Many students and administrators at Baylor University are fiercely denouncing a campus fraternity for throwing a Mexican-themed party over the weekend which featured sombreros and Mexico-related attire.
Baylor’s Kappa Sigma chapter held the party on Saturday night, reports the Waco Tribune-Herald.
The newspaper flatly and matter-of-factly describes the party as racist.
Images of the party show students having a good time while wearing sombreros, serapes and other clothing related to Mexican culture.
— Harmony Martz (@_harmonious) May 1, 2017
so kappa sig threw a “mexican” party? yall are bold to yell build a wall but quick to have my culture as a theme for your wack ass party pic.twitter.com/vs9rfvP1iK
— andrew (@terrifving) April 30, 2017
Unverified reports from unidentified students charge that some party attendees dressed up like construction workers and painted their faces brown.
A Baylor University spokesman told the Tribune-Herald that school officials have no evidence — beyond student claims — showing that anyone actually showed up with a face painted brown.
Unidentified students also allege that party guests shouted “Build that wall” — obviously a reference to President Donald Trump’s pledge to construct a large wall along the border separating the United States and Mexico.
Baylor students who opposed the Mexican-themed party quickly sprang into action by scheduling a protest for Monday afternoon at the center of Baylor’s campus.
COME OUTTTTTTT pic.twitter.com/xDidNYJGAS
— (@cieeeerraaa) May 1, 2017
About 200 student protesters showed up to the demonstration. They demanded that Baylor’s administration and board of regents respond to their perception that Baylor students are racist.
The protesters also demanded punishment for Baylor’s Kappa Sigma chapter.
And, of course, they held up signs. One sign read “My culture is not your costume. A second sign read “Somos unidos” (translation: “We are united.”)
— Waco Tribune-Herald (@wacotrib) May 2, 2017
“Dear Baylor, love thy neighbor” being chanted by students at Fountain Mall pic.twitter.com/gig1Mm6Lq7
— Phillip Ericksen (@PhillipEricksen) May 1, 2017
The students who organized the protest presented Baylor’s administration with eight “asks.” The “asks” include subjecting all Baylor students to compulsory diversity training and the creation of a multicultural advisory group within the student government. Other “asks” include punishment for Kappa Sigma and apologies from the fraternity as well as from Baylor as an institution.
“A lot of you may not understand what we’re feeling,” Damian Moncada, president of Baylor’s Hispanic Student Association, told the Tribune-Herald at the protest. “You may think that you have celebrated our culture. But I ask you that, if you wanted to celebrate our culture, you would have invited us to that party.”
The new president of Baylor’s NAACP chapter, Kristen Williams, suggested that Baylor students must now be subjected to compulsory diversity training and must attend discussions about various forms of racism.
Natasha Nkhama, a Baylor student who has claimed people on Baylor’s campus physically assaulted her and called her racist names when Trump was elected, also showed up at the Monday rally.
“I’m just tired. I don’t want to do this anymore,” Nkhama told the Waco newspaper. “I don’t want us to have to keep walking every time something like this happens.”
Baylor vice president for student life Kevin Jackson described the sombrero-filled frat fiesta as “deeply concerning” in a statement issued on Sunday. “Baylor is committed to a Christian mission that actively supports a caring and diverse campus community, and we do not tolerate racism of any kind on our campus.”
Possibly among other Baylor administrative groups, Baylor’s Bias Motivated Incident Support Team will investigate the Mexican-themed party. (RELATED: The 12 DUMBEST EVER ‘Bias Incidents’ On America’s College Campuses)
Baylor officials have suspended the Kappa Sigma chapter on campus pending the outcome of the investigation.
The national headquarters of the Kappa Sigma fraternity has also suspended its Baylor branch, pending its own investigation.
Baylor is a private school affiliated with the Baptist General Convention of Texas. A single year of tuition, fees and room and board at Baylor costs $56,628.
Several brouhahas over the alleged appropriation of Mexican culture have erupted on America’s college campuses in recent years.
Last year, for example, members of the student council at swanky Bowdoin College Maine announced plans to impeach a pair of student representatives who attended a tequila-themed party at which white students were photographed wearing brightly colored, miniature sombreros — perhaps the size of cereal bowls — on their heads. The “offensive” party was an “act of cultural appropriation” that “creates an environment where students of color, particularly Latino, and especially Mexican, students feel unsafe,” a student government statement declared. (RELATED: LOCO: College Kids Demand Safe Spaces After Party Featuring Tiny Sombreros And Tequila)
Bowdoin’s picturesque campus enrolls about 1,800 students. The school’s endowment is approximately $1.4 billion — slightly less than the total annual gross-domestic product of Djibouti.
In 2014, at Dartmouth College, America’s most hopelessly and disturbingly fragile Ivy League school, the Phi Delta Alpha fraternity and the Alpha Phi sorority canceled a “Phiesta” fundraiser for cardiac care after a single student, Daniela Hernandez, complained that the event featuring virgin strawberry daiquiris and guacamole presented “various problematic structures and ideologies.” (RELATED: It’s Official: At Dartmouth, The Word ‘Fiesta’ Is Racist And White People Can’t Use It)
And in 2015, school officials at taxpayer-funded Clemson University swiftly apologized for serving Mexican food during a food-themed “Maximum Mexican” night in campus cafeterias in 2015. Two students had complained about the ongoing cafeteria fiesta. One of them tweeted an image of cafeteria workers wearing sombreros. The caption of the tweet — which later appears to have disappeared — was: “Our culture isn’t a costume and we will not be mocked!” (RELATED: Taxpayer-Funded University Apologizes For Offending Mexicans By SERVING TACOS)