At an off campus Halloween party Tuesday evening, October 28, 2014, five members of Kappa Delta sorority chose to dress in culturally insensitive costumes.
We are incredibly proud of the leadership of these groups in confronting the offensive behavior of their peers. This was a great example to others of the positive impact of bystander intervention on minimizing harm to others in our community.
Moving forward, the University's Office of Student Conduct and Community Expectations is investigating the matter. In addition, the Kappa Delta Sorority and Panhellenic Council are each taking action and below are statements from both organizations:
Statement from Kappa Delta
Kappa Delta does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, disability, national origin or sexual orientation. As a chapter, we strive to uphold our national organization’s values and Lehigh’s Principles of Our Equitable Community.
We are taking this situation very seriously and immediately addressed the incident with our members. We will safeguard against any inappropriate incidents occurring in the future.
Statement from the Panhellenic Council
The Panhellenic Council would first like to state that we wholeheartedly support and uphold the Principles of Our Equitable Community. We as Panhellenic women hold ourselves as individuals and members of our chapters to “confront and reject discrimination in all its forms,” as stated in the Principles of Our Equitable Community. As a Council we are working to foster an inclusive campus climate, and will not tolerate actions that may offend or exclude any members of our community. We recognize that the actions of the five members of Kappa Delta have potentially violated the shared principles of our Panhellenic community and we will be looking into this situation through our judicial process with guidance from the Office of Student Conduct and Fraternity and Sorority Affairs. We also want to share that we are very proud of the Kappa Delta leadership, who have worked quickly and honestly, and are working to hold their members accountable through their own internal standards process as well.
Last year our Greek Community developed a Chapter Events Policy to ensure that no Greek organization sponsored an event to discriminate anyone based on “color, disability, gender identification, genetic information, marital status, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, socio-economics, veteran status, or any differences that have been excuses for misunderstanding, dissension or hatred.” While the present incident occurred at a Halloween party, and not an inappropriately themed party, a group of five Kappa Delta women did allegedly violate the Chapter Event Policy by association. This policy was designed to prohibit the unacceptable acts of chapters as well as their members. We as Greeks continue to live by these statements to ensure an inclusive community, and as such, we will look deeply into this situation and take action as appropriate.
Per The Principles: “We confront and reject discrimination in all its forms, including that based on age, color, disability, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, national or ethnic origin, political beliefs, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, socio-economics, veteran status, or any differences that have been excuses for misunderstanding, dissension, or hatred.”
In the spirit of this statement, our belief is that any event sponsored or endorsed by a Fraternity or Sorority in Lehigh’s Greek Community, may not discriminate against any class listed above. Failure to adhere to this, either through the acts of organizations or individual chapter members representing their organization, would result in investigation and adjudication, as appropriate, in partnership with the Office of Student Conduct and Community Expectations. This includes on and off-campus events, activities and actions as well as actions taken on-line via use of social media.
If you're looking for resources regarding appropriate Halloween costumes, please refer to our recent blog post entitled "Happy Halloween Reminders."
To report an incident, please refer to the Online Incident Communications Form at: http://studentaffairs.
To learn more about the Principles of Our Equitable Community please refer to: http://www4.lehigh.edu/