A liberal education is by nature one of the least tolerant atmospheres for slurs or race-playing shenanigans. So when the Penn State chapter of Chi Omega was photographed riffing on Mexican culture at a Mexican fiesta themed social around Halloween, staff and fellow students reacted and overreacted.
The photo features the girls dressed in ponchos and sombreros, fake mustaches, and one girl is holding a sign that said, “will mow lawn for weed & beer,” while another one counters, “I don’t cut grass I smoke it.”
A punishment is being thought up for the picture, but meanwhile Cesar Sanchez Lopez, Vice President of the Mexican American Student Association, had absolutely no sense of humor on the issue.
“The Mexican American Association is disappointed in the attire chosen by this sorority. It in no way represents our culture. Not only have they chosen to stereotype our culture with serapes and sombreros, but the insinuation about drug usage makes this image more offensive. Our country is plagued by a drug war that has led to the death of an estimated 50,000 people, which is nothing to be joked about.”
Failing to mention the moustaches, he at least blasted them for mocking something that probably never came to mind in their mischief: the Mexican drug wars.
Naturally enough, the chapter apologized. “Our chapter of Chi Omega sincerely apologizes for portraying inappropriate and untrue stereotypes. The picture in question does not support any of Chi Omega’s values or reflect what the organization aspires to.”
The Panhellenic Council executive board released a statement as well:
“The Penn State Panhellenic Council recognizes the offensive nature of the photo and is therefore taking the matter very seriously. We are addressing the situation immediately with the members of the chapter in conjunction with their national headquarters. The Penn State Panhellenic Council does not condone any form of derogatory behavior from any of our members. Our Council and all its members strive to hold ourselves to a high standard and are disappointed by any failure to meet these expectations.”
The moral of the story: make messing around don’t hurt anybody’s feelings.