ASU Fraternity Suspended For Racist MLK Day Party

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Members of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity at Arizona State University are facing backlash and a chapter suspension following a racially themed party thrown for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Pictures from the party held by the group were posted to social media depicting members of the all white frat dressed in jerseys, throwing up gang signs and drinking out of watermelon shaped cups.

When word of the racially offensive photos spread, the outrage began.

“Just a day after the nation celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther  King Jr., racism has reared its head at one of the America’s largest  universities,” Rev. Jarrett Maupin, a local black activist, told the Phoenix New Times.

The university issued a statement stating the college has suspended the charter’s operations and will take additional disciplinary actions against the group involved, reports the Associated Press.

“We regard the behavior exhibited as completely outrageous, extraordinarily offensive and wholly unacceptable,” James Rund, ASU’s senior vice president for Educational Outreach and Student Services told AP. “This kind of behavior is not tolerated by the university, and we intend to take swift and immediate action. We just don’t have room at the university to tolerate that kind of conduct.”

Alex Baker, a spokesman for the national fraternity organization, said the group does not condone racist or discriminatory behavior.

“It is with embarrassment and regret when a few individuals within our organization make decisions that do not align with the values and principles of Tau Kappa Epsilon,” Baker said in a statement.

Calls for the expulsion of the frat (and students involved) are building, even as the university has already suspended its operations.

Civil rights activists are also demanding that the university require all staff and students to attend classes on diversity.

According to the AP, this is not the first time that the Tau Kappa Epsilon chapter at ASU has been in trouble . Before the current suspension, they were already on probation for an off-campus fight in 2012.

Further disciplinary action was planned to be discussed Tuesday afternoon.

(Photo Credit: Instagram)