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McDaniel penalizes fraternity, sorority for 'CMT vs. BET' party

Black Entertainment Television (tv network)CMT (tv network)

McDaniel College placed a fraternity and a sorority accused of throwing a "CMT vs. BET"-themed house party in January on "deferred suspension," the school announced Tuesday.

Phi Delta Theta fraternity and Phi Sigma Sigma sorority may not host social events until Dec. 31, while they undergo a review to demonstrate their ability to abide by community standards, McDaniel spokeswoman Cheryl Knauer said.

The January party, which parodied the Country Music Television and Black Entertainment Television channels, "promoted negative stereotypes and was insensitive and offensive," Knauer said. She added that it also violated McDaniel's alcohol policy and the campus' Greek Life risk management policy.

As part of the deferred suspension, the two organizations will host mandatory educational programs with a focus on sensitivity and diversity awareness next fall.

Both organizations also must develop plans for inclusiveness and partner with the college's student engagement and multicultural affairs offices on all event themes and promotion.

If either organization fails to comply with the sanctions, it would face immediate suspension, Knauer said.

Phi Sigma Sigma's national headquarters said in a statement that the party was not a sorority-sanctioned event.

"Phi Sigma Sigma does not condone such activity as it shows insensitivity toward multiculturalism and diversity and finds the actions of those involved inappropriate," the statement said. "The Fraternity has cooperated fully with the university as they investigated the matter to ensure our collegiate women are held accountable for their actions."

National and chapter representatives for Phi Delta Theta did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Baltimore Sun reporter Carrie Wells contributed to this article.

cmcampbell@baltsun.com

twitter.com/cmcampbell6

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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