Minority students yesterday condemned a fraternity's advertisement depicting a "lazy Mexican" -- the third such flier to appear on campus in four years -- and called the fraternity's subsequent apology inadequate. The poster, which advertised a Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity rush event, showed a man in a sombrero lying on the ground with several bottles around him. In an open letter to Sig Ep, the board of Asociacion Cultural de Estudiantes Latinoamericanos termed the flier "frustrating and insulting," and called on Greek leaders to develop guidelines to prevent further incidents. "Such depictions and stereotypes of our culture only serve to promote these false beliefs," the letter says. "It is very time-consuming to have to respond to this issue every time it comes up." Sig Ep Rush Chairperson John Grugan said last night that the fraternity did not mean to offend anyone, adding that when members heard reactions to the fliers they took them down and wrote an apology. In 1988, the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity portrayed a "lazy Mexican" on fliers for a party. And in 1986, the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity used a picture of a sleeping man wearing a sombrero to advertise a "South of the Border" party. ACELA Vice President Ileana Garcia said last night that although Sig Ep's flier offended a large proportion of the Latino community, she does not believe it was intentional. "The whole problem is that they didn't even think," Wharton junior Garcia said. "I think that if any group is going to put on an event with a cultural theme it should know what the culture's about, not just a stereotypical image of the culture," Garcia added. Sig Ep's Grugan said he was unaware of the previous incidents when he allowed the poster to be hung. Sig Ep's apology, which was published in the DP last Thursday, said that "we at Sigma Phi Epsilon have continually striven for diversity both through philanthropies and recruitment, and therefore would never have intentionally offended any ethnic group." But Garcia called the letter "a poor excuse for an apology" because it did not state who was offended or what was on the poster. Grugan said he is surprised that there are no Greek system guidelines about posters and that rush chairpeople were not informed of the previous incidents. But IFC Vice President for Rush David Hecht said last night that he does not think the IFC should have to educate fraternity members about incidents that have occurred on campus in recent years. He also said he does not think guidelines would change how advertising is handled. "As rush chairman of this system, I'm not going to tell anyone what to put on posters, and I think it's ridiculous to tell them what not to put on them," Hecht said. "I assume that every fraternity will respect members of the community."Comments powered by Disqus
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