News | Student Life

Facebook photos show Kappa Alpha Theta members dressed like Mexicans, other nationalities

  • KAPPA ALPHA THETA | Students in Columbia's Kappa Alpha Theta sorority in photos showing them dressed as various nationalities.
  • KAPPA ALPHA THETA | Students in Columbia's Kappa Alpha Theta sorority in photos showing them dressed as various nationalities.
  • KAPPA ALPHA THETA | Students in Columbia's Kappa Alpha Theta sorority in photos showing them dressed as various nationalities.
  • KAPPA ALPHA THETA | Students in Columbia's Kappa Alpha Theta sorority in photos showing them dressed as various nationalities.

Updated, 1:30 a.m. with a statement from Chicano Caucus.

Photos on social media that were posted and later removed showed students in Columbia’s chapter of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority wearing costumes depicting several nationalities at an event Saturday night. The photos were sent to Spectator in tip emails Sunday morning.

Two of the photos showed students in sombreros, mustaches, and shirts with Mexican flags and slogans that read “Down to Fiesta,” while others showed a group dressed as Germans and an individual as Ireland holding a sign that said, “Kiss me, I’m a famined potato.”

It was not immediately clear what the theme of the event was, but The Lion later reported that it was an Olympics-themed mixer co-hosted with the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. Bwog later posted pictures of other members of the sorority dressed up in a way meant to represent Japanese, Dutch, and Jamaican people. IvyGate reports that the party was registered with the administration. 

The two photos of students dressed as Mexicans, which included sisters wearing the Greek letter theta on their T-shirts, were posted by sorority president Katie Barclay, CC ’15.

A Chicano Caucus statement released early Monday morning said that one of the group’s presidential co-chairs received a verbal apology from Barclay after the incident became public, and that they “appreciate the gesture.”

“While we understand that the actions taken by these members may not have intended to be harmful, they were in fact offensive,” the statement said. “Stereotypes are used to oppress marginalized communities. These pictures caricaturize Mexican culture and should not be overlooked. The attire trivializes an entire nation’s history, its peoples, and its cultures, reducing them to a mere mustache and sombrero.”

“The term ‘cultural appropriation’ is not one that is discussed often at Columbia, and it is not one that is easy to define. We hope that these photos promote campus-wide discussions as to what ‘cultural appropriation’ entails and why it is a controversial topic to groups who are often the subjects of such actions,” the statement said.

In a statement sent to Spectator Sunday evening, the Panhellenic Association apologized “for any harm that these pictures may have caused” and pledged to engage with members moving forward.

“We would like to stress that the concerns brought to light by this incident do not at all reflect the shared values of the Panhellenic community, or of Columbia’s greater Greek community, but rather the unfortunate and unintentional misjudgment of a few individuals,” the statement said. “Though it is our understanding that the photos were not posted with the intent to offend or alienate any group or individual, the Panhellenic Association would also like to emphasize that it does not at all condone behavior or language representing any form of cultural insensitivity, whether intentional or not.”

Spectator has also reached out to the Columbia chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta, Theta’s national organization, Columbia’s Student Affairs office, Columbia’s chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon, and representatives from Casa Latina.

Other sororities have come under fire for perceived insensitive costumes at events. IvyGate reported that the University of Pennsylvania's Beta Theta Pi fraternity and Chi Omega sorority threw a party last year where attendees wore fake knuckle tattoos and baggy hoodies at a “gangsta”-themed party.

In 2012, students in Penn State’s Chi Omega sorority came under investigation after hosting a “Mexican-themed party,” where students wore sombreros, ponchos, and mustaches and held signs reading “will mow lawn for weed + beer” and “I don’t cut grass, I smoke it.”

Just last year, students at Dartmouth College came under fire for a party held at the Alpha Delta fraternity with the Delta Delta Delta sorority, where attendees were asked to dress like “Bloods and Crips,” referring to the infamous street gangs. 

Check back for updates.

christian.zhang@columbiaspectator.com  |  @ChristiZhang

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Dis posted on

Gunna b good

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Barnard≠Columbia posted on

Just another reason...

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Anonymous posted on

This makes no sense! Both Barnard and Columbia students were involved!

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And who do you think encouraged those Columbia girls? posted on

Barnard.

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Anonymous posted on

the president of sorority, who was on the Mexico "team" is CC and should take responsibility for this as someone in a position of leadership.

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Anonymous posted on

you're disgusting and jealous. ain't nobody got time for that!

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You voted '-1'.
Anonymous posted on

The president is cc
This comment is actually so stupid

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Idiots posted on

Don't you know a troll when you see one? Barnard or columbia...it's irrelevant--a red herring.

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what posted on

confused as to how specific colleges are even relatively relevant in this situation.....

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Anonymous posted on

Also I don't think any of the guys of SigEp go to Barnard so..

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Anonymous posted on

Cultural Appropriation!

http://bwog.com/2014/02/24/chicano-caucus-at-glass-house-rocks/

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Anonymous posted on

uh oh

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Pablo Sanchez posted on

the pussification of america continues

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Anonymous posted on

Ever since the racism incident at other schools last year, Spec writers have been waiting like a scavenger on Facebook to get on the Greek shaming bandwagon.
Agreed, there is a fine line between mockery and celebrating culture and this might be cultural appropriation. But, this is certainly not the medium nor the way you should have highlighted it if you truly wanted to address the problem.
Christian Zhang, I hope you know that you are just a mere sensationalist, not a journalist

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Anonymous posted on

OMG right???!!!??? Words like "Greek shaming" seem to presume that it's totally normal for university-sanctioned groups to throw parties celebrating stereotypes, and God knows we see student groups' party pictures all over our newsfeeds on a near-daily basis. But have you ever heard or seen a non-Greek group dumb enough to hold a party with a stereotype theme? Seriously, have you?

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Anonymous posted on

lol @ butthurt greeks' persecution complex

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CC '17 posted on

While what you say may or may not be true, I have to say that blaming the author is scapegoating -- what did you want him to do, not report on it? This is a very neutrally-toned article, so save your opinions for the op-ed section. The author did not create the news, he just reported on it.

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Anonymous posted on

"the pussification of America continues"

^ the death rattle of the douche-bro who uses words like "pussification" or its variations as an actual insult

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BC '11 posted on

This comment is culturally appropriating my pussy

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in the know posted on

They had a "Beer Olympics" thing.

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more in the know posted on

beer olympics == drinking in brownstone == violation of panhel policy

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Anonymous posted on

Who says it was their brownstone they had it in?

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um posted on

Just because there was an informal party with alcohol doesn't mean it took place in a brownstone.

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hmm posted on

i didn't see any mexican athletes wearing sombreros at the olympics

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Anonymous posted on

not a sombrero, but still: http://assets.nydailynews.com/polopoly_fs/1.1595358!/img/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/landscape_635/racerweb30s-1-web.jpg

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It's one thing posted on

for him, the only Mexican competitor, to wear a suit modeled after a traditional Charro outfit to bring attention to non-traditionally competitive countries participating in the Olympics. The suit, as much as a skiing suit can, does look pretty accurate. I don't agree with his approach, but at least I get where he's coming from.

It's just wrong for these girls to have maracas and wear dumb hats and fake mustaches, as though those things make them look "Mexican." No.

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jon posted on

they're just celebrating their culture. i guess party city is racist if they sell this right? where does it end? am i degrading cops if i dress as a cop? we dont all wear aviators!! it's a hurtful stereotype!!!!

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jon posted on

they're just celebrating their culture. i guess party city is racist if they sell this right? where does it end? am i degrading cops if i dress as a cop? we dont all wear aviators!! it's a hurtful stereotype!!!!

