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UC-San Diego Condemns Party Mocking Black History

SAN DIEGO – The chancellor of the University of California, San Diego, is condemning a ghetto-themed party organized by fraternity students to mock Black History Month, but officials say no one is likely to be disciplined.

 The weekend “Compton Cookout” held off-campus was offensive and a “blatant disregard of our campus values,” Marye Anne Fox said in a statement e-mailed this week to staff and 29,000 students.

 “We reject acts of discrimination … and we will confront and appropriately respond to such acts,” Fox said.

 A Facebook posting advertising the party invited people to a condominium complex off-campus “in hopes of showing respect” during Black History Month, according to a copy posted on the Web site for San Diego TV station 10 News.

 The posting offered a dress code heavy on T-shirts, rapper-style urban clothing by makers such as FUBU, and gold chains. Women were urged to go as “ghetto chicks,” described in the invitation as having gold teeth, cheap clothes, and “short, nappy hair.”

 The invitation said the party would serve watermelon, chicken, malt liquor, cheap beer and a purple sugar-water concoction called “dat Purple Drank.”

 The party theme disgusted some students on campus, where Blacks comprise less than 2 percent of the undergraduate class.

 “These are the people I go to school with, and knowing that they’re mocking my culture and the history of Black people is really offensive,” sophomore Elize Diop said.

 The party was organized by members of several UCSD fraternities, according to an e-mail from Gary Ratcliff, assistant vice chancellor for student life, that was obtained by the San Diego Union-Tribune.

 A call to the university’s Intrafraternity Council, which oversees campus Greek fraternities, was not immediately returned Wednesday.

 The local chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha was the only fraternity identified in Ratcliff’s e-mail.

 In an e-mail Wednesday, chapter president Garron Engstrom said the event was not endorsed by the fraternity and violated its code of conduct. Those involved will be disciplined, he added.

 “The fraternity regrets the display of ignorance and error-of-judgment made by any individual members who may have attended or were associated via social-media with the racially-offensive party,” Engstrom wrote.

 It was unlikely that the university will discipline anyone because the party was not sanctioned by the university or any student organization, so there wasn’t any technical violation of school policies, UCSD spokesman Jeff Gattas said.

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