did the author of the article mention that both African American and Caucasian students attended this party? Obviously if either group thought the theme was racist they certainly would not have attended.

    • You Don't Seem to Understand | March 6, 2014 at 9:22 pm |

      That’s easy to say, and easy to think.
      But it’s not necessarily true.

      There are a multitude of factors, including peer pressure, a desire to fit in, a desire to not want to cause trouble, etc. that would cause someone not actually comfortable with this idea to go along with it.
      The situation has a large affect on human behavior. You can’t make such assumptions so readily.

  23. You can say let’s all get along as much as you want and defend Sarah’s biased writing as much as you but when you wrote one article that has the potential to destroy and shut down two great Greek organizations it is going to draw negative feedback. This article just so happen to be poorly written and lack evidence at the same time so something had to be said. And if her motive wasn’t to get this seen by the Baltimore Sun why did she comment on her own article posted by them asking to give her credit for what she wrote.

    • Racial? Or musical? | March 5, 2014 at 11:00 pm |

      Obviously, I disagree with the article overall. However, there’s nothing wrong with her asking to get credit for what she wrote. That’s just basic professionalism in journalism. Even if I don’t like the article, credit is due.

    • Maria Mercurio | March 6, 2014 at 11:30 am |

      Sarah did not ask for credit, I asked them to give it. Professional journalists should know better.

    • Embarrassed | March 6, 2014 at 6:57 pm |

      sarah didn’t pull this story from no where there was tons of evidence like SOCIAL MEDIA! its a beautiful thing social media and on social media is pictures lots of pictures of the party and not only where there pictures non-greek students some not all knew about the party because they are friends with greeks or here through about the party through other people. This is a small campus so there are lots of people to interview about the issue I’m just glad they were smart enough not to post pictures with alcohol because there is a 90% chance it was served there too. Lets get real here its 2014 and social media tells all.

  24. Racial? Or musical? | March 5, 2014 at 10:56 pm |

    I don’t think it’s fair to say that this party is similar to the others described by the article in it’s use of a “targeted racial minority.” Run through this with me. If this party targeted a racial minority, meaning the portrayal of African American stereotypes through the use of the ‘BET clothing styles’, then that implies that the ‘CMT clothing styles’ portrayed a Caucasian stereotype. Now, I’m fairly certain that no one of any racial minority in the sorority mentioned would have been excluded from dressing as the presumed Caucasian stereotype. Are they racists for dressing up as a presumed Caucasian stereotype since they don’t belong to that racial group? Or is it only the people who dressed up as the presumed African American stereotype (and don’t belong to that racial group) that are considered racists?

    If anything, I think the part of this situation that most strikes me as racist is that the article automatically assumes that the Country music group is exclusive to Caucasians only and that the Rap music group is exclusive to African Americans. I can recognize the potential for an argument to be made about the history of racial exclusivity that occurs within the portrayed music groups. Historically, African Americans have had little presence or perhaps fame/success in the field of Country music. It is an unfortunate reality that Caucasians have also had little presence/fame/success in the field of Rap music. The latter case is often of little note because White privilege far exceeds White discrimination in our society. However, there have been several cases in the past in which BET has specifically excluded Caucasian artists from the Rap/Hip-Hop music scene, the most recent of any note having been Canadian Rap artist Corey Charron.

    The most valid argument that could be made for the problematic nature of this party is that it pitted two music groups against each other that have historically given greater primacy to one racial group in particular for each, two racial groups that have been pitted against each other in the past. However, as this party was not racially exclusive in any way, I think it’s ridiculous to look at the theme for anything other than what it is: two music groups that have been considered polar opposites, that have very distinct clothing styles and are easy for college kids to dress up as because many of them already actually own clothing of both styles. Now, it may have been politically incorrect for them to choose the term BET instead of Rap or Hip-Hop, since it should be depicting a type of music and not a specific television network that is known for more than just music, specifically for supporting Black culture. But one would have to be deliberately obtuse not to admit that the CMT/BET title is shorter and catchier (although I haven’t seen it confirmed that this was the actual title of the theme by those who organized the theme).

    While I admire the article’s intent to question the way school administrations handle possible misconduct in Greek organizations, which are known for some degree of secrecy, I think the critique of the possible insensitivity of the party’s theme is woefully misguided.

  25. Disappointed | March 6, 2014 at 12:17 am |

    If Ms. Hull truly had an issue with the Country Music Television-Black Entertainment Television theme, she should have brought it up to campus officials who could have dealt with the issue internally. As she stated, OSE already talked with the students. Instead, she chose to publish an article only to create an issue, and to fulfill her and the McDaniel Free Press’ need for attention. To make matters worse, she tried to feed her own ego by sharing the article to friends and other newspapers who blindly took the chance to make their own returns.

    Let’s get this much clear: Ms. Hull, the editors, and the Free Press only want to create personalized gains by taking down two Greek organizations.

    I am extremely disappointed to know the power and sway that Ms. Hull and the McDaniel Free Press hold over people, when they themselves can’t even follow a journalistic code of unbiased reporting.

