Friday, November 15

Records reveal Pi Kappa Phi members made racist statements in 2013

A USAC official released records Tuesday that revealed members of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity in 2013 made racist and misogynistic statements during their meetings. (Mackenzie Possee/Daily Bruin)

A USAC official released records Tuesday that revealed members of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity in 2013 made racist and misogynistic statements during their meetings. (Mackenzie Possee/Daily Bruin)

Editor's note: On Tuesday, a Daily Bruin staff member told members of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity The Bruin was looking into fraternity documents. We believe information the Daily Bruin staff member shared led USAC officials to vote against a council member's motion to amend the agenda to include discussion about the documents. This article also contains strong language, which The Bruin decided was necessary to illustrate the severity of the comments fraternity members made in meeting minutes.

This post was updated May 10 at 11:28 p.m.

An undergraduate student government official released records Tuesday that revealed members of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity in 2013 made racist and misogynistic statements during its chapter meetings.

The documents, from the fraternity’s Eta Sigma chapter at UCLA, included racist comments under subheads titled “Racial Sensitivity,” and misogynistic comments under subheads such as “Internal Social.”

Aaliya Khan, an outgoing USAC general representative, posted a Google Slides presentation on Facebook that includes screenshots of the fraternity chapter’s 2013 meeting minutes. Khan and Areni Der-Grigorian, a staff member in Khan’s office, wrote the presentation.

“(The comments in the minutes) encourage and perpetuate racism and rape culture,” Khan and Der-Grigorian wrote in the presentation.

The meeting minutes included remarks such as “Why do Mexicans refry their beans? Have you ever seen them do it right the first time?” and “We’re learning something about Afghanistan. Something something something terrorists.” Fraternity members also wrote “How long does it take a negress to shit? 9 MONTHS.”

READ MORE: Aram Ghoogasian: Leaked fraternity minutes should be a catalyst for serious reflection

The minutes also included misogynistic comments, such as “Dates should be HOT, FUN, DTF. Any two of the three.” and “Invite Womens … pester them until they say yes.” The documents also listed instructions about how to interact with women at a party, directing members of the fraternity to show girls where the bar is, take group shots and increase physical contact with them.

Khan’s and Der-Grigorian’s Google Slides presentation also references a 2015 incident in which the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and the Alpha Phi sorority at UCLA held a “Kanye Western” themed raid. The references were listed in a slide titled “Challenging the System,” which connected the comments in the 2013 meeting minutes to current incidents.

Khan tried to add her presentation to the agenda during the Tuesday meeting, but not enough council members voted to change the agenda. Council voted 6-6-0 but needed a two-thirds vote to amend the agenda.

Heather Rosen, outgoing USAC president, said amending the agenda would go against Robert’s Rules of Order, which requires all agenda items to be decided by Friday at 5 p.m. The council has amended its agenda with a two-thirds vote to add special agenda items in the past.

Todd Shelton, assistant executive director of communication and technology of the national Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, said in an email statement Tuesday afternoon the national fraternity condemns the racist and misogynistic comments in the chapter’s minutes, but did not mention plans of disciplinary action.

Mark Timmes, chief executive officer of the national fraternity, said in the email he believes the quotes in the minutes are inconsistent with the values of Pi Kappa Phi.

“Pi Kappa Phi is committed to a culture of diversity and inclusion that promotes respect for the identities and backgrounds of all people,” Timmes said in the statement.

Adam Brownell, president of the UCLA Eta Sigma chapter, said he supports the statement issued by the national organization. Brownell declined to comment further.

Derek Bergmann, president of the Interfraternity Council at UCLA, said in an email statement the comments in the minutes go against what it means to be in a fraternity at UCLA. He did not mention plans of disciplinary action.

“While this incident happened three years ago, we will get to the bottom of it because racism will not be tolerated,” he said. “A major priority of the current Interfraternity Council is to strengthen our fraternities by fostering greater diversity and inclusion.”

In an email statement, UCLA spokesperson Ricardo Vasquez said UCLA will not comment until it finishes investigating the allegations.

