Updated: 06/01/2012, 12:11 AM
The University of Chicago, in a recent statement provided to Le Prestige, made no mention regarding action taken to reprimand Alpha Delta Phi and Delta Upsilon for behavior U. of C. students, staff, and faculty call "immature, disgusting, and horrifically racist".
On May 8, pledges at the Alpha Delta Phi house, located at 5747 S. University, were seen mowing the lawn outside the frat house while wearing “oversized sombreros and ponchos,” as a stereo loudly played ranchera music.
Around May 21, the Delta Upsilon fraternity, located at 5714 S. Woodlawn, posted on Facebook about a planned party with a theme of “Conquistadors and Aztec Hoes.” Students and party-goers were encouraged to bring “an unlimited need to conquer, spread disease and enslave natives,” said the May 25 issue of the Maroon, a student newspaper at the University of Chicago.
Jeremy Manier, News Director for the University of Chicago, discussed the "primary response" the university has given to media sources and the community. "The University released an open letter to the University of Chicago community on this issue from Kimberly Goff-Crews, Vice President for Campus Life and Dean of Students in the University," Manier mentioned. "The letter goes into some detail concerning the University's guiding values on such issues, and the processes in place to address bias-related incidents."
The letter, written by Goff-Crews, entitled, "How core values shape the University’s response to bias reports", makes note of "offensive stereotypes", a "statement on diversity", and "freedom of expression".
Some students believe the letter does not do enough to address the specifics regarding the situation. Erika Lim, a sophomore at U. of C., noted that the letter does not mention any action taken by the university to reprehend Alpha Delta Phi and Delta Upsilon members.
"I think (U. of C.) is washing its hands", Lim stated. "By discussing 'freedom of expression' in this letter, it seems like the university wants to defend the fraternities who were acting belligerently. It's not fair."
In the letter, there is explicit mention that U. of C. and its community members "respect freedom of expression and do not attempt to shield every community member from every offensive act."
Le Prestige spoke to a tenure professor at the University of Chicago. Michael, as he chose to identify himself, stated that the university is attempting to protect itself amid such a heated issue. "The university is trying very hard to prevent this from going viral," he commented. "However, by not making mention of alleviating the situation for those offended, the student body, faculty, and staff, (U. of C.) is digging itself into a much larger problem."
"These kids tried to be cute and funny by degrading a large portion of our population, but they don't realize that intimidation, hateful language, and coercion that affect a large group of people is terrorism in essence," Skye confidently told Le Prestige. "You have young women, Latino students, Asian-Americans, and many others who are deeply offended...and very upset. It doesn't matter what your skin color is, what the frats did is not acceptable and U. of C. needs to reprehend them before something else happens."
As of Thursday afternoon, University of Chicago President Robert J. Zimmer failed to comment on the situation.