A Dartmouth College fraternity has come under attack for hosting a racially provocative party last month.
Members of Dartmouth’s Alpha Delta fraternity hosted Tri-Delta sorority for a “Bloods and Crips Party” during the last weekend of July, according to emails published on Dartblog.
While the original party invitation to the fraternity simply read “Midnight. Bloods and Crips Party. (choose wisely).” a subsequent email from the head of the Dartmouth NAACP chapter accused Alpha Delta of throwing a “racialized” party.
According to the Dartmouth NAACP’s email, “Individuals mingled for hours while dressed as bloods or crips while using racialized language. It then turned into a ‘ghetto party’ with racialized language, speech and dress. Over 200 individuals attended this event.”
Alpha Delta apologized for their party in a statement to Dartblog:
Alpha Delta hosted a “Bloods and Crips Party” on the night of Friday, July 26th. The idea was never meant to be derogatory to any group, and was intended to introduce a costume theme to the party. While there was never any ill intent in the party’s theme, the brothers of Alpha Delta now realise that it was insensitive and thoughtless to make light of a very serious issue that affects many people nationwide, particularly young people. Gang violence is obviously an incredibly serious problem across America, and while we as a house failed to preemptively recognise the offensive nature of the party’s theme, the gravity of our oversight is now apparent to us …
The conversation gave us a greater understanding of the pain gang violence causes and how personal it is for so many people here at Dartmouth, and in the country at large. We have gained a greater appreciation for the very real effect gang violence has on members of the Dartmouth community, and the conversation has opened our eyes to a subject which we had never before fully comprehended …
This was clearly an instance of seriously bad judgment on our part, but we believe it will serve as an educational experience that will ultimately lead to better judgment in the future. As we grow and learn, we are becoming more self-critical about our actions and how they affect others around us.
The term “ghetto party” was never used, and was coined by administrators after the party took place. This is a patently false term that was attributed after the fact in emails within the administration.
Alpha Delta also said that they have revamped their internal structure for choosing party themes, and plan on sponsoring programs during the fall semester to examine stereotyping.
This is not the first time Dartmouth students have gained attention for racially themed parties. In 1998, the New York Times ran an article on a protest that followed a “ghetto party” held by Chi Gamma Epsilon fraternity and Alpha Xi Delta sorority.
One Dartmouth professor took to Twitter to criticise his Ivy League students:
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