Stop the presses: college kids acting like assholes! This time, it's brothers at the Delta Upsilon fraternity at the University of Wisconsin, who, mere weeks after having alcohol-related probation lifted, allegedly drunkenly shouted racial epithets and threw a beer bottle at two black female students. The fraternity's been suspended yet again pending a university investigation, but this isn't the first time this year that racial tensions have run high on the Madison campus.
In the wee small hours of March 16, two black female UW students were walking home when Delta Upsilon brothers perched on their frat house's back porch noticed that they were cutting across their lawn. So they did what any overserved turdboys would do: they started shouting racist and classist epitets at the students and, for good measure, hurled a bottle. The incident was reported to University officials, and the University issued an emergency suspension against the fraternity on Tuesday.
University spokesperson John Lucas told me that because the investigation is ongoing, the University isn't releasing the exact nature of the statements the students allegedly made, only that they were race and class-based. Under their new double secret probation, Delta Upsilon won't be allowed to participate in any Greek events and they'll temporarily lose membership in the intrafraternity council.
Delta Upsilon's been a bit of a troublemaker in recent years. According to the Wisconsin State Journal, they were only recently released from alcohol-related probation on March 1st after an incident last fall involving an intoxicated underage student. And in 2009, a member of the frat was found to have shouted a homophobic slur at a performer at a Greek event. I bet tons of girls were impressed by that; if there's anything girls love, it's guys who are mean to gay people, and guys who get drunk and yell racist things at other women. Going out with a guy who is a drunken racist is like walking a dog that can't stop puking in a posh shopping district. Well played, dudes.
The frat's national headquarters have released a statement condemning the incident as "incongruent with the mission and values of Delta Upsilon fraternity." The statement also reiterated that the fraternity does not tolerate cultural insensitivity.
Alcohol isn't a magic mind control potion that makes people turn into racist or homophobic assholes; it takes people who are already sort of racist and homophobic and makes them less aware of how abhorrent their attitudes are to most people, and it seems there's something deeper than a few frat boys getting drunk and shouting things going on at the University of Wisconsin this year. Alcohol may have fueled this incident, but it didn't cause it.
Last summer, some students hung a dark Spider-man doll from a balcony near the University. In September, a conservative anti-affirmative action group released a study that they claimed proved "reverse racism" in the increasingly competitive UW admissions process. The group, called the Center for Equal Opportunity, says that the University of Wisconsin lowered their admissions standards for black and Latino applicants, giving them preference over more qualified white applicants. The study also claimed that the University admitted 72% of black applicants (the reality is that, according to the University's website, only 41% of black applicants were admitted). Wisconsin's overwhelmingly white — according to the University's website, there are 42,000 students at UW-Madison, 1,025 black students, and about 1,700 Latino students. Reverse racism! There was campus wide outcry over the study, the organization's CEO debated a professor over the study, and the University even released a statement defending its admissions policies. But hell hath no fury than a racist who finally gets the chance to feel like a victim, even if the reasoning is bogus.
At any rate, when you take frat boys, alcohol, unseasonably warm weather, heightened racial tension on an overwhelmingly white campus, and mix well, you get what sounds a lot like the solution in a game of Greek Life Clue. It was the brothers of Delta Upsilon, in Madison, with the drunkenly hurled bottle at the black women.
UW frat temporarly suspended for racial incident [Wisconsin State Journal]