    • non Greek Student | March 6, 2014 at 8:36 am |

      I completly agree with you. Also the school administration should have never allowed the McDaniel Free Press to post this for a few reasons. One we just had a shooting on campus and this just brings McDaniel’s name down even more. Which will give perspective students the wrong idea

      • McDaniel Student | March 6, 2014 at 3:56 pm |

        Ah, yes. That’s exactly what we want. Newspapers and media outlets being told they can’t run stories because the Administration or other students don’t like them. Sarah is a journalist, naturally her inclination is to publish an article about something that has become a national issue.

        I don’t understand people who question that an article was written. It’s a newspaper. That’s what they do. It sounds to me like the complaints are from others who simply fall on the other side of the debate, and want to shut down something they’re afraid of.

        • Of course. | March 6, 2014 at 6:30 pm |

          I completely agree that it’s ridiculous for anyone to think that the school should have prevented this article from being written. Freedom of speech, people! That is exactly the reason The McDaniel Free Press is independent of the school and, as is stated in similar words on the paper’s About page, not meant to be a mouthpiece for the school’s administration in any way. That’s what gives the paper the potential for journalistic integrity. Additionally, other comments have suggested that school administrators should have declined to comment in order to appear less guilty (or some such nonsense), which is another ludicrous notion. The school should be sharing information because it has nothing to hide.

          I do believe that this article could have been better written and certainly with less bias while so much factual information has yet to come to light. When all the evidence has not yet surfaced, I find it irresponsibly provoking to pass overt judgments. If anything, the newspaper staff should have delayed the publishing of the article until it could be written with more concrete information or simply cut it down to an article that is fairly and factually written, without excess.

    • non Greek Student | March 6, 2014 at 8:45 am |

      I completly agree with you. Also the school administration should have never allowed the McDaniel Free Press to publish this for a few reasons. One we just had a shooting on campus and this just brings McDaniel’s name down even more. Which will give perspective students the wrong idea of this campus life. Also the reason this closed party was even addressed to the OSE office was because a student who was not a part of either organizations was there. High off her ass, I might add. And this entire thing could have been avoided if the OSE Office would have never told the Free Press about it anyway. It was never under investigate because nothing every happened.

      • Anonymous | March 6, 2014 at 3:16 pm |

        Are you even listening to what you’re say? It’s called the McDaniel Free Press, and it’s a newspaper, for crying out loud. You’re calling for blatant censorship of the press, which is completely ridiculous. Do you want the government censoring the Washington Post just because what a writer wrote reflects poorly on its country? It is the newspaper and its editors that are responsible for publishing this story, and they are fully within their rights to do so. As such, it is them that are responsible for what the article is lacking in – namely, integrity. But I digress – it’s a newspaper, and should be able to publish whatever it wants. It only reflects poorly on them when their article is poorly researched and completely misrepresents events.

  26. the real consequences | March 6, 2014 at 11:09 am |

    I think Racial? or Musical? makes a fantastic point as to the nature of the theme of this party. Granted, Greek organizations have held parties with themes much more offensive than the one mentioned, but rarely so on the McDaniel campus. Sarah does a great job of showing both sides as any true journalist should. The issue for me is not with the construction of the article itself, or even the intent behind it. I’m concerned with the consequences. I feel like what is missing is the realization of what this could mean for the Greek community at McDaniel. While other Greeks across the country are holding socials with jokes in the titles about MLK, pedophilia, and rape, these two organizations at McDaniel have simply chosen to parody two television stations. While it is easy to see the issues with this as well, it is in no way on the same scale as the other incidents brought to light recently. As the National headquarters of these organizations are now likely involved, it is possible that the organizations could receive more than just a slap on the wrist. They could loose their national affiliation. They could LOSE their national affiliation for dressing up as Carrie Underwood, Macklemore, Darius Rucker, MIA, or anyone in-between that does or does not fall into a racial stereotype. Was that possibility considered when writing this article? I highly doubt it.

  27. Bob roberts | March 6, 2014 at 11:12 am |

    So after reading all of these, I have realized the caliber of character that is apparent in our greek societies on campus. The fact of the matter is that people were offended, and someone did complain. Even more important was that larger issue of the article, the fact that the administration has done little until now to alter these practices. It seems that is only when the community comes together to point something out that they feel inclined to react. Now as for all of the critical responses to MS. HULL, I find them quite humorous, as well as deeply disturbing. Has anyone stopped to consider that the images displayed on both cmt and bet might might be perpetuation a of cultural stereotypes? Instituitionalized racism means more than having an organized intolerance, Italy’s creates an environment where the oppressed start to accept their given roles. I doubt many of you considered this because you have been raised mainly in positions of privilege and have not experianced continued misrepresentation. Also, it doesn’t help to admit that the CMT theme is racist when you are claiming that your actions aren’t. The main reason why that aspect wasnt given much space was the fact that White people have a looooooong history of oppressing other groups, it isn’t right that stereotypes are given to them, but to say that it is the same issue is a little demeaning to all those who experianc more than just fashion stereotypes. The long and the short of this is that you guys picked CMT vs BET because it illustrates the divide between black and white, one side is dressing like rednecks while the other side is dressing like gangbangers. Me personally, I wouldn’t want to be immediately categorized as either, seeing as one is a term for ignorance and stubborn traditionalism, while the other is known for I compassion and crime. I think you all need to take a few steps back and look at yourselves, because if you maintain these views and continue here actions, it won’t just be the McDaniel community that finds your opinions to be ignorant.

