A college campus remains divided after members of a white fraternity received no punishment for harassing members of a black sorority.
Audience members including student leaders and alumni at the University of Connecticut felt disrespected by responses from some of the panelists who spoke at a town hall meeting hosted by the African American Cultural Center Monday evening.
“Privilege will ruin our reputation,” Brittney Yancy, a victim of harassment by members of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity, said to a round of applause at a town hall meeting hosted by the African American Cultural Center last night. “And if it goes unchecked, this is how it impacts our community. It will determine who matters, who is protected, who gets access and who is worthy of justice on this campus.”
[…] The forum was held in the Student Union at 6 p.m. on Monday and featured panelists UConn Police Chief Barbara O’Connor, Vice President of Student Affairs Christine Wilson, Dean of Students Eleanor Daugherty, Sociology Professor Noel Cazenave and Director of the Asian American Cultural Center Angela Rola.
The focus of the meeting was a confrontation which occurred on Sept. 29 between an African American sorority and a historically white fraternity.
Greek students belonging to the fraternity Pi Kappa Alpha verbally accosted members of the Alpha Kappa Alpha (AKA) sorority after painting on a spirit rock, using racially-infused hate speech.
“We were called whores, and after establishing that I was a university professional I was verbally accosted, and intimidation tactics were used,” said AKA Graduate Advisor Brittney Yancy. “They called me a fat black bitch, not just a fat bitch but a fat black bitch.”
Sanctions were administered against PIKE such as loss of rock painting privilege, but individual members received not type of discipline.
After Yancy made her remarks, Wilson talked about diversity and access. Daugherty expressed a shared commitment to make everyone feel safe and heard on campus.
One particular question was raised to which the panelist did not have an answer for: “Had the perpetrators been black men and the sorority girls been white, wouldn’t the results have been different?”
Unfortunately, the meeting left many students of color is disbelief, and feeling not one ounce safer than before it occurred.
Thoughts on this incident and the university’s response?
What’s an appropriate punishment for the white fraternity members?
Sound off below!