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Anonymous posted on

But they aren't celebrating their culture. They are making fun of someone else's.

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Anonymous posted on

I'm mexican and i'm not offended

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A Latina posted on

One Mexican who doesn't believe this is offensive does NOT negate the dozens of others who do. It also doesn't negate the racist logic behind this.

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huh posted on

did you take a poll to see who was or was not offended?

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Anonymous posted on

did you just assume that the one mexican who commented was representative of every mexican on campus?

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DOZENS!!! posted on
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DOZENS!!! posted on

https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTL_4j2Ah0tZm4BzdClW6ZCncpP-bFh4o-Ku-oMxb6GIH_kks6N4g

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jon posted on

you are a party pooper. of course they are making fun. that is why it's called dressing up. no one is trying to make a derogatory statement, nothing like what Penn St. did. all i see is some sexy females dressing in a theme. stop buying into guilt. nothing is hurtful about this.

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Anonymous posted on

First of all, I realize you're a troll, so I'll keep this short. I don't give a flying fuck what anybody's intentions are. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. This is fucking racist.

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Anonymous posted on

This

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jon posted on

my guess is you're a huge ass liberal who feels like society has mistreated them. have a nice life getting offended and OUTRAGED 3 times a week by articles on Huffington Post

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Anonymous posted on

This is in NO WAY racist. It might be insensitive, but it is going way too far to call a bunch of girls who were just trying to have some fun at a costume party racist. Sometimes I think this school just takes these things way too seriously. A costume is a costume, it is meant to be a parody. Surprisingly no one mentions that Germany was represented as a bunch of slutty Beer wenches, is it because Germans are ethnically white and have a history as oppressors instead of as oppressed? Stop picking on some foolish girls and go pick on the real racists, there are bigger fish to fry out there.

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Anonymous posted on

Who do you think walks out of an ivy league school yet still becomes a racist?

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Anonymous posted on

Good question. Is it supposed to be rhetorical? I don't get it.

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Anonymous posted on

Did you really just say "party pooper"?

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ya boy lee bollinger posted on

Oh nice a liberal newspaper tattling on kids having a good time!! Nice! I love this generation!

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Anonymous posted on

Yeah perhaps someone who is personally offended should have written/commented on these actions. This is lame front page news.

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Anonymous posted on

Dude, Greeks aren't the only people who like to party. But lots of people have good times without being dumb enough to have offensive themes.

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Anonymous posted on

Will someone please unironically explain to me why this is offensive? I hail from a different country and wouldn't be offended at all if a sorority decided to have a country-themed party and dressed as its respective stereotypes. Unless, of course, they implied some sort of inferiority. But I don't see this implication here, since the costumes incorporate exclusively stereotypical garb and nothing like the horrible signs held by the girls at Penn State.

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Anonymous posted on

i dont get it either....

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Anonymous posted on

this is offensive because it is highly against the values of the Panhellenic community, Theta's national organization and of columbia university at large. Theta should be ashamed.

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CC'14 posted on

This won't answer your question directly, but it's in the same vein and you should understand the connection

http://nativeappropriations.com/2011/10/open-letter-to-the-pocahotties-and-indian-warriors-this-halloween.html

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Anonymous posted on

Maybe I should've mentioned that I come from a developing country? Still wouldn't find this offensive. Perhaps distasteful, but definitely not offensive.

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Anonymous posted on

So if you don't find it offensive, no one should?

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Anonymous posted on

This. I don't care if you say "I'm Mexican/from a third-world country/etc. and I don't find this offensive." One view saying it's not offensive shouldn't overshadow what dozens of people are saying/have been saying.

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DOZENS!!! posted on

https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTL_4j2Ah0tZm4BzdClW6ZCncpP-bFh4o-Ku-oMxb6GIH_kks6N4g

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Anonymous posted on

this is so stupid. you realize they give out those hats at parties for little kids like bar mitzvahs? are kids racist too?

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Anonymous posted on

Their parents can be.
Also:
bar mitzvah-meaningful religious/cultural celebration
This is not the same thing.

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Nope posted on

Just because a party is "religious/cultural" that wouldn't excuse it from offending other cultures, on moral grounds at least. The point still stands.

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Anonymous posted on

its a type of hat, should we call people in China wearing baseball hats racists?

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Anonymous posted on

if people in China or Russia wore baseball hats and flags with stars replaced by "Russia likes to party" as part of an American-themed party, I'd probs be a little uncomfortable.

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Jake Plummer posted on

What is the BFD here?

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Seriously? posted on

Interesting how a bunch of Ivy League students seem to not have a basic grasp on the concept of cultural appropriation.
Also, does that really look like a thoughtful, meaningful celebration of Mexican culture? Think about it.

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Anonymous posted on

This isn't cultural appropriation.. it's just a silly costume with a Mexican theme. So are we not supposed to dress up in any costume anymore that might be related to a culture?

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Anonymous posted on

Not when you're representing a national organization.

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Really? posted on

That's the most ridiculous thing i've heard. Columbia needs to chill the f**k out.

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Anonymous posted on

So any time you make any reference to any culture that is not your own, it needs to be an entirely meaningful and thoughtful celebration of that culture, and can't have any lighthearted element of fun within it? Great, but be consistent. Don't celebrate Halloween, because it's creating stereotypes about the Celtic Christian culture and its holiday of All Hallow's Eve. On Saint Patrick's day, don't dare wear anything green or drink Irish booze, because that's a degradation of their culture and just perpetuates stereotypes. And HOW DARE YOU wear American flag-themed clothing on the Fourth of July? You're just perpetuating stereotypes!!!!!!

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Anonymous posted on

Correct. You can't make any reference to any culture that is not your own without it being meanful and thoughtful.

Don't worry. I don't celebrate Halloween, or St. patrick's day, or 4th of July, or really any of the National holidays as they're steeps in colonial and racist bullshit. Therefore, I can make this declaration.

Consistency accomplished.

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Sorry posted on

Must suck to force yourself to be unhappy every day because you feel like you have to make up for the actions of others

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Anonymous posted on

You equate not celebrating St. Patrick's Day/Columbus Day/4th of July to being unhappy? Interesting.

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Anonymous posted on

You equate not celebrating St. Patrick's Day/Columbus Day/4th of July to being unhappy? Interesting.

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Anonymous posted on

choosing not to participate != making up for others' actions.

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Anonymous posted on

http://bwog.com/2014/02/24/chicano-caucus-at-glass-house-rocks/

LOL

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Anonymous posted on

Maybe instead of being angry at the students for wearing these hats, we should be angry at manufacturers for making these hats and selling them in costume/party stores?

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Chill Out posted on

Come on guys... this isn't a story. They were having an olympics party where everyone dresses up as a country. Other girls were wearing berets or american flag turbans. Or togas for Greece, etc. There is no evidence of offensive signs, just wearing a national stereotype. Are we going to get offended at all instances of poking fun at stereotypes? Have some fun, and chill out.

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Anonymous posted on

Least relevant news I've read in awhile. While there is anarchy in the Ukraine and Venezuela you are commenting on 20 year old girls dressing up in costumes purchased from manufacturers who market these costumes as "mexicans". step your content up spec. boring.

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Anonymous posted on

Because I know I want to read a bunch of 20-year-olds offering their take on international politics. it's a campus newspaper, bro

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Anonymous posted on

"The social aim of the Fraternity shall be to exercise the
widest influence for good."
- Quoted on Theata's Website.
oopsies?

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nim posted on

*whitest

ftfy

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cc'17 posted on

Christian Zhang could have had enough decency to blur out the girl's name whose photo it is......

