Advanced

Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity, UCLA

October 2015
UCLA (Public college or university)
Los Angeles, California, USA

Resources

Additional Information

  • Incident Nature:
    Recognized student group event
  • Incident Responses:
    Other
  • Incident Status:
    No litigation
  • Incident Protested
  • Did not involve Speech Codes

Summary

In October 2015, the Sigma Phi Epsilon and Alpha Phi chapters at the University of California Los Angeles hosted a party that later sparked protests on campus. The party was “Kanye Western” themed, and its attendees dressed either as Kanye West or members of the Kardashian family, wearing baggy clothes or large fake butts. Photos from the party, and rumors that some students were wearing black face, sparked outrage among some students, who believed the party was racist and a mockery of black culture. The students protested on campus and demanded that UCLA make a public statement condemning the actions of the partygoers.

Both Sigma Phi Epsilon and Alpha Phi deny that anyone at the party wore blackface, though the former issued an apology admitting that the party was inappropriate and that some costumes were offensive. Sigma Phi explained that some attendees had soot on their faces because they were dressed as gold miners in reference to Kanye West’s song “Gold Digger.” The University stated that they would investigate the incident.