  28. Can't understand | March 6, 2014 at 11:30 am |

    if I am hearing you all correctly, you are saying that dressing up in gangbanger attire and considering that a black thing is ok? Cause I’m pretty sure that they where more than that, if they where that at all. I don’t think you guys are thinking beyond your own noses, and the fact that people were still offended. Wasn’t that why you guys got a taking to in the first place? If it wasnt a problem then when the first person reported you, the administration wouldn’t have done anything, but they did, so its clear that its more than just the free press that feels you guys are ignorant, its a good portion of the McDaniel community. But hey! It’s not the end of the world to be ignorant, it just means you have more to learn. I used to think putting soap in water was how you made champagne, well I’ve learned since then. I think if you guys spent half as much energy considering your actions as you have on misspelling words and using improper grammar to illustrate your points, then you’d be on your way to becoming an informed and tolerant group of young people

  29. Racists don’t typically know or admit that they are racist. We need more information about why you guys aren’t and why your actions shouldn’t be perceived as such. S far all you have managed to do is say you aren’t, your actions weren’t, and that there was misinformation. Well you kind of need to provide the information that should go in place of the stuff you claim is false. Here is an idea, because I, friends with some of you people, try forming an arguments before you start typing–it’s the magic of text based communication, you don’t need to send whatever flys out of your head onto the screen immediately. Try spell check, maybe some peer review. After seeing the caliber of writing here, I feel like I’m in middle school with a bunch of kindergarteners.

    • Seriously? | March 6, 2014 at 3:45 pm |

      It’s innocent until proven guilty, not the other way around. Maybe they would defend themselves against evidence that what they did actually was racist. Until you can provide evidence of guilt, your judgments are simply unfounded and sanctimonious.

  30. If your national council people are going to oust your chapter, that means what you did was wrong by their standards. They would have thought it was wrong If they found out otherwise. It’s seems that everyone thinks what you did was ignorant except you guys. Well birds of a feather perpetuate racial stigmas and slurs together

    • Seriously? | March 6, 2014 at 3:51 pm |

      They’re under investigation because someone was offended. That doesn’t mean they have actually done anything wrong. The national people are looking into it to see if they did something wrong, it doesn’t automatically mean they did. The investigation could just as easily come out saying that the national people don’t feel that any wrongdoing occurred and that they support the sorority or frat involved.

  31. As an alumni of McDaniel College, this negative press is embarrassing. 3 times in one week, just adds fuel to the fire. The free press (college newspaper) is not a forum to cover college parties. The McDaniel College Administration should have never allowed this article to be published. I don’t understand how they could not anticipate the negative press that would come from the Baltimore Sun and Carroll County Times.

    Here’s some food for thought, there is no doubt that the general public hates the rich! McDaniel College Tuition, Room and Board is ~$46,500 per year. Making a 4 year degree cost ~$186,000. The average amount of money a parent would need to save is to send their child to McD is $860 per month for 18 years. (assuming no growth or return on savings). You can’t save that kind of money and cover normal living expenses on an average salary. I know many students get scholarships, aid, grants, etc, however to the uninformed public, the perception is McD is a private school for the privileged! You know damn well society loves to bash the rich, so the CC Times and Baltimore Sun are going to find every ounce of story they can and throw it out there to make a stink for the college. Again, to reiterate my point from above, McD Administration should be in tune with perception and should have stopped anything from being printed that could be remotely fabricated to shed a negative light on the school (i.e. Racism). If the said “journalist” doesn’t like the intent of the school saving face, the said student should find a new school.

    One of the reasons I liked McD was its DIVERSITY! There were students from all walks of life, and interacting with them on a daily basis only further embodied the well-rounded education the college fostered. To date, I would be willing to bet that McD has the largest amount of diversity compared to other private schools in MD. The diversity alone is one of the reasons why McD students could even throw a CMT vs BET party! (They are diverse and they understand diversity!) The party wasn’t meant to be offensive; it was all in good fun. Regardless, McD needs to protect themselves from the negative press, and decline to comment on said instances, it only portrays guilt and further tarnishes the name.

    Beth should have declined to comment on the instance until further investigation, and quoted the colleges diversity since that is a positive and published fact. That statement alone could have put the college one step closer to changing the public’s perception!

