Theme Party Spurs UT Fraternity Investigation

Lindsay Bramson, KXAN (Austin), February 9, 2015

A University of Texas fraternity is being investigated for a party that was reportedly border-themed. The university’s Campus Climate Response Team received multiple complaints about the off-campus party at Phi Gamma Delta, a statement from UT said.

“We strive to promote a campus culture in which all students feel welcome and safe,” the university said, “and we take allegations of discrimination and hate extremely seriously.”

“I think it was initially a western theme party that turned into some sort of border party,” said Erica Saenz who works for Diversity and Community Engagement at UT.

That’s a theme officials with the university say is against the rules. The UT website lists non-offensive party themes and ones they consider offensive. The list clearly states not to have any party with a “South of the Border” theme.

The Daily Texan obtained pictures taken at the party that show guests in sombreros and ponchos.

“Some people find it offensive, some people don’t,” Saenz said. “It just sort of depends where you fall on that and if you’re a student you have the right to voice your offense to it, and we have a right and responsibility to respond to objection.”

The university received nine complaints about the party, all from people who say they were offended by the theme.


{snip} School officials say the fraternity could be suspended or put on probation pending the outcome of the investigation. {snip}


[Editor’s Note: Here is the university’s list of “offensive” and “non-offensive” party themes.]

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