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Anonymous posted on

She's Theta's president.

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Manuel posted on

Once you've seen Juan, you've seen em all

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JSmoove posted on

Once you've seen Juan, you've seen Jamal

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Anonymous posted on

the new smart ads are for the Mexican Festival Restaurant! Wow now they can even profit off of these girls! Good job Theta. Nobel Prize anyone?

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Anonymous posted on

not an Onion article?

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privacy? posted on

doesn't spec need to get katie's permission to post pictures from her facebook? or can anyone who is just facebook friends with her and writes for spec open up their newsfeed and decide to write a story in the campus newspaper about something they see there? did you even reach out to her for comment?

cultural appropriation or relevency to news debate aside, updates on someone's facebook seems like a grossly unprofessional way to write a story.

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Maggie Alden posted on

Katie is the public face of Theta and put out this picture on relatively public social networks seen by a ridiculous number of Columbia students. Separately, they put up a screenshot they were sent, not Katie's original photo, which complicates ideas about fair use.
The article also says that Spec reached out to Theta for comment. Katie is the president of Theta. That means they reached out to her and she hasn't provided comment.

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Maggie Alden posted on

(Assuming that they were sent said screenshot based on what's involved in caption—no longer involved with Spec and can't speak for the editors.)

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Anonymous posted on

just because someone took a screenshot and sent it to spec, though, does that make it any less an invasion of privacy? these might have been posted by the president of theta but i think there's a definite line between her posting these in the acting role of the president of theta (perhaps from this theta chapter's facebook page) and as a private individual posting them to her friends. what about the other people in the picture? just because they were photographed wearing a sombrero intending it to only be seen by facebook friends, does that make it ok for spec to publish a picture of them as headline news without their consent? and if spec did get consent to publish these pictures, the article should say so.

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Anonymous posted on

As president of a non-greek organization, I have to say what you do does reflect your organization. Especially at Columbia the President (to an extent) the face of the group and should act as such. I take that responsibility seriously especially when I go to events as a member/president. Being president of a Greek org means the media & campus is always watching you. She should know better, no excuses.

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You are so cute posted on

Steps to writing a Spec article:

1. Jealously browse facebook
2. Take screenshot of someone you barely know on Facebook
3. Email the screenshot to yourself
4. Write story about "screenshot the Spec was emailed"

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Maggie Alden posted on

Again, I can't speak for the editors, but Spec is likely to credit itself on photos as part of preserving its rights to those photos (that they can't be reused/resold elsewhere without permission). On a story that might be picked up by another outlet (on campus or outside), that's an even greater concern.

I'd be surprised if the scenario you described is the case, but, again, you'd be best off reaching out to the editor if you want more info. Listed contact email is editor@columbiaspectator.com.

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previous commenter (privacy? and anonymous) posted on

I'm genuinely curious about how rights to use people's facebook photos works. You obviously know a lot more about journalism than I do (not meant as sarcasm, I genuinely don't know what's legal or considered ethical and what's not), so could you speak to this? I find the line between Katie's role as a public figure and her privacy as an individual, especially on facebook which functions both privately and publicly, to be very blurry. I legitimately don't understand how it's ethical or appropriate for Spec to use facebook pictures of people (even if technically a screenshot emailed in), attach them to a story, and broadcast them to a much wider audience without the people in these photos' consent? Shouldn't the faces at least be blurred out to protect their privacy?

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Maggie Alden posted on

Yeah, would love to speak more. Because this is public venue / complicated decision / I don't want to appear to speak on behalf of Spec, could we continue discussion over email? UNI's mra2131, and I'm OK answering a throwaway account if you want to stay anonymous.

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Anonymous posted on

If they reached out to her, and Theta operates like most sororities, Spec should note that she is most likely restricted from speaking about this without consent from Nationals/Advisors first. Unfortunately, this pathetic newspaper threw a girl under the bus in order to attract as many comments as possible. But hey, we're all about fostering a community here, right! look at all the comments! you guys must be a real paper or something.

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You voted '+1'.
Anonymous posted on

word!

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Anonymous posted on

When the university says they can't comment on a legal case, they give a reason (usually "citing pending litigation"). If M. Dianne Murphy can't give a statement, Spec doesn't print that she probably has to clear a statement with university PR, and on multiple occasions where that's probably the case, they've actually said something like, "would not comment," or "refused to comment." Chicano Caucus probably has to consult with their advisor before releasing a statement, but Spec didn't make a note of that, either.
If Katie can't comment directly on a case without consulting national leadership, she should say so; otherwise, Spec would just be speculating on her behalf--a privilege that's not usually extended to other groups.

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Anonymous posted on

re: chicano caucus, to clarify: when Chicano Caucus hadn't released a statement, Spec didn't speculate as to what the holdup was or describe CC's public relations process.

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Anonymous posted on

There is a big difference between asking a university official for a statement and plastering this woman's face on the front page of this "newspaper" with the intention of riling up commenters to call her a racist. Printing her name and her photos (screen shots or not) is low. This newspaper is low. It will do anything for comments, and if it really cared about cultural appropriation then it would write a story discussing the topic, rather than trying to smear theta and enflame commentators. Instead, they Spec rather potentially ruin this girls life by forever associating her name with this pathetic "newspaper" all for wearing a mustache and sombrero.

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Anonymous posted on

How is this newsworthy?

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former spec news writer posted on

unbelievable that campus news is going so far as to actively call out students on relatively innocuous behavior, just to put out a story of a "sorority coming under fire". i'd expect this attempt to stir up controversy from bwog, but this tip never should have made it into a spec news story.

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Um posted on

Not innocuous at all. Cultural appropriation is part of a larger structure of dominance that needs to be critically examined and not recognizing what these girls are doing as that is a problem.

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former spec news writer posted on

they clearly published this so that someone like you could write this essentially superfluous comment, which just points to the news editor's desperation for sensational content and poor judgment for what is actually relevant and productive to discuss on campus. putting this story out adds nothing useful to the discussion of "structures of dominance", and arguably does more to publicly and lastingly damage the reputations of people who are our fellow students. great job spec news.

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Anonymous posted on

if i could upvote this a million times i would

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Anonymous posted on

oh too bad then

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Anonymous posted on

People were still stupid enough to think that a party like this wouldn't be offensive--and that it was something to be proud of and put on their social networks, which would seem to indicate that their peers also thought it was OK. Calling out what they did is, hate to say it, pretty useful, not least because it lets other readers realize it's not OK.

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Anonymous posted on

hi Chris Meyer

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Anonymous posted on

um... they dressed up as all different cultures, not just minority ones. these isn't a power struggle.

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also posted on

"this is not the first sorority to come under fire"
coming under fire from whom? spec? christian zhang? did spec actually get complaints from a student organization or a group of students who were offended by this?

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Anonymous posted on

yes. assuming they were sent the picture by an offended student, that would qualify as a complaint.

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Ricardo Alatorre posted on

At the expense of being labeled an Uncle Tom I'm going to go ahead and identify myself, by name, as a proud Mexican who honestly sees absolutely no harm in a couple of sorority girls sporting fake mustaches and sombreros for a night of tequila and fun.

After 4 years here I can say with some (though obviously limited) certainty that the cadre of people that choose to engage in endless hand-wringing over 'cultural appropriation' are the same jackasses who go to Cafe Frida or Taqueria&Fonda in order to pretend they're responsible and authentic about experiencing other cultures, as opposed to just going there to eat very tasty food.

They'll go to Oaxaca for a week and gush about microfinance or fair trade or whatever, and then they'll come back and do coke to stay awake for their ibanking internship without considering the fact they're indirectly feeding the machine that kills the kids they took so many facebook pictures with.

