U. Chicago Frat House Penalized for Making Pledges Act Like Latino Laborers
Charges that one University of Chicago fraternity had pledges wear sombreros and mow a lawn as Latin music played — and another frat planned a party for “Conquistadors and Aztec Hoes” — have led to a smackdown from the school’s dean of students.
Both incidents, which occurred this month, drew the ire of some Latino students and others who said they were ignorant and in poor taste.
A student reported to campus authorities that on May 8, pledges at the Alpha Delta Phi house were seen mowing the lawn outside the frat at 5747 S. University while wearing “oversized sombreros,” as a stereo system played Latin music, according to the Chicago Maroon, the student newspaper.
Around May 21, the Delta Upsilon fraternity, at 5714 S. Woodlawn, posted on Facebook about a planned party with a theme of “Conquistadors and Aztec Hoes.” Partiers were encouraged to bring “an unlimited need to conquer, spread disease and enslave natives,” said the May 25 issue of the Maroon.
Late Saturday, a Delta Upsilon official said in an email to the Sun-Times that the fraternity “deeply regrets that our initial event title and description offended members of the university community, and is taking steps to mend our relationships with the individuals and organizations that we have harmed. We have publicly apologized and reached out to various student organizations and have begun a dialogue with them so that we can create a more positive and trusting environment between ourselves and them.”
He said the event title was changed “within an hour of appearing on Facebook” but the fraternity eventually canceled the event.
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