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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
Southern California


USC isn't the only major Los Angeles campus facing racial strife.

In a scene that has become all too familiar on Los Angeles college campuses, students gathered at UCLA Thursday to inspire action against a racial incident centered around a fraternity party Tuesday night.

Sigma Phi Epsilon and Alpha Phi hosted a party that was themed “Kanye Western,” where students were encouraged to dress like Kanye West and Kim Kardasian.  Some students ran with the theme, stuffing their pants to expand the size of their butts and even donned black face.

When some students heard about the party, they shared their anger on social media, causing #BlackBruinsMatter to trend on twitter.  Others did not have any strong feelings.

“I felt indifferent,” UCLA student Leonardo Filguerias said. “’Kanye Western’ doesn’t really spark anything.”

UCLA issued a statement saying:

“We are concerned about these allegations and earnestly working to gather information about what occurred, talking to all those involved. While we do not yet have all the facts, the alleged behavior is inconsistent with good judgment as well as our principles of community.  We remind students that while they are free to celebrate in ways that draw on popular culture, their specific choices can cause harm and pain to fellow members of their community.  Put simply: Just because you can do something does not mean you should.”

At the #BlackBruinsMatter rally on Thursday, UCLA Vice Chancellor of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Jeff Kang spoke to the crowd.  He explains that, as a person of color, he is hurt by these events and wants a quick resolution.  Listen to his full speech on SoundCloud.

This comes just weeks after USC Student Body President Rini Sampath was called a racial slur on fraternity row near the Trojan Campus.

The UCLA chapters of Sigma Phi Epsilon and Alpha Phi have been suspended from social activities until an investigation into the incident is complete.

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