  32. If you care you change | March 6, 2014 at 1:21 pm |

    As a rational human being I find that if I care enough about an institution then I do my best to make sure it doesn’t need to “save face” a phrase used to describe someone in a situation where they are caught doing something wrong and scramble to undue the damage. Essentially. Mr. Or mrs. Alumni, you are asking that McDaniel should brush instances of poor character under the table. The fact that these parties take place tarnishes the name, the journalist was merely pointing out that McDaniel hasn’t done much to quell the ignorance that is readily apparent. By educating these boys and girls, as they have lost their privilege of being referred to as adults, only can the name and image of the college change. Before now no one was speaking of McDaniel as a home to a community that allows the imitation of stereotypes, but now that people know it happens here, they are beginning to think that. I am curious as how you think this is a economic issue, and that this is merely the poor attempting to attack the rich. Rednecks and gangbangers probably aren’t offensive to the financially abundant communities seeing as they have faced little oppression in their lives on average. Seeing as the average upper class family is white, that also might be a consideration one would have before involving class warfare.

    • I see what you’re trying to say, but you misread the comment you are critiquing in one aspect. The poster meant that the quick spread of the articles that reflect poorly on McDaniel are the result of those who have ill will toward the college because they believe the students to be from wealthy families. Clearly, this is a ridiculous statement because plenty of students at McDaniel are from low income families.

      • A better perspective | March 6, 2014 at 10:44 pm |

        That is exactly what I was taking about, it i don’t think people are reacting because they are angry at privileged people, I think they are angry because these people felt they had the privilege of misrepresenting a culture

  33. Change image | March 6, 2014 at 1:23 pm |

    Maybe McDaniel should work on fostering a community that isn’t for the privileged and isn’t tolerant of racial stereotypes,..just a thought

    • Nobody planned a “racist” themed party. It was meant to show two different styles of music. As of a last year they are almost 30% minority. When I graduated in 2011, they were not nearly as diverse. If you even glance at the amount of financial aid McDaniel gives out every year, you would clearly see that it is not just a school for the “privileged. This is the result of a biased, untrue article that was meant to attack Greek Life.

      • Embarrassed | March 6, 2014 at 6:44 pm |

        well maybe if the so called greek life keep there off campus parties more secretive and not post millions of pictures on social media then this entire story and racial issue wouldn’t have been brought up in the first place and if they knew that there was a chance that they could start controversy then the should have chosen a different theme. The person who wrote this article wasn’t bias they were stating the facts! Greek life needs to follow the rules of there national panhellenic just like everyone else regardless of how small McDaniel is they should be reprimanded because at that party they were reflecting the organization they pledged to regardless if it was an unofficial greek party or not the point is they embarrassed both panhellenic and mcdaniel.

  34. Lost in translation | March 6, 2014 at 1:26 pm |

    I think people are still forgetting that there is an organization for the African American community in mcdaniel that openly spoke against the actions and themes of the party. That alone should be an eye opener. If what previous commenters said was true about there being an inquiry from their parent organizations, then that means your organization found what you did distasteful. If it were a as cut and dry as you guys seem to think, then they would have stepped up to defend your believed innocence. Since they haven’t and are instead fixing repercussions then I’d assume they don’t think you are innocent either

  35. Questionable | March 6, 2014 at 1:31 pm |

    And imitation of black culture by a white person is usually taken as insulting as it attempts to represent an entire culture full of individuals through generalized fashions and mannerisms. If you really think dressing up like rappers accomplishes this then you might want to take a few classes that are offered at McDaniel. It doesn’t even have to be one on African history, it just has to have a few African American students to show you that they dress differently than your imitation, as well as each other. This I due to the fact that they are individuals that have rich mental lives that operate independent of others. They have their own thoughts, feelings, and desires that can’t possibly be represented equally or appropriately.

  36. A better perspective | March 6, 2014 at 1:34 pm |

    Doesn’t Nas have a few things to say about the perception of black culture in the media. Specifically that it is dominated by white CEOs that try to limit black culture into one of crime and violence. Watch Nas’s “Eat That Watermelon,” music video and you’ll understand why using bet as a means to gauge what is black culture can still be offensive

  37. Right, wrong or indifferent the party happened.
    A majority of my point was that McD needs to handle their business, and keep it out of the press.
    That starts with the article that was published in the free press. I do feel bad for the said author as I doubt she intended for this article to make regional headlines, and cause an uproar. Especially following the incidents of last weekend.

  38. As a recent alumni of McDaniel, this is absolutely absurd. Bright men and women pledge these organizations, and pay thousands of dollars over their 4 years. The school recently said that “social” organizations can’t have socials anymore. Moreover, saying that BET vs CMA is racist is equally absurd. While speaking with friends still at McDaniel, they said that there was an investigation already, and no actions were taken. Just because some idiot wants to write a biased, and largely untrue article about something that they know little about, the entire Greek community is punished. College kids are going to party. That’s part of the college experience. Write something about the shooting that took place less than a week ago. Just because a bunch of teenagers want to dress up like their favorite rapper or country singer doesn’t make them racist. McDaniel will get no more donations from me.

