Two McDaniel College Greek organizations are prohibited from sponsoring any social activities until 2015 as punishment for an off-campus party that was "insensitive" and "offensive" and "promoted negative stereotypes," a McDaniel news release states.
In addition, sorority Phi Sigma Sigma and fraternity Phi Delta Theta violated the school's policy for events with alcohol and the risk management policy of the Fraternal Information and Programming Group. They've been placed on deferred suspension through Dec. 31, and will then move to probation for the spring 2015 semester.
In late January, the two organizations hosted a Country Music Television versus Black Entertainment Television themed party at an off-campus, private residence, The McDaniel Free Press reported in March. Phi Sigma Sigma sisters sported cut-off shorts, plaid shirts tied in the front and boots. The Phi Delta Theta brothers wore baggy clothing, chains and backward baseball hats.
After hearing about the party in early February, McDaniel College officials launched an investigation of what they called an "inappropriately themed social event" in partnership with the Greek chapters' national headquarters.
The party was a "non-approved event," according to college spokeswoman Cheryl Knauer.
Groups requesting to sponsor an event where alcohol is served must complete a party request form and submit it to the college activities office 30 days before the event, according to the school's general college policies. They must obtain a one-day liquor license, submit a copy of their paperwork to the organization's national headquarters and adhere to other mandatory guidelines.
Neither the fraternity nor the sorority submitted the required information in order to hold the event, according to Knauer, adding that she did not have any additional specifics.
The deferred suspension is seen as a period of review where the two Greek organizations must show they can follow community standards, the release states.
Both organizations must hold sensitivity and diversity awareness training during the fall where mandatory attendance is required. They are required to host similar events open to members of any campus Greek organizations. Additionally, they will craft a plan for inclusiveness and partner with McDaniel's Office of Student Engagement and Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs to choose appropriate themes, the release states.
Failure to comply with these regulations could result in an immediate suspension.
"McDaniel supports inclusiveness. Any event that promotes negative stereotypes or disrespect of others is reprehensible. The Office of Student Engagement has taken the opportunity to speak with all campus Greek leaders to review the approval process for events, as well as appropriate themes," Beth Gerl, vice president for student affairs and dean of students at McDaniel, said in a March statement. "When an incident like this occurs it is a teachable moment."