Wednesday, June 28

Editorial: Greek life needs policing to prevent more ‘Kanye Western’ type raids


UCLA is embroiled in a media firestorm following a raid hosted by Sigma Phi Epsilon and Alpha Phi and a subsequent on-campus protest that drew hundreds of students.

By hosting a “Kanye Western”-themed raid, Sigma Phi Epsilon and Alpha Phi have brought UCLA Greek Life to national attention for the worst reason. The office of UCLA Fraternity and Sorority Relations must take action to ensure such an event doesn’t occur again on our campus, and the university must recognize the need to prevent racist incidents that don’t necessarily target, but nonetheless demeans UCLA’s black community.

What transpired was not an isolated incident – despite what Chancellor Gene Block indicated in his belated response – but a product of a university culture of discriminatory attitudes against black students. But the broad scope of such an issue cannot overshadow the need for a prompt and direct response to specific problems.

Pending the release of the Afrikan Student Union’s list of demands and the university’s response to it, the board calls on FSR to take immediate steps to ensure an incident like this isn’t hosted by an officially recognized on-campus organization again.

FSR’s attempts to police Greek life organizations by requiring them to turn in paperwork a week prior to the date of an event are inadequate. An alumni adviser and chapter president must both sign off on the form which includes the theme, but FSR clearly doesn’t hold Greek life organizations accountable to what they fill out on these official documents. Oftentimes, the themes that fraternities and sororities report to their nationals and to FSR aren’t the same as the ones they implement, highlighting the need for stricter enforcement.

While bus checks are required by the Greeks Advocating the Mature Management of Alcohol division of FSR before houses leave campus for raids, this process is informal and insufficient. GAMMA officers should patrol pre-parties such as the one that took place at Sigma Phi Epsilon Tuesday and confirm that the theme parties being registered are the ones being thrown.

FSR must take responsibility for its shortcomings and amend its rules to address this indefensible lack of oversight. Simply requiring paperwork and performing cursory bus checks does not go far enough to ensure that theme parties don’t cross what is, at least for Greek life organizations, a fine line between fun and racism.

Greek life at UCLA has tarnished the university’s name, forcing the administration to do some damage control. The administration, particularly FSR, needs to take this seriously and work quickly to prevent future events such as this one from occurring.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneShare on Google+Share on Reddit

Comments are supposed to create a forum for thoughtful, respectful community discussion. Please be nice. View our full comments policy here.

  • http://garrioverse.blogspot.com ripclawe

    If I may as a black man, I thought the whole Kanye Western was hilarious. The overreaction by the Afrikan Student Union that you would have thought they saw something akin to a KKK rally was embarrassing and unworthy of a groups of students who say they wish to have thoughtful dialogue.

    As for this policing of themes endorsed by this student newspaper. I would be ashamed to be associated with any group of people who demand “policing” of party themes as a serious issue.

    • Isaac

      What is your affiliation with our university?

      • regexp

        How is that relevant to the discussion?

      • Havid Damburger

        Isaac the angry black male, first generation college student. Bow Tie and all

        • Isaac

          You do realize that having a private profile doesn’t conceal all your comments and your identity, right? This appears to be your M.O., trolling comment sections on stories concerning race and making dumb comments.

          I’m not black, but I wouldn’t mind to have been! Sorry to disappoint.

          • Havid Damburger

            Fully aware. We can Doxx if you want to. Let me know how far you wanna take it.

          • matt10023

            If you’re not black, then we can assume your opinions don’t matter, right?

  • j metaphor

    As a UCLA Alumni and one of three generations of Bruins in my family, I sincerely hope this is a misplaced Onion spoof that someone hacked into The Daily Bruin.
    First, a “firestorm” this is not.
    What this Editorial Board has the penning of an easy (I would say lazy) politically correct statement that is based not upon the event, but the reaction to the event by individuals not at the event. I admit I was not in attendance but so far, I have seen no evidence that any representative of the DB was there nor have I seen any credible attempt by DB to investigate what actually transpired.
    Where’s your homework?
    What I do hope you realize is that what you are advocating is something that would make any repressive regime proud, the administrative review and repression of speech and assembly. Wouldn’t Stalin be proud? Please look him up between articles about micro-aggressions on campus.
    I understand you have mid-terms next week but before you embarrass your student body and alumni with this lazy, reactionary “journalism” again, please, please do your homework.

    • http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/cf_dev/AbsByAuth.cfm?per_id=590507 andy

      The “administrative review and repression of speech and assembly” is quite disturbing.

  • Doug

    If we are going to start policing offensive and dangerous speech, I would suggest as a first step installing a censor at the Bruin to make sure no radical egalitarian nonsense – whether Marxist, Socialist, or other collectivist or Cultural Marxist speech doesn’t matter – makes it into the pages of the paper. After all, 100 million people were murdered in the last century in the name of equality. Surely outlawing expressions of support for radical egalitarian theories should be a top priority.

  • Michael Ejercito

    This is what happens when legacy admissions write editorials.

  • Ina Lionsden

    Fascists at Daily Bruin shows their true colors. Liberals — this is what your “utopia” looks like when taken to its logic conclusion. The Free Speech Movement founders are probably rolling in their graves right now. Moronic editorials like this make me ashamed to be a Bruin (and a Daily Bruin alumnus).

    • matt10023

      I don’t think these are liberals in the true sense of the word. This kind of thinking align more with fascism.

    • Alexsandyr Troutnoodler

      Please, these are *NOT* “liberals”. *I* am a liberal, and I wanna stuff a copy of “Howl” in a used jock strap and beat the ever-loving $#!+ out of these kids.

  • Cause and effect

    “GAMMA officers should patrol pre-parties such as the one that took place at Sigma Phi Epsilon Tuesday and confirm that the theme parties being registered are the ones being thrown”

    Thought police? George Orwell, is that you?

  • j metaphor

    Here’s a fun little free speech game we can play:
    Please complete this metaphor:
    Journalists asking for increased scrutiny and censorship is like:(OK, I’ll start)
    is like Lindsay Lohan advocating tougher drunk driving laws.
    Please add yours

    • matt10023

      is like a student asking for more administrators and higher tuition

  • j metaphor

    This editorial is further proof that the human brain is not fully developed in many individuals until they are in their mid-twenties.

  • kad

    UCLA students should be wary that their campus newspaper advocates administrative “policing” of campus parties and that the administration has imposed an “indefinite suspension” on the social activities of a fraternity and sorority, affecting over 500 students. No violence, no fights, and no exclusions are at issue; in fact, several non-white students were participating in a party which was “offensive” to some students, making them feel “unwelcome.” The protest caused robust discussion, which is good. However, a police state does not happen overnight. It develops slowly when too few people challenge administrative actions such as “policing parties” and imposing “indefinite suspensions” of organized social gatherings.

  • JackieChilesIsSpeechless

    I thought UCLA’s academic standards had gotten more rigorous since I attended college. Apparently I was wrong. If the university has admitted students who don’t understand the fundamental principles of the First Amendment, clearly all those 4.X GPA’s and other claims of heightened academic exclusivity of the student body are ethereal.

  • Chud

    Perhaps put them on Double Secret Probation.

  • Alexsandyr Troutnoodler

    Congratulations. You made “The Atlantic”, and it’s *NOT* complimentary. You people make Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsburgh and Hunter S. Thompson crawl out of their graves and puke dried maggots into faces.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/10/the-anti-free-speech-movement-at-ucla/410638/