    • First let me say this… who cares if you stop giving donations or not. When students pledge greek organizations these organizations have values and standards that they should abide by and take to heart and they did not. Do you honestly think that the party they threw was a reflection of the organization they pledged to and gave money to whole-heartedly? I feel bad for the founders of the organization that set up Phi Sigma Sigma and Phi Delta thetas because they trashed their reputation so easily without thinking of the repercussion of their trashy immature party. Some greek life people and people like you need to lose the arrogance and gain humility because maybe then you will learn compassion and that wrong is wrong no matter if it was intention or not it happened. When its all said and done the main reason we come to college is for an education not to join organizations that compromise our integrity that you are so clearly lacking.

  39. Class of 2010 | March 6, 2014 at 4:25 pm |

    “Oh no, the college newspaper is pointing out how routinely racist our special boys clubs are!!!!”

    If your organization is potentially “ruined” by a pretty straightforward school paper article about your behavior, consider that the problem is YOU. On-campus groups, the things you say and do as an organization are going to be a matter of public record.

    Get your people under control, apologize and do better or fuck off.

  40. TFA Teacher from McDaniel Class 2013 | March 6, 2014 at 5:09 pm |

    As an alumni to McDaniel, I could not be more prouder of a current student or student organization than this article has made me. Sarah Hull, you rock. Free Press, you rock. Keep it up.

    I used to be a editor and writer for the Free Press for three years and saw how toxic the community could get whenever we tried to report on real news. Don’t let it get to you.

    The Free Press was always meant to be, not just a professional experience for journalists, but a source of credible and in-depth news coverage on college activities. This article has hit on the vision of the newspaper on all fronts.

  41. Itinerant History Major | March 6, 2014 at 6:38 pm |

    To address, very briefly, some comments regarding how multiple stereotypes are perpetuated here:

    The “CMT culture” an earlier commenter referred to is, indeed, a stereotype; the “BET culture” is a stereotype as well. However, it is a historical reality that the stereotypes of African-Americans involved here are a lot more harmful than those of people who like country music (I think perhaps the closest shorthand for this would be “redneck”). Black Americans have, experienced legalized, institutionalized discrimination, violence, and prejudice, and in some ways, they still do. People who like country music and who might be considered parts of that “redneck” group have not, and do not. It really is that simple, guys. Racial divides in America have historically been much, much more prevalent and much more violent than socioeconomic ones, and as such, the racial stereotype is simply more harmful. People are killed on the basis of their taste in music much less frequently than they are killed on the basis of their race.

    Maybe the intent was for the “divide” to be solely musical. Hip-hop/rap and country are, after all, two very different genres, and each does have a particular culture associated with it. But, whether intentional or not, the racial divide simply goes along with this particular pairing. Many people who consider themselves to be “country” have adopted the Confederate flag as their emblem. A Facebook acquaintance of mine from high school has “liked” a page which is named something along the lines of ‘I’m a country girl’, and the profile picture has a Confederate battle flag overlaid on text. The Confederate flag has racially problematic historical connotations, and can be very legitimately viewed as a symbol of white supremacist sentiments.

    Personally, I don’t think that this party was intentionally racist, or anything of the sort. But, regardless of intention, it perpetuated a harmful racial stereotype. I don’t think it’s fair to accuse the Greek organizations of being outright racist; I do think it is clear that there is some education and information missing, and I think the party’s theme was not thought through very well by those involved in its organization.

    I’m glad this article was written. I think it was written fairly, and I think it’s important to shed light on our internal issues. Regardless of individuals’ opinions in this debate, it is clear that we needed to at least have this conversation. The College cannot improve itself if no one is willing to discuss what may need to be improved.

    • Concerned about EVERYONE | March 6, 2014 at 10:00 pm |

      Stereotypes are stereotypes and people respond differently to them with varying degrees of sensitivities. CMT culture is apparently referring to “rednecks” or country people, as seems to be the insinuation here. Reaching back in history to support a claim? Anyone can do that. Anyone can use historical rhetoric to prove a point. Am I denying the history? Of course not. And to compare the history of certain groups of people to say which is worse is unfair and not your place. Did you live during that history? Did you experience these plights? No. You did not.

      I am not arguing that the history of slavery in America is not a tragic and despicable violation of human rights and human dignity. But before you start saying that this history trumps the plight of “white” people or the country culture, ask yourself about one of the poorest regions of the United States. Appalachia. These people live in unimaginable squalor and face prejudices, oppression, and violations of human rights and their rights as American citizens. What racial group primarily lives there under the stereotypes of “mountain people,” “rednecks,” “country bumpkins,” and “country people?” White individuals. Don’t assume to know people’s struggles. Why can’t whites be as offended as blacks (to be blunt for sake of the argument) in this case? I’m offended that people presume to know how others feel, white or black.

      Stereotypes are harmful to everyone. Don’t presume that you know how individuals feel.

      • Itinerant History Major | March 7, 2014 at 12:07 am |

        Of course stereotypes are harmful to everyone. There is absolutely no question in my mind about that. And I don’t believe I’m arguing that those negatively affected by the “CMT culture” stereotype shouldn’t be offended; of course, of course they should be offended, because the stereotype is still absolutely offensive.