And to be honest, I'll take the Chipotle-eating, hat-wearing sorority girls over that other group any day of the week.

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Anonymous posted on

I'd be interested to see what the fraternity brothers that went to this same mixer were dressed up as....Why are the girls being singled out for this?

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Anonymous posted on

because the bros weren't dumb enough to put up photos. the whole thing becomes more offensive because the girls apparently thought no one would mind.

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Anonymous posted on

Exactly. “will mow lawn for weed + beer” and “I don’t cut grass, I smoke it” are offensive, but what happened here isn't.

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Damn posted on

Strong par

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Bob Sun posted on

I don't know who this is, but it's not me. Is anonymity not enough anymore? Are we impersonating others now?

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Wait posted on

What?

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Karla Jimenez posted on

"They'll go to Oaxaca for a week and gush about microfinance or fair trade or whatever, and then they'll come back and do coke to stay awake for their ibanking internship without considering the fact they're indirectly feeding the machine that kills the kids they took so many facebook pictures with."

Yes, yes, yes. This comment was so necessary. I am still offended by the 'cultural appropriation,' and it must be addressed, but I really can't deal with the hypocrisy of these people that you point out. So for that, thank you.

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Anonymous posted on

Why is this a story???

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Anonymous posted on

Christian Zhang should mind his own business and loosen up a bit!

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Anonymous posted on

Just reporting what I've heard through the grapevine, this was a mixer that theta had with sigep in the sigep brownstone. The theme, as previously noted by someone else, was something to do with the olympics and dressing up like people from a certain country. To my knowledge, both the guys and the girls dressed up in a way that was supposed to represent a certain country.

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yep posted on

that's the right way to represent those countries!

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Anonymous posted on

fucking geeds. stop ruining a good thing in greek life.

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Agreed posted on

Such jabronis

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Anonymous posted on

Oh my gooodd who are you people

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Agreed posted on

Such jabronis

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Jesus Christ posted on

Columbia needs to take its head out of its ass and stop being offended by every fucking thing. I hail from a developing country and I don't see why this is inappropriate at all. If they had dressed up in the traditional garb of my country I would be flattered, not offended.

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Anonymous posted on

it's not traditional garb. it's stylized, stereotypical garb with defaced flags.

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Oh puhlease posted on

Really, do you also have issues with some guys wearing American flag clothing not he 4th of July? It's a flag and some clothes--not a bigoted statement. Enter the real world.

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Anonymous posted on

I'm done being told to chill out. If these women fully understood what it means to be wearing a sombrero and a mustache then I am sure they would remove those accessories as quickly as possible. They are fortunate to be able to remove these costumes and go back to their regular privileges (after they are done drinking of course). I can't remove being a Mexican but I don't care- I'm proud to be one. But I am sick of being told to chill out when these girls are trying to tell me what they think it means to be a Mexican because ladies you have no idea. If we remain docile then these girls won't know when they have crossed the line. You crossed the line. Stay on your side of the line and stick to wearing red, white, and green at the next fiesta.

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Stacy posted on

I have finally found the strength to comment on this issue after being completely immobilized since reading the article.

As a German citizen, I am so personally offended that these girls would represent my culture with a beer stein and matching outfit. Not only must I deal with this, but spec fails to acknowledge this issue.

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Anonymous posted on

apparently there were also people dressed as nazis, but no one was stupid enough to tweet out a photo of them.

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Anonymous posted on

there were not people dressed as nazis, that is just an example of more spectator slander courtesy of daniela quintanilla

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Anonymous posted on

ps i hear lawyers are in the works so you best watch out daniela quintanilla, there coming for you

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Anonymous posted on

they're.... autocorrect

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Anonymous posted on

I really do feel sorry for you if something like this immobilized you. I think that you may be in way over your head. You must have led a very sheltered life. You need to toughen up.

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Anonymous posted on

You can remove a mustache by shaving and you can easily take a sombrero off... That way you can go back to your regular priveleges as well

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Anonymous posted on

It doesn't matter how much as a people we advance, we will still be seen as having that mustache and sombrero. And that carries zero privilege.

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anon posted on

of course it carries zero privilege, it's a fucking hat.

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Anonymous posted on

I'm done being told to chill out. If these women fully understood what it means to be wearing a sombrero and a mustache then I am sure they would remove those accessories as quickly as possible. They are fortunate to be able to remove these costumes and go back to their regular privileges (after they are done drinking of course). I can't remove being a Mexican but I don't care- I'm proud to be one. But I am sick of being told to chill out when these girls are trying to tell me what they think it means to be a Mexican because ladies you have no idea. If we remain docile then these girls won't know when they have crossed the line. You crossed the line. Stay on your side of the line and stick to wearing red, white, and green at the next fiesta.

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Anonymous posted on

Troll

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Anonymous posted on

If this article was in a position of concern I perhaps would acknowledge it but since it was written to cause a shit storm and create ha back amongst Columbia community I find it unadmirable and gross.

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Anonymous posted on

calling out has usually been considered a valid/important way of combating ingrained prejudice...

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Ease posted on

Up

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White people posted on

I like that noone cared about the clearly offensive irish and german costumes. Cause white is not a culture. its just white.

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Arsene Wenger /Equal_opportunites_employer/ edition posted on

>Kiss me, I'm a famined potato

Okay that's fucking stupid

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Lol, I know posted on

There's something really sad about how she thinks the Irish potato crop was "famined."

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Anonymous posted on

You must hate hate hate Family Guy and South Park and most comedies for that matter

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Anonymous posted on

no, it's because in the us, irish and german cultures are now part of the dominant group. the irish costume would probably inspire backlash in the uk.

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haha posted on

I call this the "privilege" map. The bluer you are, the more cultural privilege you have.
http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2013/05/16/article-2325502-19D0189E000005DC-313_634x274.jpg
oh shit nevermind, its the tolerance map...

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Anonymous posted on

> linking to the daily mail to make a point

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Anonymous posted on

ongoing racial/ethnic violent conflict (often part of a colonial legacy) isn't the same as lack of "tolerance," bro.

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Anonymous posted on

I find it disheartening that fellow students are throwing each other under the bus

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Buzzfeed posted on

EPIC Greek party wears INSANELY racist costumes. Click here to find out Christian Zhangs DRAMATIC response. Which country are you???

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Anonymous posted on

The fact that this is news is unbelievable. Nothing offensive here. Stereotypes are not inherently racist or offensive- it's people's intentions that make them that way. The fact of the matter is, the clothing that these girls are wearing is representative of clothing worn by a significant number of Mexicans not only in the past, but today (see Mariachi bands). Are Mariachi bands also racist? Or are we back to the idea that it is only racist if one of the OTHERS says it.

Furthermore, to assume that their actions are offensive is in itself racist, because it insinuates that this depiction of Mexicans is offensive or somehow funny. I'm sure plenty of Mexicans are proud of this part of their heritage and culture. If someone dressed up in a costume of a French person that included a beret and fashionable clothing, would anyone find that offensive? Get over yourselves.

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Anonymous posted on

Are mariachi bands racist? No. Is your perception that the aesthetic of mariachi bands is reflective of all Mexicans? Perhaps.

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Anonymous posted on

road to hell, intentions, &c

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Anonymous posted on

if i wore a "white privilege" costume i'm sure the message of cultural appropriation would finally hit home for some of you, but since your culture affords you a sort of shield of neutrality where other cultures are simply costumes you put on for an hour or so then safely retreat to your whiteness when the parties over you simply can't understand your offensive actions.

also to the person that defended the mustache as "cultural garb"... what world do you live in?

