The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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College parties deemed racially offensive

Students at Tarleton University and Clemson University, which have predominately white student bodies, assumed a “gangsta” theme party would just be a harmless attempt at having fun. This was until Facebook pictures revealed that these parties were racially offensive to blacks. College officials have not said if the students involved will be punished or if their behavior will be excused as free speech.

Regardless of the action taken, parties like these could be avoided if colleges were more diverse and they educated students about cultural diversity on campus.

Every year college students push the boundaries by hosting parties that could be considered offensive. At SMU, fraternities host parties like White Trash Bash and Golf Pros and Tennis ‘Hos.

But what if the tables were turned and SMU was predominately black? A party like White Trash Bash that mocked white stereotypes would most likely turn a few heads.

This was not any different for the students at Clemson University in South Carolina and Tarleton State University in Stephenville after they had parties that mocked black stereotypes.

Students at Clemson hosted an off-campus party the day before Martin Luther King Day where they drank malt liquor and at least one student wore blackface. Students claimed that this “gangsta” theme party was not meant to offend anyone and defended themselves by saying that people of all races were invited. How many black students attended the party was not disclosed.

At Tarleton State, an off-campus party where students ate fried chicken and wore fake gang apparel was held on Martin Luther King Day. Pictures posted on Facebook showed students wearing afro wigs and one student dressed as Aunt Jemima. As a result, more than 400 people attended a campus meeting to address the racially offensive party.

Out of 17,000 undergraduate students, Clemson has a mere 1,100 black students, while about 10 percent of Tarleton State’s students are black. SMU’s students are about 80 percent white.

The problem is that students at colleges with a small number of minorities are not subjected to enough diversity. It is important that colleges such as SMU, Clemson and Tarleton State educate their students about cultural diversity. Until universities are more diverse, parties such as these might be ruled as free speech, but students should be taught that the majority mocking the minority is never appropriate.

About the writer:

Abilee Gilman is a senior journalism major. She can be reached at [email protected].

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