        I am not arguing that this stereotype is not harmful to country-dwelling Americans who are referred to as “rednecks”, “white trash”, and other such epithets. I’m not arguing that they have not experienced social degradation to some degree. I am just of the opinion that it is not an equal level of social degradation to the one that still sticks around as a legacy of slavery, and that while neither stereotype is really an OK theme for a party, the racial one is more concerning based on that history of violence.

        I do not mean to trivialize the struggles and hardships endured, to use your example, by residents of the Appalachian region. But I think it is important to note, too, that to the best of my knowledge, there have never been laws prohibiting economically disadvantaged white Americans from being in the same restaurants, theaters, buses as their wealthier fellow citizens. There is no equivalent to the KKK, devoted to the intimidation of and perpetuation of violence against Americans living in poverty. The Tennessee Valley Authority, which serves many of these disadvantaged and predominantly white communities, faced controversy, at its beginning, due to disagreement about the proper scope of government; not because its opponents felt that the group it would serve did not deserve the aid it would provide, in contrast to both governmental and private endeavors to improve living conditions for African-Americans (particularly in the immediate wake of the Civil War, in the sociopolitical storm caused by the end of slavery).

        There is social degradation of these groups, yes, and that is absolutely not OK. But I personally am more concerned with the racial stereotypes here, because of that history.

        I’m not saying people cannot be offended; anyone would be well within their rights to get up in arms over these stereotypes. I do not presume to know how people feel. I just think that, historically speaking, the racial stereotypes surrounding this controversy are more problematic than the economic ones.

        I apologize if there were any misunderstandings about my previous comments. I hope all discussion surrounding this issue can be an open and civil conversation, taking all sides of the issue into account, and I’m just trying to come at it from the angle that I know.

  42. Kevin Anderson | March 6, 2014 at 7:27 pm |

    Don’t blast “Ms. Hall” for reporting the truth. For those of you who are, and not listing your name I might add, you are obviously unnerved by the exposure of your poor choices! As a former student at McDaniel I attended a party ON CAMPUS where there was a Jews VS. Nazi beer pong event going on. This featured cups of beer aligned in a Star of David on one side of the table and cups forming a swastika on the opposing side. As a Jew, I wasn’t offended because I see it as just stupid young people doing stupid things. But had someone else seen that and been offended then the shit would have hit the fan as is happening now regarding this incident. As a personal friend of Sarah’s, that’s Ms. Hall to you anonymous milksops, I know her to be of the highest caliber. Furthermore, attacking the messenger and not the message is always proof of guilt in my book. This well written, and clearly unbiased article isn’t to blame for the poor and thoughtless choices of the organizations in question. It’s a shame the people who are attacking Sarah while hiding behind their computer, aren’t actually living up to the grand social impresarios that these Greek organizations claim to be turning them into. If that we’re the case, this would have never happened. Time for you children to grow up and take responsibility for your actions instead of denying it or misdirecting your unhappy feelings toward Ms. Hall. Better you should look in the mirror and fix the problem!

  43. As a greek alumna of McDaniel, it pains me to see any fellow greek organizations such as these being investigated for a poorly titled and planned social. Let us be honest–it was not the best idea, but there is no taking back actions that have happened. Thoughts of these two organizations aside, it is important to bring to light two points: The McDaniel Free press as a journalistic publication has a recent history of being incredibly bias and that greek life is under attack from not only from McDaniel College, but from those ignorant of greek life and what it stands for at its core.

    As a teacher who teaches students journalistic writing, I use the Free Press as a model of how not to act. Now, the Free Press in my day was a fantastic publication with great writers and editors. Sadly, the quality of writing has certainly declined in the past year alone.The ethics of the staff are questionable, the choice of stories are poor, and the writing of said stories are proficient at best. As a newspaper, they do have the right to publish whatever they would like as is anyone’s right so be it is not slander/liable. Although I personally feel that this was a poor choice of story, it is their right nonetheless. It is sincerely my hope that the Free Press can one day return to a high quality publication, but they must first rid themselves of bias particularly against the greek system.

    It is articles such as this that perpetuate an ignorant stereotype that greek life is filled of privileged young adults that value their blood alcohol level rather than their education. This is simply an uneducated assumption developed by those who are naive to the ways of greek life. I would be lying if I said that people like don’t exist or have never existed in greek life, but they also exist in college. It’s college–students come to learn and party as well. I certainly did some asinine things in my time at McDaniel for sure and that’s not even counting times I was in greek life. Yet it is still the stigma greek life is associated with. In reality, members of greek life must not only obtain high gpas, they also put in hours upon hours of community service for great causes such as Relay for Life and Up Till Dawn. Although there have been some questionable actions made by college students, society is quick to highlight those mistakes made by greek organizations. We foster a care for our fellow man, we train one another in skills important for the real world, and grow leaders. Do not being down two fine organizations such as Phi Sigma Sigma and Phi Delta Theta for a poor choice. It difficult enough that students of McDaniel do not have a safe environment to party in due to archaic beliefs this college holds onto, resulting in minors getting fake ids and risking their safety by (unwisely) walking out late at night. Phi Sig and Phi Delta have an extremely rich history at McDaniel that includes that of the local chapters they came from (sigma sigma tau and alpha pi alpha or better known as the black and whites). Taking away greek organizations from McDaniel is like taking away apart of McDaniel history itself. Where would we be without these organizations? Phi Mu came from the Delta’s, another original local here and more recently, Alpha Sigma Tau coming from Alpha Nu Omega. Phi Alpha Mu fought to stay alive and our beloved Bachelor’s fight every day. Many alumni come back due to their involvement in greek life. Do not bite the hand that feeds.