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Anonymous posted on

you're kind of a dick. you do realize that not all white people are from the same culture right?

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Anonymous posted on

and you realize not all mexican people are from the same mustachioed culture too, right? http://cdn.head-fi.org/d/d4/d4837514_Point_over_your_head.jpeg

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Anonymous posted on

really!?? Are you serious? It's a party. This was a fun celebration of the Olympics. Where is your sense of humor. There are a lot more offensive things on FB than this. Let me repeat : a party.
I'm offended and hurt that you are picking on these girls. Your are harassing them for having a costume party. Do you chase after kids on Halloween and call them racist???

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Anonymous posted on

The fact that you are equating dressing up as a witch or ghost to dressing up like ANOTHER HUMAN BEING is disgustingly ignorant.

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Anonymous posted on

how

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hmmm posted on

idk what world you've been living in because people dress up as other human beings all the time i.e. celebrities, occupations, historical figures

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Anonymous posted on

But did the frat guys dress up in the theme too?

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Anonymous posted on

Get over yourself. It was an international dress up party. It was a complement to be dressed in another culture. I wear clothes from other countries and cultures all the time. If I wear an Abercrombe shirt, an I making fun of Americans?

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Anonymous posted on

Nice "gotcha" journalism Spec! What a rag of a newspaper for publishing this article and blowing up a non-issue. The National Enquirer wouldn't even stoop so low.

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Anonymous posted on

nice "gotcha" anonymous comment, theta lady. what a rag of an organization for relying on stereotypes as party theme. co-op wouldn't even stoop so low.

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Anonymous posted on

Actually, I'm not a Theta lady or even a lady for that matter - just a member of the Columbia community who would appreciate tremendously a dedicated campus publication that dares to tackle the interesting and meaningful issues concerning our University rather than creating sensationalist news.

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Anonymous posted on

There is a witch hunt on this campus.

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Anonymous posted on

Ever since the racism incident at other schools last year, Spec writers have been waiting like a scavenger on Facebook to get on the Greek shaming bandwagon.

Agreed, there is a fine line between mockery and celebrating culture and this might be cultural appropriation. But, this is certainly not the medium nor the way you should have highlighted it if you truly wanted to address the problem.

Christian Zhang, I hope you know that you are just a mere sensationalist, not a journalist.

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Anonymous posted on

Oh, shut up. Everybody get off Christian's back. The only true witch hunt that is going on here is against him.

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Anonymous posted on

screw christian. pathetic excuse for a journalism. he should be embarrassed

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Anonymous posted on

Is this the best journalism the Spectator has to offer? The author "perceives insensitivity" in the costumes, but doesn't articulate the rationale --he just conflates the girls' sombreros with the Penn State signs. The Penn State signs were offensive because the messages were that Mexicans are dope-smoking, beer-drinking, gardeners and the messages were delivered by socioeconomically privileged college students in the US who presumably don't want to be dope-smoking, beer-drinking, gardeners. Perhaps they want to be dope-smoking, beer-drinking professionals. The cultural appropriation argument taken to the extreme as presented in the comments would effectively bar anyone ever appearing in costume for anything. Can we have no costume balls in the 21st century? What exactly is offensive about a sombrero? or traditional Latvian attire? or overalls and a straw hat? or a nurse costume -- well, is that sexist? (Is it sexist to want to be nurse? Surely not.) So when the third graders "travel around the world" in geography class, and dress up for each country they visit, they're engaging in offensive cultural appropriation? Columbia students and particularly its reporters receiving an education priced at $62k per year ought to be able to have a serious conversation about where the line is, and where the gray area is on this side of the line, and where the completely clear zone is. I don't think the sombreros and fiesta t-shirts came close to the line.

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Anonymous posted on

is this offensive? you are mexican, you represent all mexicans, so you are the judge.

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Anonymous posted on

No more toga parties; offensive to the ancient Greeks.
No more shipwrecked parties; offensive to those who've actually experienced being lost at sea.
No more James Bond parties; wrong to stereotype a hollywood franchise.
No more posting pictures from parties; offensive to the people who didn't get invited.

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Anonymous posted on

hahaha!
no more wearing football jerseys; offensive to American culture

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Anonymous posted on

no more guys wearing barnard shirts; highly offensive

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Anonymous posted on

or casino nights. we need to be sensitive to the fact that gambling presents a very real and addictive problem to some people.

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Anonymous posted on

Burn Vegas to the ground! The Luxor, the Venetian, Ceasar's Palace and even New York, New York (plus others) have all based their images on cultural appropriation. We cannot let this go unpunished!

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Anonymous posted on

^that's a stretch

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Anonymous posted on

you lack of imagination is insensitive

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Anonymous posted on

your misspelling is insensitive

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Anonymous posted on

your bullying is insensitive

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Anonymous posted on

I love everything that is happening right now

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Anonymous posted on

The American flag is actually stylish in Europe. They've integrated it into all types of clothing.

I find this outrageously offensive. #ohwaitnoidon't

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Anonymous posted on

This is gold

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Anonymous posted on

because this is not literally gold, i think your comment is offensive. an injustice to gold the world over.

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Anonymous posted on

this is *like gold

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Anonymous posted on

still insensitive.

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Anonymous posted on

no pun intended

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Anonymous posted on

no more army costumes on halloween. offensive to our service members.

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Anonymous posted on

mocking PC is insensitive

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Anonymous posted on

you, my friend, are no fun

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Anonymous posted on

thus an example of a solution. I don't have fun = I don't offend anyone. works very well.

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Anonymous posted on

Sorry, ladies. No more nurse costumes. We shouldn't tolerate others' mocking of a profession that many depend on for a living. Very shameful, if you ask me.

The same applies to the widespread use of "police officer" costumes. Big no-no. Those men and women risk their lives protecting us! How dare we.

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Anonymous posted on

I blame sig ep

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Anonymous posted on

Having read all of the comments and the article, I do think that while this is not exactly "news" in the way it's a big event that I am shocked and surprised to learn about, it brings up a productive and important conversation. I think it's really really crucial to consider how what you do affects others, because everything we say and do (or choose not to) has an impact.

However, one problem here is that these girls are being made scapegoats for a much MUCH larger issue of insensitivity in our culture - including the fact both that this is front page news and that the photo fully displays identifiable people and is from a social media site. Sure, if you have enough personal connections to Theta, you probably would have seen it on Facebook or Instagram, but it feels unprofessional, and I don't think these girls should have to worry about walking around campus feeling shamed or despised by their peers.

For matters like these, I think the context is somewhat important when making judgements (including choosing to write a story like this). I do not think that these girls meant to harm anyone, nor were trying to legitimately celebrate these cultures. They were trying to have an Olympic themed mixer and probably didn't have the time, money, or energy to create more authentic costumes for their party (where they would also be somewhat messed up as it is a frat party). Additionally, I do not think that what they did is extraordinary nor was an act of hate by any means.

The question here that we should be worrying about is: is it okay to pretend to be from a culture at all if you will not do it full justice (i.e. put in lots of research to understand it, deeply engage with individuals of that culture, immerse yourself in it before trying to make any statements about it)? And is "full justice" even attainable? There are some things you just will never understand because you won't ever really live it. But of course interacting and sharing is good and useful for everyone and does help people understand, respect, learn about, and care for each other. (I'm not implying here that these girls understood and appreciated more about Mexico or Greece from this party; I'm speaking more generally). So where's the line between exchange and appropriation?

