UA Frat Sanctioned After 'Disrespectful' MLK Party

Fayetteville, AR - A University of Arkansas fraternity, punished for hosting what the school calls a "racial themed" Martin Luther King party.

According to the Office of Student Affairs, Pi Kappa Alpha members held an off-campus party complete with forty ounce beers and fried chicken.

An investigation revealed 23 members, including the fraternity president and six other officers attended the party.

Scott Flanagin, director of communications for Student Affais says the derogatory racial stereotypes are troubling, but are not the reason for the sanctions. Greek organizations are required to register any social events ahead of time, so the school can make sure they are safe.

"Unregistered functions can be risky," Flanagin says. "If there are more than several members of an organization meeting together, we want to know that so we can provide the right opportunities for them, with health and safety."

However, the sanctioning letter specifically condemns the disrespectful theme.

"The sanctions were really for the unregistered function, but the message is very strong," Flanagin says. "This is a place of inclusion... this kind of thing really isn't tolerated."

The sanctions include community service hours, a social event ban and a $500 fine. The executive officers who attended the party must resign, and cannot hold office again.

"That's kind of a leadership issue, I believe," Flanagin says. "If you've got seven leaders of an organization at something that seems really wrong, it may be time for a change."

The University also wants the entire chapter to take programming on muticultural understanding and respect.

"These students are going to be going into a diverse workplace," he says. "In their futures they need to know how to deal with all kinds of people and to really be good members of society."

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