Columbia University Sorority Under Attack For Offensive 'Beer Olympics' Photos
A Columbia University sorority has come under attack following an Olympics themed beer pong tournament that many students said invoked offensive cultural stereotypes to portray various nationalities, including people from Mexico, Ireland, and Japan.
Student newspaper the Columbia Daily Spectator first reported the offensive pictures, two of which showed members of Kappa Alpha Theta dressed as Mexicans in sombreros and fake mustaches, with the caption "Mi famila Mexicana!". Another photo had a female student representing Ireland while wearing a sign that said "Kiss me, I'm a famined potato."
Here's one of the pictures of the "Mexican" team:posted more images from the event, including one showing "Team Japan," who were wearing "high stockings, pigtails, and chopsticks in their hair, and [putting] up peace signs for the camera."
Columbia Panhellenic Association, which governs the school's sororities, apologized for the pictures in a statement to the Spectator, and said they would work to address the situation:
The Columbia University Panhellenic Association fully recognizes the seriousness of the issue at hand and sincerely apologizes for any harm that these pictures may have caused. We are taking this matter very seriously and are working directly with members of the organization involved to address the situation thoroughly. We would like to stress that the concerns brought to light by this incident do not at all reflect the shared values of the Panhellenic community, or of Columbia's greater Greek community, but rather the unfortunate and unintentional misjudgment of a few individuals.
Though it is our understanding that the photos were not posted with the intent to offend or alienate any group or individual, the Panhellenic Association would also like to emphasize that it does not at all condone behavior or language representing any form of cultural insensitivity, whether intentional or not.