Honestly, I think this entire situation is just a small reflection of how absentminded many/most of us as a society are when it comes to sensitive issues like race, ethnicity, class, gender, etc. and how our numerous -isms (racism, sexism, elitism, so on) are really embedded in our culture. People whose feelings are hurt are totally valid in being upset by this, and we shouldn't argue over who is allowed to feel what (though we can argue over logic). The fact that this article is an outrage of sorts and was even written is showing that we are becoming more conscious of what we are doing, and that's why I think this conversation is productive. We should be thinking about how the things we do (even those that seem the most normal) are related to different relationships in our world and if those are helpful or hurtful acts. Obviously, we still have work to do. There's always work to do.

I think greater sensitivity to the individual all around would do us all a lot of good.

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Anonymous posted on

This!

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sfp posted on

Some people are so PC it's sad..... Obviously this was not meant to be hurtful. Lighten up.

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Anonymous posted on

Everyone should just pop a xanax and chill out

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Anonymous posted on

christian zhang - stop being a creepy virgin and looking at katie barclay's facebook as your main activity on a saturday night and go get a life.

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Really? posted on

Christian is a really great and genuine guy - don't get mad at him for your own issue.

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really? posted on

because i find it hard to believe a great and genuine guy would write something like this

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Anonymous posted on

I agree nothing was genuine about this... him pretending to care about the greater cause of being PC, while all he wanted and all he knew would happen was people bickering/theta and more generally the greek community being the center of a school wide shit storm. do you think he cares that mexican's were offended by this? absolutely not, he didn't even write about how it was offensive rather drew similarities to other actions made by other sororities that don't even make sense in this context. wait to go, brooooo

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Anonymous posted on

don't know / haven't talked to christian about this but "him pretending to care... while all he wanted and all he knew would happen was people bickering/theta and more generally the greek community being the center of school wide shit storm"? come on, dude. get over your persecution complex. no one cares enough about greek life to hate it.

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Anonymous posted on

its not about greek life, its about causing drama in general...you think he wrote this for the greater good? in all honesty?

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Anonymous posted on

I would feel absolutely terrible. The harm done by the potential insensitivity of the costumes to a general group of people doesn't begin to compare to the direct harm that this article is doing to the poor girls being scapegoated in these pictures or in this sorority. The former is a potentially insensitive, and accidental offence. The latter is directly malicious to a group of people whose lives you have changed in a very real and negative way.

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Anonymous posted on

*If I had written this article, I would feel absolutely terrible.

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Anonymous posted on

Good point, and well said.

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Anonymous posted on

No one is being scapegoated. These girls chose to wear the costumes, chose to take pictures, and chose to allow those pictures to be posted publicly. If you are doing something blatantly in poor taste, you should not document it. Well, you shouldn't DO it, but you definitely shouldn't document it.

A sorority shouldn't actively propel racial stereotypes to spice up a game of beer pong. It's that simple. It's isolating, it's ignorant, and it's a cheap way to get a few laughs. Just like the sorority picked an easy way to find some entertainment at the expense of others, this publication has found an easy way to find some publicity at the expense of others. The sorority shouldn't be that surprised. This is what happens when you make poor decisions and then proudly flaunt them.

BTW, I don't know if I find the pictures ridiculously, offensively, horribly racist-- but come on. Someone should have thought, "maybe it's not a great idea to throw a party filled with international exaggerations AKA stereotypes".

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Anonymous posted on

You do know that most of the people in these teams were born and raised in the countries they chose. Sad you think that they did this to make fun of the countries/ have a couple of laughs. It's embarrassing that you think that they would go to those lengths to insult different nations to which their sisters originate.

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Anonymous posted on

wow i had no idea there were that many chicana thetas

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Confirmation Bias... posted on

"A tendency for people to favor information that confirms their preconceptions or hypotheses regardless of whether the information is true." You chose not to see the fact that sororities are in fact incredibly diverse organizations because it suits your needs and allows this to become an "us vs. them" conversation when in fact we are all members of the same community.

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Anonymous posted on

so there are 8 chicana thetas 13 german thetas and 2 irish thetas? interesting.

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Anonymous posted on

The mistake of being slightly culturally insensitive doesn't compare to harm that this article is doing to those girls, nor, obviously, does the mistake of not having the foresight to see this coming. "This is what happens when you make poor decisions and proudly flaunt them." Think, next time you make a poor decision, if you deserve this as well.

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Biddie Ally posted on

Few would care about this photo if it weren't posted by a sista'. Yes, these girls were being insensitive. And yes, the entire party theme was a problematic/dumb idea. And if anyone was offended by these costumes they should certainly write a thoughtful op-ed denouncing cultural appropriations and/or stereotyping. But I can't get over how sensationalized this peace is. Unfortunately, this story is only "news"-worthy because many Columbians like to target anyone involved in the Greek system, especially sororities. Intolerance occurs all across campus, in other more problematic ways, and needs to be addressed. This article is rubbish.

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Anonymous posted on

You don't think people would throw a shit fit if Daphne Chen put up photos like these from a CCSC party? Or if they came from a COOP party? Come the fuck on.

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Anonymous posted on

This is totally true, as is now being proved by the photos of Chicano Caucus.

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Anonymous posted on

My heart goes out to Katie, I hope she has some support

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Anonymous posted on

I can't stop thinking about the harm that Spec, and Bwog, and the Lion, and anyone who has "reported" on this has done to the Columbia community. To the students of this school: I ask you, have you ever done or said anything that was mildly offensive? If you haven't, you are great. If you have, imagine an article with your picture at the top saying that you have done this thing, that you are a racist, etc. And then imagine that there is this venue for everyone in your community to comment on anonymously and say their opinion about you. Imagine that this article is up on the internet and that it is not going anywhere. That is what these girls are going through and I for one am completely devastated.

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Anonymous posted on

Okay, seriously... devastated is a pretty strong word to use. You should be devastated about your mother dying (God forbid), not a screen shot of your friend's facebook posted on a student run newspaper article.

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Anonymous posted on

since when is having an olympic themed party a "dumb" idea? Can we not touch anything with a ten foot pole if it has anything to do with a culture? How do restaurants get away with having themed decor? Would dressing up as Frida Kahlo have been better? It seems that the negative association of the sombrero and mustache are coming from the viewers not the dressers. Also what about Germany? The other countries? If you're going to call racism, don't be racist about it.

note: I think pinterest has some "Mexican Party theme" boards that deserve a good take down, everyone, to the comments section!

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Anonymous posted on

"dumb" as in one can certainly come up with more interesting theme ideas

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Anonymous posted on

This article is currently the sixth Google result for "Katie Barclay Columbia"

Couldn't have happened to a nicer person.

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Anonymous posted on

Check yourself. Yes, she is the one that feels uncomfortable when her culture is represented as a Sombrero, a mustache, and a cheap t-shirt with "down to fiesta". But wait, it's a celebration of Mexican culture right? because, I forgot, she's nice. She won't be the one that feels uncomfortable reading all the comments saying this is not racist, it's a joke, b/c she's nice enough to not realize IT IS NEITHER FUNNY, NOR WITTY, AND GUESS WHAT? IT'S STILL RACIST. But….she's nice? Who are you to say this couldn't have happened to a nicer person, when it should be, why did this happen? Why wasn't someone nice enough in the planning committee to realize that this is trivializing, not celebrating, mexican culture? YOU CAN BE "NICE" AND STILL BE IGNORANT. BUT IT WOULD BE REALLY NICE IF SHE THOUGHT THIS THROUGH.

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Anonymous posted on

oh my god shut up... this comment was literally the most annoying thing i've ever read

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You voted '-1'.
Anonymous posted on

people must love hanging out with you

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Dear God posted on

Just shut up. I cannot believe people are thinking more about the reputations of the people who promote racist shit instead of — HELLO — the fact that they decided to promote the racist shit.

