The off-campus house party, with its theme an apparent riff on the channels Country Music Television and Black Entertainment Television, appears to be an unsanctioned, "inappropriately themed" event held in violation of university policies, said Beth Gerl, vice president of student affairs.
She said the university and the national headquarters of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity and the Phi Sigma Sigma sorority are investigating the matter and will determine if sanctions are appropriate.
"We don't tolerate any kind of situation like this, and any time there is a Greek organization that we feel has violated a campus policy or their national headquarters' policy, an investigation is launched," Gerl said. "McDaniel without question supports inclusiveness, and any event that promotes intolerance is reprehensible."
The national offices of Phi Delta Theta and Phi Sigma Sigma did not respond to requests for comment, nor did the campus chapters.
Gerl said the party was held in late January, around the first week of classes, and that a student brought it to the attention of university staff a few days later, spurring the investigation. She said the university and national offices will coordinate any possible discipline, which could range from a warning to the loss of a charter. The decision has been delayed by snow days at the college's Westminster campus and will likely be made soon, she said.
Student publication The McDaniel Free Press first wrote about the party.