In early December, a photo of the Chi Omega sorority chapter at Penn State University surfaced on Facebook. The photo depicted young collegiate women wearing ponchos, sombreros, and fake mustaches as an attempt to mock Mexicans.  According to an independent college blog, the photo was originally taken at a Mexican-themed party around Halloween.

The Penn State Pan-Hellenic Council investigated the chapter and members of the sorority expressed extreme remorse for the photo.

Two weeks after the photo surfaced on the web, some Penn State students are pushing to draw more attention to the lack of Latino representation on campus. A silent march has been planned and will be held Thursday to raise awareness and encourage an increase in Latino recruitment and retention at Penn State. According to data gathered by CNN, Hispanics only make up 5% of the current undergraduate and graduate population at the university.

According to students, the rally and the failed photo-op are not related.

“The incident definitely served as a catalyst for all this but it’s not the reason we are doing it,”  Manuel Figueroa, the student who organized the march, told CNN. “There are grievances to a larger issue that we believe the university should take up.”

The Mexican American Student Association at Penn State decided that it would not participate in the march because they do not want to broaden the incident into something bigger than they believed it to be. They did, however, in a statement, release their support for increasing diversity on the campus.

“We … urge the university to reassert its commitment to ethnic and racial diversity. We hope that the university exercises its stated commitment to diversity. We look forward to working with the campus community in reaching these goals.”

  • Kacey

    Wow. Pedophiles…racists…What else can we expect from that fine institution of learning in Penn’s Woods? This school is having one heck of a year!

  • nona

    “Extreme remorse” yeah, right. That token Asian and vaguely looking Mexican girl are pathetic.

  • MimiLuvs

    I have read about this incident, a few weeks ago. I am going to say the same thing that i’ve said a few months ago, on here, about the article that spoke about the “My Culture is not a Costume” campaign: These people are a**holes, who knows that their antics will offend people. They choose to show off their Summer’s Eve-everie anyway. I doubt these dolts would’ve had a ‘Mexican-themed’ Halloween Party, if their sorority house was located in a heavily-populated Mexican-American community. Or if their sorority house was across the street from a sorority house of a Mexican-American infused sorority. These girls knew what they were doing. Just like the idiots who wear black face and the morons who don a “terrorist” costume.

  • Perspective


  • myblackfriendsays

    Ignorance is not bliss…

  • Yb

    I’m just trying to figure out how sick can some white people be to invest so much time and money into this party for the sake of being hateful and racist.

    All those ponchos and sombreros probably cost money, as well as the food and drinks. It’s mind boggling how one can use so much of their time and resources, and spend it on being racism. How invested in your hatred can one be?

  • Chillyroad

    Well the lawn mowers will have the last laugh when they are deciding elections. Mexicans and Central Americans need not fight these battles and worry about winning the war instead. When the war is won, incidents like this will be like swatting flies on a warm summer day.

  • kc

    Any POC who engaged in this should be humiliated. Some would rather be a good little token than take a stand. Hmm…SMH.

  • Anthony

    THis is a good contrast to the Wozniacki/Williams controversy. These sorrors clearly made fun a nationality and held up signs that played on stereotypes. This was obviously racist. The Wozniacki imitation of Williams focused on her curvvy figure, not her race, and she did not apparently say anything stereotypical. Once again, I cannot say what was in Wozniacki’s mind, but her stunt was not obviously racial.

    All I can say is that I graduated undergrad thirty years ago, and majority Greek organizations have not learned a damn thing!

  • deemyselfandi

    I fully agree with you, but white privilege is real and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. I don’t think they actively thought about whether or not it would be considered offensive or racist. They just said “Mexican party! Let’s do it!” and went on their privileged, merry way.

  • Val

    Yep, I looked at that photo and I thought is that actually a Black girl in the second row on the right? Someone needs to have a serious talk with her.

  • EST. 1986

    I think it is just a very tanned White woman.

  • Ms. Write

    They will defend their racism till the end too and play it off as innocent fun. SMH

  • binks

    Smh…but not really surprised. This sorority should be shamed, so sick and tired of people doing racist things but want to holler I’ am sorry or trying to be remorseful after the fact, they knew what they planned was racist and questionable from the get go so I don’t believe that lie. But this is the future of America right?…smh

  • kristin

    It wont be until some of these ppl get a smack in the mouth before they realize that everything isn’t a joke. culture is not a costume

  • Shade

    Pfft. People want to do racist things and then try and act like they didn’t know it was racist afterwards. Please, they’re just sorry that someone called them out on their bs.

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