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Arizona State frat suspended over ‘MLK black party’ with watermelon cups, gang signs


An Arizona State University fraternity was suspended because they held an “MLK Black Party” replete with flashing gang signs, sports jerseys, watermelon cups at the suburban Phoenix campus.

Officials at the Tempe, Arizona college said all Tau Kappa Epsilon’s chapter operations have been halted while they investigate an unregistered Greek event which offended scores of people on campus and the surrounding community.

Photos from the event show members and guests dressed in basketball jerseys, flashing gang signs and even drinking from watermelon cups, reports CBS News and Gawker.  

“This isn’t appropriate at all and you really have no business dressing like this on a day that’s sort of revered for African-Americans,” said ASU senior Frank Hogan after seeing some of the pictures.

“I think this represents the ignorance that still exists today. This is just one example of the kind of things that occur here,” stated Kaajal Koranteng, also a senior.

A spokesman from the local chapter, who would only identify himself as Cole, would not comment on the party or investigation. Rather, he told CBS 5 News to contact the national organization for TKE.

“We are aware of the situation. We have been contacted and we have been in contact with the local chapter and the university,” explained Patrick Gleason, the director of Compliance and Housing for the Indianapolis-based national organization.

“I’ll be meeting with the school as well as the local chapter, as I said, to really flush out the details of this incident and get a full scope of what occurred,” he continued.

Gleason said he is traveling to Arizona to meet with school officials Tuesday.

The ASU TKE chapter had just been reinstated last month. They were previously suspended for inappropriate conduct, including a fight that injured one student.

“We have been in contact with the chapter and have been working with them to help them get back onto campus,” said Gleason in reference to the previous suspension.

It’s unclear whether this latest incident will lead to another suspension.

“They obviously need to be checked on what they’re doing, how they’re acting and how they’re presenting themselves. Not only as a fraternity of brothers, but as people,” said Hogan.


  1. Arthur McDonald on January 22, 2014 at 11:22 am

    Oh, jeez..

  2. Doyle McCurley on January 23, 2014 at 4:48 pm

    Really, so we can make fun of Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and George Bush but we cant make fun of Martin Luther King? What in the hell has this country come to? These are college kids. If you cant handle them then get out of the education field.

    • Dessoftruth on January 23, 2014 at 8:50 pm

      You’re an idiot. Dressing in Black stereotypes on MLK day is not only offensive but truly shows how racist these kids are. If someone was being stereotypical towards you, you would get upset, but because it is a Black thing you don’t care.

      • Doyle McCurley on February 9, 2014 at 5:13 pm

        You are an asshole. stereotypes happen for a reason. If certain people did not do what they do………………they would not be stereotyped. That goes for everyone. Just so you know I am an African-American. If black youth did not dress that way then this frat could have never had a party where you dress like a black kid. Think about it.

        • CinnamonToast on February 9, 2014 at 6:03 pm

          Your picture is on here. Do you think we’re stupid? Here is your Facebook page. You are nothing but a liar.

          • Doyle McCurley on February 9, 2014 at 6:38 pm

            You must not be able to read and can only look at the pictures. Are you denying me my african heritage and my american citizenship of which I hold? Assuming that I am only american based on a picture? I am more african american than anyone you know cinnebon.

          • Doyle McCurley on February 9, 2014 at 6:38 pm

            I think you know you are stupid.