    History lesson aside, let people forgive the poor choices that we make in our youth and fight to keep our greek life alive. Without it, we lose a large part of life at McDaniel that is as important as the Free Press.

    • A Conformer to Non-Conformity Joe. | March 6, 2014 at 10:37 pm |

      The Free Press is in no way condemning all Greek life. Presenting fact, regardless of whether positive or negative, is part of what the Free Press is called to do and has been doing.

      To be honest with you, I find it is a measure of the caliber of those within our society (and at our college) that, while the Free Press publishes countless articles about the number of philanthropic efforts put forward by different organizations (Greek and Non-Greek alike), this is the article many people decided to focus on, and decided to bring forward.

      Be honest with yourselves ladies and gentlemen, the McDaniel Free Press works year round to bring you a lot of information, and rarely do such a large number of students read any one article. It is a reflection of YOU yourselves, and the society you belong to. To clarify, this is not a condemnation of Greek organizations, but the society we have accepted and cultivated within ourselves.

      To those that do belong to Greek organizations on campus: no one is suggesting that any of you are racist, in so far that you believe your RACE (whatever that means) to be better than someone else’s; that being said, the allowance of parties that highlight and celebrate negative stereotypes has become a national trend for Greek organizations, and a troubling one at that. No, BET v.s. CMT is not as bad as those that made fun of MLK, or those of Asian decent, but the party follows in the same vein. Regardless of whether or not any of your specific members were offended by the party, matters little, what matters is that there are people of different backgrounds that DO take offense to the party held. You yourselves, as organizations claim that tolerance and acceptance are a big part of Greek organizations, and I believe you! Many people believe you! This does not mean, however, that because you are accepting of those from different backgrounds that you can represent their cultural identities so disrespectfully. I understand that the party’s theme doesn’t seem offensive, but the fact remains that it is to certain people (even certain potential members.) If inclusivity is such a large portion of Greek life (as I honestly believe it to be) then why is it so strange an idea to make sure that any social function you hold (sanctioned by the school or not) should be all inclusive?

      On the attack on Sarah Hulls character: shame on every single one of you. Her article is in no way unbiased (she obviously had an interest in following the story) but it is unbiased reporting. It presents the unfortunate facts of an incident that occurred a month ago, along with many different groups and certain individuals views. The fact that she didn’t not ask any of the OTHER party goers, is obvious: with this amount of outrage about the truth coming out, what Greek member would want to speak about what happened at the party? Honestly?

      As to the comments regarding the incidents prolonged longevity in revelation: slavery was abolished in this country legally over 100 years ago, should we stop talking about it in school? Should we not educate those who come after us of our forefathers mistakes?

      To be honest, I am disappointed in the McDaniel community for not being able to take a step back and look at their actions, and their words (hurtful as some of them have been). This can be a learning moment for us, it can help us think in the future before we do something that we think isn’t offensive. I SINCERELY hope that Phi Sigma Sigma and Phi Delta Theta are not removed from campus, or stripped of their national charter. They are good human beings, and good individuals who made a mistake. However, life is full of mistakes, and often we must FACE those CONSEQUENCES. As much as I hope for the honest well-being of these two Greek Organizations, consequences must be faced regardless of what they are, the only consolation being a sour one: that we learn and grow from this experience.

      To those saying the Administration should have swept this under the rug: to hell with you. You’re exactly the problem with this country, and the lingering racist ideologies. We can’t just sweep problems under the rug and pretend they’re gone.

      To those saying the administration should have stepped in: EXCUSE ME? Do you know how a newspaper works? Do you know what country you’re living in? There is still Freedom of the Press if I remember correctly.

      Finally, to the last commenter that states that while they were here the Free Press was a great organization, with great writers and editors, and now isn’t: (1) I feel like your saying the paper shouldn’t post anything controversial (which is wrong, considering anything controversial is ALWAYS going to be labeled biased) (2) is insulting to the hard work of those running the organization now and (3) if writing less controversial articles is your idea of a “good” newspaper, you can shove off. I’m glad the Free Press is showing some balls. It’s about GD time.

      To the hard working ladies and gentlemen who run this paper, I hope you continue to post controversial pieces, to hell with society.

      To the Greek organizations who are facing consequences, I am sympathetic in your struggle and hope you are allowed to continue on campus. Your loss would be felt.

