Urge Penn State Soriority to Apologize for Racist Costumes

Target: Penn State’s Chi Omega Nu Gamma Chapter

Goal: Apologize and take part in community service to make up for racially insensitive photograph

Recently a Penn State sorority, the Nu Gamma chapter of the Chi Omega fraternity, gained some attention for a photograph of their members posted to Facebook. The photo depicts the sorority’s members dressed in racist, stereotypical, Mexican garb. Beyond the clothing and fake mustaches, several of the girls are holding signs that are extremely offensive. One read, “Will Mow Lawn for Weed + Beer,” and another reads, “I Don’t Cut Grass, I Smoke It.” So far, there has been little response from the university.

Lisa Powers, director of Penn State’s public information, said the school is appalled by the photo. However, she also said they are expressing their first amendment rights of free speech. With a response like this, it is not clear what their punishment will be, if any. While student’s may have a right to say, or dress however they want, that doesn’t mean this kind of racial insensitivity is okay. While some form of punishment is likely, the sorority should take it upon themselves to make up for their actions.

Please, tell the Nu Gammas that this behavior is not acceptable. This kind of insensitivity fuels racism and division among students, and leads to prejudices that can last a life time. Sign this petition and ask the Nu Gamma’s to publicly apologize and take part in community service, preferably some sort of activism advocating for racial equality.


Dear Penn State Chi Omega Nu Gamma Chapter,

Your recent involvement in a racially insensitive photograph is a disappoint to your organization and your school in general. The wardrobe and signs present in the photograph feature racist and stereotypical representations of Mexicans. This is not only offensive to the group of people being targeted, but disgraceful to your entire organization as well.

There are a few things you can do to rectify this problem. First, please issue a public statement and apology about the photograph. It is one thing to dress up in attire with Mexican and Hispanic influences, but the signs in the photograph cross a line. You are making sweeping generalizations about an entire group of people, many of which I’m sure attend your school. Apologize to your classmates, community, and the rest of the country for your racially insensitive actions.

In addition, please use your sorority to take part in some sort of activism advocating racial equality. Even in 2012, many people still face discrimination from their peers due to their race , from preschool to college and beyond. Perhaps you can host some sort of event or fundraiser to allow your community to come together and do something positive for racial equality.


[Your Name Here]

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