UChicago’s Panhellenic Council and the Institute of Politics’ Leaders of Color Initiative have issued statements in response to the AEPi e-mails leaked last week.
The Panhellenic Council, comprised of the Alpha Omicron Pi, Delta Gamma, Kappa Alpha Theta, and Pi Beta Phi sororities, announced on Friday that it has decided to suspend AEPi from 2016 Greek Week.
According to the statement, the fraternity’s e-mails are contrary to the mission of Greek Week, a week-long competition that takes place in May and aims to “promote inclusiveness…and to foster unity between all Greek affiliated organizations within our community.” Panhellenic Council President third-year Saachi Gupta declined to comment on the council’s decision to exclude AEPi from the event.
The Multicultural Greek Council (MGC), which includes the Latino, African-American, and Asian interest fraternities and sororities, will hold a discussion this Thursday on diversity in Greek life. The MGC’s event description explains that while some students of color hope to ban Greek life from campus, “this ignores both the legacy and contributions of Multicultural Greek Organizations formed to counter hateful and exclusionary practices.” Participants in the event will discuss the role of Multicultural Greek Organizations on campus in the midst of racial tensions.
In addition to the Greek Organizations’ responses, the Leaders of Color Initiative, an Institute of Politics program that aims to address racial and ethnic disparities on campus, published its own statement on Tuesday. This statement calls on the University to make a number of changes, such as expanding the Core Curriculum to include authors of color, hiring a more diverse faculty, and requiring sensitivity training for students, faculty, and staff. Similar demands were made in a November 2014 petition signed by over 2,500 students and faculty following controversy over students’ Halloween costumes.
“Students of color deserve the same sense of security and safety provided to their white counterparts,” the statement said. “The University cannot remain complicit or complacent in incident of bias.”