Members of the Kappa Sigma fraternity on the Duke University campus initially wanted throw an “Asia Prime” party but they didn’t because schools administrators urged them to cancel the party. Instead what they did was change the name of the party to an “international relations” event and went ahead with their original plans.
The original party invitation invited guests complete with misspellings. “We look forward to having Mi, Yu, You, and Yo Friends (click for link) ?over for some Sake,” the email read. Embedded in the email was also an image of the Kim Jong Il character in the film “Team America: World Police.”
The original invite was reported to the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life,according to a flyer posted around the school. Then members of the Kappa Sigma fraternity sent the following update the next day:
The Brothers of Kappa Sigma regret to inform you that our forebrothers’ secrets of the far east have not survived the move back onto campus. Without them, Asia Prime cannot go on and must be cancelled.
Instead, Kappa Sigma presents: International Relations. A celebration of all cultures and the diversity of Duke.
The Duke Chronicle reports Vice President for Student Affairs Larry Moneta said he met with Kappa Sigma leadership on Tuesday morning, expressing his disappointment that the party occurred despite encouragement from the University administration to cancel it.
Members of the fraternity have apologized but a group of students say that’s not enough and have staged their own protest:
At 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, several students, including seniors Ashley Tsai, Tong Xiang and Ting-Ting Zhou posted fliers across campus protesting a Kappa Sigma party that took place Feb. 1. The fliers included emails containing racially insensitive language sent out to party invitees and photographs from Facebook of costumed students at the party with their faces obscured. The actions precipitated criticism both of the party and of the fliering, and resulted in an official apology from Kappa Sigma.
Katherine Zhang, co-president of the Asian Students Association, told the school newspaper “the goal of the protest stretches beyond the Kappa Sigma party and racism against Asian students.”
“The problem is to assume that the skin in which America has determined that I am makes me not fully human,” Xiang told the Duke Chronicle. “It is a skin that I cannot take off, a skin that they can put on as a costume and make it a fun night. It is completely trival to [them] but [they] don’t have to live in our world.”