“While we will look into them before commenting, we can confirm that we unequivocally condemn any language used to denigrate individuals based on their race, ethnicity, religion or background,” Vasquez said.

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  • Old News

    “In 2013″….so three years ago when everyone involved in this could potentially have graduated by now?

    Great reporting on current events.

    • Petty

      This highlights the endemic racism present in Greek life, and that racism doesn’t go away just because people graduate. It speaks volumes that someone was comfortable enough to be so explicitly racist AND write it down AND have it linked to a USAC Google account.

  • marco polo

    I guess when you can’t find enough racism you make it up like the Albany 3 did or you write about it in old articles like this one.

  • robman012

    White people be like: “But it was so long ago. Why are we even talking about this. Get over it already.”

  • someone with an agenda

    just in time for election season

  • hello

    Are you going to write an article each time a tv show, movie, comedian, or any random person on the sidewalk makes a race or gender related joke? What are you trying to accomplish with this? Are the daily bruin writers and anyone else involved in this really not of the intellectual capacity to differentiate between racist actions and irrelevant humor? These are scary times if our upcoming generation actually considers this to be a legitimate case of racism and misogyny.

    • MiamiVice

      Are you that ignorant and inside your own head? Did you even read the minutes papers or even the damn article? This article has nothing to do with that nonsense you just pooped out of your mouth.

      This article was needed because hopefully it will help to set a precedent at UCLA to flush out undercurrent racism within Greek life. Fraternities do stuff like this all the time behind closed doors but nobody really checks them on it.

      • hello

        “Flush out undercurrent racism” so a 3-year-old joke about Mexicans refrying beans is supposed to be “undercurrent racism?” Who is being hurt here?

  • Gary Teekay

    The point is that this is what almost always happens when a lot of boys in men’s bodies get together. Fraternity members as a whole are more misogynistic, racist and homophobic than their age-group as a whole. I doubt that most of them would be that way if they lived in the general student population and not with a a small group of guys who think exactly as they do, the latter being the whole purpose and effect of the rushing process.

  • MiamiVice

    It’s funny how UCLA is seen as this prestigious bastion of higher education which it is and always will be. But no matter how good or great a school is, there will always be those juvenile, ignorant, uncultured, and generic students who think because of their money, privilege, and their scholastic aptitude that they can get away with stuff.

    UCLA kids do they dirt and behind the scenes nonsense just like them kids at them so-called lesser or “other” LA colleges in the UC and CSU system.

  • MiamiVice

    White people in the suburbs and at predominately white schools all over the nation (University of Oklahoma, Missouri, Ivy League schools, etc.) do stuff like this behind closed doors all the time. It’s called white majority insulation and racism.

    I bet the students that were apart of this racist crap probably smiled in minority student’s faces at UCLA every day and then went behind closed doors and called them all kinds of racial slurs. White students have been doing stuff like what the PKP did for decades and decades. This aint new news.

  • Logical Person

    The logical conclusion is that fraternities and sororities be shut down. That’s what happens you let boys and girls form exclusive drinking clubs: you kill their filters and the real nature of the individuals within that group comes out in full force. This is just the tip of the iceberg, people. To make our campus more integrated as a whole, one that respects the dignity of all, we must remove any semblance of Greek life from UCLA. Ya dig?

  • Barros Serrano

    I recall as a UCLA grad student in the 80′s a lot of controversy over these frat theme parties, most of them involving dressing in ethnic stereotypes with a lot of racist commentary. Frats had parties mocking Mexicans, Polynesians, and yes even whites like Irish and Appalachians.

    And I see not much has changed. Given my experience at UCLA, I’ll assume that yet again, or rather still, the Administration has failed to address this, not wanting to offend its richer and whiter students, apparently, or their donor parents…

    It’s time for the Greek system to grow up and be responsible. If they cannot accomplish this internally, then why not simply disband the whole mess? Elitist clubs help us how? I’m not seeing any benefits from this system which cannot even prevent its members from raping female students or engaging in overt racist displays.