Duke Fraternity Suspended After Asia-Themed Party Prompts Charges Of Racism

By: CBS.com
By: CBS.com

DURHAM, N.C. The parent organization of Kappa Sigma fraternity has suspended its Duke University chapter over a party some claimed was racist after photos surfaced of partygoers in Asian-style clothing.

Last Friday's party was reported to have featured an Asian theme, but university vice president of student affairs Larry Moneta said the title was changed to international relations after some students complained.

An Asian student group filed a complaint and held a protest rally Wednesday.

"The events of the past week have deeply hurt students in our community," the Asian Students Association and the Asian American Alliance wrote on Facebook. "We won't use our platform to alienate, to provide more fodder for stereotypes about Duke, or to trivialize any person's experience. Instead, we will use this opportunity to spread awareness of why the events of the past week were hurtful and to establish a concrete plan for how our community can move forward."

Pictures posted online showed people attending the party dressed in Asian-style clothing and a greeting that mocked Asian dialect.

Kappa Sigma executive director Mitchell Wilson said the national organization will investigate the party and take final action based on the outcome of that probe.

Moneta said the university is considering unspecified action.

As CBS affiliate WRAL notes, controversy over racial insensitivity isn't new for the university.

In November, Duke women's lacrosse coach Kerstin Kimel apologized after photos from a Halloween party at her house showing a player in black-face were posted on the school's athletic department's website.

© 2013 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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