Local/State

College party images cause controversy

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Images circulating on a satirical website show students at a UNC frat party wearing straw hats and others wearing clothing that could be considered offensive to Vietnamese people.

The pictures show students dressed up as people from Vietnam reportedly for a 1960s and 1970s themed party at the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity on the UNC campus.

According to the satirical student website The Minor, which posted the pictures, 57 people liked the pictures on Facebook.

However, there plenty of students on campus who say the costumes are in bad taste at best.

"UNC is a very diverse campus with so many different backgrounds," said UNC junior Jordan Sawyers. "So, definitely having that sense of OK, what are we doing here, and will this affect somebody in some way who I don't know."

Aaron Bachenheimer is with the Office of Greek Life at UNC-Chapel Hill. It's his job to make sure fraternities and sororities know the rules.

"For me it's unequivocal," said Bachenheimer. "Cultures are not costumes."  

Bachenheimer says he's disappointed.

"A lot of times in our community, people like to say, it's just an image or it's just words, but those things impact people," said Bachenheimer.

Members of the fraternity did not respond to requests for comment from ABC11 Thursday.

The fraternity president reportedly told the newspaper that he turned away people wearing offensive costumes, and suggested the pictures might have been taken somewhere else.

Bachenheimer said he expects the school will take some action, from community service to something like sensitivity training. However, he said he's still trying to piece together exactly what happened then he'll decide what to do about it.

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