H-CAL POLY

Nov 21, 2013 8:07 PM by Cameron Polom, KSBY News

Cal Poly fraternity in trouble for hosting controversial party

A fraternity at Cal Poly is in hot water after hosting a party with what school officials say was an inappropriate name.

It was a Thanksgiving themed party with the name "Colonial Bros and Nava-hos." That name has some people outraged.

Many college fraternities describe their missions as promoting brotherhood, scholarship, and character development, but Cal Poly administrators say the fraternity party this weekend was not an example of those values.

"What we heard was someone from the campus community informed us that there was an event that happened over the weekend that they found offensive. They told us about some of the costumes people who were attending were wearing," said Cal Poly Spokesperson Matt Lazier.

Lazier says male party-goers were asked to wear colonial garb, and women were asked to wear racy Native American attire.

The university wants to make it clear these types of offensive themed parties are inappropriate.

Students say the responsibility falls on everyone's shoulders, especially those throwing the party.

"It's definitely something everybody should be aware of because not everybody knows what's offensive to a culture or not," said Alyssa Briones, a Cal Poly student.

"It's dumb on their part," said another Cal Poly student.

Themed parties are nothing new on college campuses.

KSBY found websites dedicated to themed parties. Some even give directions for setting up a party, as well as costume theme ideas.

In 2010, a Harvard University fraternity came under fire for hosting a similar themed party.

In a letter to students, President Armstrong made his stance clear. "Events like these have no place in the Cal Poly community and are not reflective of the principles of the mustang way," said President Armstrong in his statement.

KSBY tried to find out which fraternity threw the party, but Cal Poly officials say they are not identifying the organization as the investigation continues.

Cal Poly administration officials will hold a forum on diversity Friday to address the issue. It goes from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the Chumash Auditorium.

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