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Anonymous posted on

yo i was being sarcastic. katie sucks

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Anonymous posted on

Get over yourselves.

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Anonymous posted on

It is beyond comprehension that this even should have been published. I find more umbrage in that the photo was "taken" and publicized in this utterly nonsensical journalistic bull shit article. It is so typical of liberal values to denigrate even the most innocent of actions when it does not resonate with their supposed exalted and irrefutable notions that rarely objectively evaluate both sides. Liberals use extreme examples (Penn States sorority) to justify their talking points and shade the conversation with their own bias. It must be depressing for parents who spend hundreds of thousands for their child's education to see the degree of ignorance that circulates at such an "eminent" institution. Lighten up and become truly educated and open minded. These individuals were having fun….how arrogant to color that with the smear of "cultural approbation" and offensive. I for one will be dressing up as a leprechaun in a few weeks…..with or without a bottle of beer in hand….facebook……here I come

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Anonymous posted on

lolllllllllllllllllllll

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Anonymous posted on

It is beyond comprehension that this even should have been published. I find more umbrage in that the photo was "taken" and publicized in this utterly nonsensical journalistic bull shit article. It is so typical of liberal values to denigrate even the most innocent of actions when it does not resonate with their supposed exalted and irrefutable notions that rarely objectively evaluate both sides. Liberals use extreme examples (Penn States sorority) to justify their talking points and shade the conversation with their own bias. It must be depressing for parents who spend hundreds of thousands for their child's education to see the degree of ignorance that circulates at such an "eminent" institution. Lighten up and become truly educated and open minded. These individuals were having fun….how arrogant to color that with the smear of "cultural approbation" and offensive. I for one will be dressing up as a leprechaun in a few weeks…..with or without a bottle of beer in hand….facebook……here I come

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Anonymous posted on

That's not a frat photo. It's Mexican women and their mustaches. Oooh Aaaah. That kind of talk cannot be tolerated at Columbia. I mean if it's rape or if a football player assaulted a small fellow, or does racist tweets, or if it's shameful cheating in exams, it's ok. But comments about mustaches are where we draw the line. Isn't that so, Bolly?

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Anonymous posted on

uh... campus media have reported on all of those, and bolly hasn't made a public response about this?

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Anonymous posted on

As a MEXICAN AMERICAN parent of a student at Columbia. I was not offended at all. Don't you have more important things to write about?

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Anonymous posted on

Just because you are not offended does not mean it is not offensive to your greater community.

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Anonymous posted on

I asked those in MY Mexican community....no offense taken. This anomaly may be isolated to Columbia!

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Anonymous posted on

"I'm not offended."
"But you should be! This is bad!"
"Well, I'm not."
"But look at how bad this is!"

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Anonymous posted on

still not offended...sorry

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Flumoxed posted on

http://www.columbiaspectator.com/news/2014/02/23/facebook-photos-show-kappa-alpha-theta-members-dressed-mexicans-other-nationalities

I find this interested….refreshing to find such individuals who validate a more relaxed attitude..

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flumoxed posted on

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=chicano+caucus&espv=210&es_sm=91&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=UFwLU9KCJereyAHM9oGoDg&ved=0CAkQ_AUoAQ&biw=1178&bih=708#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=tfADK8P9lvLi1M%253A%3BooEVdjG0TnrJOM%3Bhttps%253A%252F%252Ffbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net%252Fhphotos-ak-prn2%252Ft1%252Fs403x403%252F1800379_700070956702569_830752181_n.jpg%3Bhttps%253A%252F%252Fwww.facebook.com%252FChicanoCaucus%3B403%3B268

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Anonymous posted on

haha a Chicano Caucus uploaded this to FB. Oh the irony!

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Anonymous posted on

They have nothing to hide, they were representing a regional part of Mexico during this event. So I don't understand where the irony stems from? That is in fact part of the attire in a regional part of Mexico. And the situations are completely different too lol... stop trying to justify what these girls did by pointing at another club's own cultural representation.

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Anonymous posted on

The irony stems from saying that these depictions trivialize a entire culture. But it is ok that they can do that to their own culture? I'm not saying that what they wear in this link is not from a specific region, but perhaps a lot of what most are taught and shown ( tv, Spanish text book mostly, cinco de mayo festivities) are that of this region. I'm also not trying to justify what these girls did, never said that. Just think one should practice what they preach, especially if they are going to be on the serious defense.

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Anonymous posted on

To speak of the sombrero's significance to certain people in certain regions of Mexico at an event aimed at cultural exchange is in no way equal to representing all of Mexico at Beer Olympics by donning a sombrero and mustache while drinking tequila. While I understand that these are images that are perpetuated by the American media, isn't that more indicative of an overarching issue that should be fought, rather than something that we should just accept and excuse because "well I didn't know any better", especially at a place like Columbia.

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Anonymous posted on

what region was the mustache from, just wondering?

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Anonymous posted on

This was at a Chicano Caucus event, where they were trying to combat this very issue by sharing their culture with the rest of us, so...you might want to stop trying to find a scapegoat.

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Anonymous posted on

so to combat the stereotype, they perpetuated it?

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Anonymous posted on

To combat the stereotype, they showcased its underlying truths. The when, where and who it actually pertains to.

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Anonymous posted on

I cannot believe what some of you are saying, especially coming from the Columbia community! You talk about the importance of being sensitive towards other people and pretend to represent the peaceful and considerate part of this conflict, and yet you have no issue with stomping on a girl who's already down and bullying her under the protection of an internet avatar! To single out a girl on the internet and actively bullying her is a much bigger crime, and has far greater consequences than it did to dress up in a way that a some people considered inappropriate. The costumes were not meant to offend anyone, and when it was clear that they did, they apologized and removed them. So people, please accept her apology, forgive the actions that she now regrets and move on.

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You voted '+1'.
Anonymous posted on

" To single out a girl on the internet and actively bullying her is a much bigger crime, and has far greater consequences than it did to dress up in a way that a some people considered inappropriate."

It is this very reasoning that is the problem. Under what circumstances is calling out the president of a Columbia chapter of a national sorority for choosing to host an event such as this, and partaking in it herself, worse than the effect these actions have had on the peoples depicted.

I don't believe in public shaming, especially since it's pretty obvious that these girls didn't have ill-intent in mind. I also think this entire article took several wrong turns on its way to PC-ville; but you're refusing to acknowledge the suffering of the people affected in order for these girls to be able to sweep this under the rug and pretend as though nothing ever happened.

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Anonymous posted on

i think a huge problem with this is that zhang decided to blow up this incident to the level of the dartmouth and pen state parties. those parties were THEMED, by their organizations, "'mexican-themed'" and "'bloods and crips'" whereas this situation sounds more like, the theme was "olympics," some girls decided to go as "team mexico" and lacked foresight to realize that their costumes were offensive. the fact that the entire organization, and just not the individuals who screwed up, is being dragged through the mud seems a little intense to me. what about girls who didn't wear offensive costumes? or who didn't go to the party at all?

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Aren't we forgetting something? posted on

This is not just about the misrepresentation of the Mexican culture. As some other Spec articles mention, we are looking at a larger issue of cultural appropriation. It is wrong to mock other stereotypes, especially when they are not grounded in truth but in speculation and misrepresentation.

These members were insensitive to other cultures and their history. There was a member of this organization who made a joke about the Irish potato famine. It is one thing to play up Irish stereotypes (like excessive drinking and Irish dancing and having red hair - all of which are stereotypes and not founded in the true population's behavior), but its very insulting to make a mockery of the Irish potato famine. The famine was not a joke - it was responsible for killing many people and destroying a lot of the social and economic constructs (furthermore putting Ireland in a very dismal place currently).