      To everyone else: Good night, and Good Luck.


      • A diamond amongst rocks | March 6, 2014 at 10:50 pm |

        You have said it all my friend, I hope that everyone who is brought to this page is made very aware of the points you have made.

      • Thank you | March 7, 2014 at 3:21 pm |

        This is all of the feelings I have. Thank you for writing such an insightful and respectful response.

  44. Parent disgusted that this article was permitted to be published | March 7, 2014 at 10:17 am |

    I find this ridiculous and of poor taste! Would it have even been brought to press if it were CMT vs. Reggae? BET vs. Latin? Christian Music vs. BET or CMT? Reggae vs. Latin??? Comparing music styles is in no way, shape, or form racist. Not familiar with the sorority, but I know the fraternity is very diverse. Oh, diversity = the state of having people who are different races or who have different cultures in a group or organization. PDT is just that. In my opinion this is very petty, and I am sure there are far more important issues to write about in favor of the college, students, and professors – not diminish the reputations (especially after a school shooting) of those involved. It’s “BS” like this petty article that stirs the racist pot. I am offended, disappointed and highly ticked off that the release of this article has caused nothing but racist comments and arguments. Poor taste of all who was involved with this publication. And, this just makes the person who reported this event and the author of this article look racist. I am sure they will never be seen wearing a flannel shirt, baggie jeans, cut off shorts, straw hat, or ball cap. Otherwise, they would be considered racist, right? Wonder what Eminem and Darius Rucker would think of this article!! White rapper and black country artist!!!! Think before you speak/write!! You want racist, how about all the scholarships made available for African Americans, Hispanics, and Latinos but not available for being Caucasian? There are plenty of Caucasian children who are from low income homes and truly fall in the minority category. You cannot say that just the “White” people who attended this event are racist. EVERY RACE IS RACIST and it’s time to get over it and quit being so sensitive! Something racist against EACH race happens every second! The Washington Redskins – this has been the name for how many years???? NOW it’s offensive and racist?? This needs to stop!

    And, if these organizations are punished for comparing music styles, I will no longer donate to the school.

  45. Concerned Alumni | March 7, 2014 at 11:10 am |

    I must be obviously missing something here so please forgive me. I am blown away that a formal investigation can be prompted for people gathering in the free community who coincidently happen to be in a Greek organization at McDaniel. I am astounded by those pathetic individuals who claim to feel legitimately offended because of the way others have dressed on such a date especially since this did not even occur on McDaniel’s property. I am confident that annual donations to McDaniel will be reconsidered should unnecessary sanctions be enforced. Hang in there little brothers, you owe no apology. Remember where we came from and can return to should the Charter be jeopardized. 474

  46. Were there black people dressed as black people at the party? ‘Cause that would make it alright, right?

  47. Satire is a form of free expression. Notice that the left wing puts on offensive displays all the time. Why is the sorority being “investigated” and for what? Why does the article say it’s “disturbing” and the sorority is being “probed”. For what? If we want to have a masquerade ball, that’s our business. This is a matter of privacy, freedom of association, free expression, and free speech. Next thing you know the FBI will have a file on every white person in America, investigating them, just because they’re white, to root out possible “racists”. I notice that blacks and other racial minorities are never investigated for this sort of thing. Remember the movie “White Chicks”? It would be laughable.

  48. I haven’t heard the white country community weigh in on this. They should be equally outraged that white girls were dressed as scantily clad bimbos at the party, perpetuating the country girl stereotypes. What has the college said about that?

  49. jelea Mcneil | March 10, 2014 at 11:59 pm |

    I don’t feel the party was offensive or racist at all and I am both black and white. I feel it was nothing more than a fun themed night party that the free press of McDaniel turned into a racial splur by their wording and that is what’s going to create more separation not more diversity. Press gets paid to create juicy stories but this time it was more than a juicy story because it didn’t just effect the readers but the campus and Greek life as well. So note to the writer next time you want to accuse or should I say infer that something is intentionally done maybe you should ask the people who threw it what was the intention.

  50. So College | March 12, 2014 at 2:29 am |

    If you believe that this social theme is racist, then you’re racist. You are the one stereotyping different races into what you believe they are and what they wear. BET streams videos of white rappers and CMT streams videos of black country singers… Black people wear flannels and boots and white people were chains and baggy clothes too… These organizations were not portraying any race in any negative way and did nothing wrong and. This social theme is also listed on tons of greek and non-Greek websites as a party theme meaning it is widely accepted idea by many. Honestly, stop having your panties in a knot. I say congrats to you Sarah Hull and McDaniel Free Press staff. You realize you have not only screwed over these two organizations over a private matter, but also the college as a whole. Did you not think McDaniel would receive bad publicity? Did you not think this would cause an uproar on and off campus? Did you know that Admissions has had to cancel many of its upcoming tours? Did you not think alumni would be ashamed and would hold back donations? McDaniel is gaining nothing from this “well written” article, but losing everything.

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