The Penn State sorority, Chi Omega, is subject to an investigation after some members of the group posted a racist photo on the Internet. The message conveyed by the Halloween pic caused an outcry on the Web and determined the Onward State to take measures against it, the Associated Press reports.
The girls at the Penn State sorority, Chi Omega held a Mexican-themed party for this year’s Halloween holiday. The photos they published on Tumblr and Facebook were not as appreciated as they expected them to be; on the contrary, they were immediately rated as ‘racist’ by many people in the sorority’s friends list, including the Onward State.
Even though they were dressed as Mexicans and wore fake moustaches, authorities were still able to identify the girls as belonging to the Chi Omega sorority. It wasn’t the costumes that offended the authorities, but rather the messages that the girls wrote on two pieces of paper: “Will mow lawn for weed + beer” and “I don’t cut grass I smoke it”. The president of the sorority Jessica Riccardi admitted that the girls in the photo belonged to their group and apologized for their behavior.
Jessica Riccardi further stated that the values of the sorority are not reflected by the untrue stereotypes portrayed in the photo. The executive board of the Penn State released a similar statement reassuring people that they will address the situation immediately.
Lisa Powers, director of public information at Penn State, seemed to take sides with the girls at the Chi Omega. She stated in an interview with the Associated Press that her department has carefully analyzed the pictures and has come to the conclusion that “the students in the photo are within their First Amendment rights to express themselves in this way”. While she thinks every person is entitled to freely express her opinion, Powers disagrees with the insensitive messages and costumes that the girls have chosen.