BLOG: University event sparks controversy

Students and faculty at the University of California at San Diego continue to feel the aftermath of a week-old, off-campus party dubbed the “Compton Cookout.”

Members of Pi Kappa Alpha, a fraternity at the university, allegedly hosted the event and urged male attendees to “wear chains, don cheap clothes and speak loudly,” as reported by NBC San Diego. Other members of the fraternity encouraged female participants to “purchase gold teeth, start fights and wear purple weaves.” The Facebook invitation, complete with references to fried chicken and watermelon, said Black History Month inspired the event. Students at UCSD’s student-run television station defended the off-campus party.

Meanwhile, the university seemed to separate itself from all media attention, reminding everyone it did not authorize the event. But as NBC San Diego reported, Campus Chancellor Marye Anne Fox called the event offensive in an e-mail to 29,000 students and 26,000 staff members. The Black Student Union agreed.

At a packed forum Friday, the union requested “mandatory diversity sensitivity classes and increased African American enrollment in students.” Los Angeles Times also reported only about 2 percent of UCSD undergraduates are African American.

What do you think?

Who will this party affect the most in the long run – the students who organized the event or the people who took offense to the racial epithets? Would the “Compton Cookout” be any less offensive or racist if an African American man or woman planned the event? Can the students at the university argue free speech? Or will the event fall into the category of fraternity boys behaving like other fraternity boys?


  1. Erika Lane says:

    I do think this probably falls into the category of free speech, but that doesn’t mean it has to go unnoticed. It’s commendable that the university spoke out against it, but it’s worth looking into ways that the university might be helping to support the fraternity, whether financially or with certain assistance it gives to organizations associated with the school. That might be a way it can show that it seriously finds such actions to be reprehensible.

    Unfortunately, fraternity groups on campus always seem to bring out the worst in college students, and for some reason we always let them get away with it by saying we have no control, that they are independent, that it’s free speech.

    But there are always ways that a university assists or enables their presence on campus.
    While it’s fair to allow them their “free speech”, it doesn’t mean they can’t learn that their consequences for irresponsible and offensive behavior.

  2. jewelrysuperma says:

    I think the students who organized the event affect the most in the long run –

Speak Your Mind