I don't necessarily blame the Greek system for this mistake - it is a large-scale issue. We have to look into other cultures with an open mind; we cannot just assume the stereotypes are true.

As for the consequences: I don't see any reason to punish these students. They have created a dialogue about cultural appropriation and have tarnished their reputation. We will learn from their mistakes and perhaps, their group will suffer as a consequence.

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Anonymous posted on

as an irish american i was not offended by the irish costumes, but i'm so confused as to how you think irish dancing is not a part of irish culture.

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Anonymous posted on

I think that the question of peer pressure hasn't been adequately discussed here. Many of these people are non-initiated Thetas, people who have just gone through recruitment, a process which is all about asking people to accept you and feeling pressure to be good enough for superficial groups. How can these women, who are still in that mindset, be expected to say no to an event that was planned by the people who they are trying so desperately to be friends with? I think that the bigger problem is the superficial "group think" attitude that is fostered by greek organizations like Theta.

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Anonymous posted on

I think that the question of peer pressure hasn't been adequately discussed here. Many of these people are non-initiated Thetas, people who have just gone through recruitment, a process which is all about asking people to accept you and feeling pressure to be good enough for superficial groups. How can these women, who are still in that mindset, be expected to say no to an event that was planned by the people who they are trying so desperately to be friends with? I think that the bigger problem is the superficial "group think" attitude that is fostered by greek organizations like Theta.

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Anonymous posted on

everyone should check this out:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.700070940035904.1073741831.479184565457877&type=3

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Anonymous posted on

a bit hypocritical don't you think?

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Anonymous posted on

Yea...if it wasn't for the fact that these images have already been brought up, and their context was given. Continuously posting these images as a means of blame-shifting doesn't change the problem at hand.

"This was at a Chicano Caucus event, where they were trying to combat this very issue by sharing their culture with the rest of us, so...you might want to stop trying to find a scapegoat."

"To combat the stereotype, they showcased its underlying truths. The when, where and who it actually pertains to."

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Anonymous posted on

the chicano caucus shouldn't have been able to comment. so hypocritical. we should add those pictures to the ones headlining this article. As soon as someone made mixer into a problem everyone just went for it. you all fell for it. these costumes were supposed to be ignorant. Theta couldn't go to mexico and bring the entire nation and its culture back with them? they never had a fighting chance.

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Uptown posted on

Sometimes I have discussions with people who ask if I felt I missed out on the "college experience" by being a commuter to CU, and by not belonging to a fraternity. Then I read an article like this and think, "No, I didn't miss a thing."

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Anonymous posted on

Cool story

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Anonymous posted on

Actually, Subway, you did. Bet you've been looking for a reason to justify the commute for quite a while. It would have been a hell of a lot better to be on campus, and you know it.

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Anonymous posted on

Why is this article so focused on the Mexican costumes? Surely making light of a period of mass death and starvation ("Kiss Me: I'm a Famined Potato") is just as serious as wearing a sombrero and a moustache. There are also Irish students at Columbia...

And, personally, I wouldn't care if they dressed up as leprechauns, even if it was promoting a national stereotype. It's worse, I think, to joke about the loss of human lives.

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Anonymous posted on

$1000 to the person who finds the pictures of SigEp at this mixer...$2000 if their costumes are even worse than Thetas

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Jaded Grad Student posted on

Posted this on Bwog and I'm posting it here:

While KAT probably should have known better, why the hell would the Huff. Post and Business Insider want to pick this story up? Especially with all the insanity in Kiev and Caracas over the weekend, a civil war in Syria, an three chemical spills in major waterways (including the Mississippi River), the closing ceremony for the Winter Olympics, and a possible mutation of the polio virus on lose in California? Oh, and nobody seems to be talking about the global banking suicides? Yes, America seriously needs to move away from cultural stereotypes, however this story shouldn't be making national news. We need to get our priorities straight on a journalistic level.

Also, kudos to the Panhellenic Association and the Chicanos Caucus. They are really handling this situation with a lot of finesse and class.

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Anonymous posted on

you literally just gave them hundreds of additional views

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Anonymous posted on

Why hasn't Spectator included the pictures from the Chicano Caucus at Glass House Rocks? You don't think twice about posting pictures saying sorority girls have been insensitive, but now that it's a cultural group and bringing their incredible hypocrisy to light might drag you under the bus as well, you are afraid to do it? Their statement literally says "reducing them to a mere mustache and sombrero", but they had cut-outs with the exact same thing!

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Anonymous posted on

You are such a dumbass... Im sorry but you must be in theta and want them to cover you up... hahahaha!

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Alum CC'12 posted on

This is journalism? I understand why people are upset, but why is this so newsworthy? People have the right to be offended, but every time something like this happens we throw the organization the people belong to under the bus. It's such a copout to blame the sorority when people get away with actual crimes on campus and the organizations they belong to don't receive any blame.

The "journalists" at this school are shameless. And everyone else who thinks they're such an activist by getting mad at this kinda thing over the internet (while not doing any actual activism), are even worse.

As someone of hispanic (but not Mexican descent), I agree the depictions of Mexico were quite racist, but I don't think this should be plastered all over campus news.

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XOXO posted on

PLOT TWIST: Christian Zhang is gossip girl!

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Anonymous posted on

Is the Marching Band going to stand in solidarity with Theta now that the administrators are infringing upon their "free speech," too?

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Anonymous posted on

can spec put up the photos of theta's team america that was present at this mixer so that we can at least pretend that this article is not biased?

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theta posted on

i'd do it again

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Anonymous posted on

This is fucking stupid. This may be one of the most worthless articles I've ever read. I don't usually state my opinion on the internet because fuck me, but this needs to be acknowledged. If this is that racist then you better ban St. Patrick's day in the US because it's the same exact thing. I am fairly certain that less than 6% (And I'm being generous here considering that only 11.9% of the US population is Irish catholic) of the American population actually celebrate Saint Patrick's day too, well, celebrate Saint Patrick and just get blisteringly drunk instead and wear stupid four leaf clover sun glasses and fucking abuse people for not wearing green. And then after that we can ban Cinco De Mayo while we're at it. Because, though, it isn't as widely recognized as Saint Patty's day here in the states half you shits do the same thing that day too. This is starting to sound a little familiar...

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Flavio lopez posted on

I think people should be able to have fun dressing up like people from another country and have a good laugh instead of feeling like it may offend somebody . I am Mexican I find it funny ,I am not offended

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Anonymous posted on

St. A's is appropriating our culture and we love it. Everyone needs to lighten up!

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Anonymous posted on

jokes

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Anonymous posted on

ADP?

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Anonymous posted on

How did you know?

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Anonymous posted on

Columbia University? More like Columbia High School. You people have more stupid petty drama than every drama club on the entire planet combined.

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to christian zhang posted on

are you happy now?

are you happy now that you've destroyed your fellow classmates? was it worth it?
remember that you have two and a half more years at columbia. it's a great thing that everyone will remember you for being a bitter, antisocial asshole who was starving for attention.

people like you will never have a happy life. remember that. this will follow you.

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Anonymous posted on

> sends anonymous comments telling random kid he's going to be hated and that he will never have a happy life and that it will follow him > who's the "bitter, antisocial asshole"? at least put your fucking name on this.

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Anonymous posted on

last i knew, a people didn't own their cultures, costumes or used them outside certain regions of the planet. or do they? label these imposters for what they are, imposters and nothing other. such ado about nothing...

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URGGW posted on

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