ASU students stereotyped by bigoted Tau Kappa Epsilon party

While people across the nation observed Monday in honor of civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr., ASU’s Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity hosted an MLK “Black Party.” Unfortunately, this poor behavior slammed ASU students in headlines across the Valley and the nation yet again, an unfair portrayal of the University’s student life.

TKE partygoers celebrated the occasion by dressing in stereotypical black trends, such as basketball shorts and snapbacks. Many took photos of themselves drinking from cups made of hallowed-out watermelons.

While this behavior is racially insensitive and completely unacceptable, this one fraternity does not represent ASU or the students who are actively pursuing degrees.

The upset is that TKE threw a party stereotyping black Americans, yet individuals are quick to strike ASU as a whole, blaming the “party scene.” How is this stereotype deemed acceptable? By clumping ASU students as nothing but “college punks,” are those who judge the University any better?

"How can you not realize how stupid this is?" journalism junior Cuyler Meade told the Associated Press. "It's embarrassing if people look at ASU and think we're all like that."

Embarrassing. It has become embarrassing to attend ASU based on the unfavorable actions of a bigoted few. Students who strive for greatness are torn down by these horrible misconceptions of ASU student life.

Many also overlook that ASU did not let this behavior slide, suspending the fraternity until the end of the spring semester.

"This kind of behavior is not tolerated by the University, and we intend to take swift and immediate action,” James Rund, senior vice president for Educational Outreach and Student Services, told the Associated Press.

Students across the University are tired of seeing the inappropriate actions of their fellow undergraduates plastered on the media. We, of all people, know the consequences that come with reckless behavior. We are not supporting them.

“It’s safe to say the status of some individual students as well as the future of the chapter is currently in jeopardy,” Rund told The Arizona Republic.

From clubs to athletics to student-run publications, ASU is much more than popular headlines read. Greek life is only one section of ASU and is truly a culture of its own.

“TKE bills itself as the world's largest college social fraternity, with 265,000 members and chapters on more than 290 campuses,” reported The Arizona Republic.

It’s naïve for individuals to assume that ASU is the only school with this sort of atmosphere, as fraternities are present in college life across the country. While this is not an excuse to support their behavior, the University is not to blame. The larger culture that tells young men that this kind of activity is acceptable is to blame for this terrible idea.

Students attending any University should not be ashamed of their goals for a higher education. To be associated with idiots at ASU is discouraging to those who dedicate their time and efforts to earning a degree and yet are consistently overshadowed by those with shallow actions.

Reach the columnist at or follow her on Twitter @BeccaSmouse

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