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Frat Bans 13 Who Wore Blackface

November 09, 2001|From Associated Press

AUBURN, Ala. — An Auburn University fraternity voted to suspend 13 members photographed in blackface and with Afro wigs at a party, an incident that helped prompt a racial diversity rally at the campus Thursday.

Beta Theta Pi's action followed the expulsion by Delta Sigma Phi of two students photographed at another party, one wearing a Ku Klux Klan robe, the other in blackface with a noose around his neck, a Confederate flag in the background. Four other Delta Sigma Phi members were suspended.

Also Thursday, the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity at the University of Mississippi expelled two of its members after a Halloween party picture was posted on the Internet showing one dressed as a police officer and holding a gun to the head of the second, who was in blackface.

At Auburn, additional disciplinary action against Beta Theta Pi fraternity could come from its national chapter by Monday, said Judson Horras, a spokesman for the national organization who is investigating the incident.

The suspensions prohibit the fraternity members from participating in any chapter activities. Those affected also are banned from living or eating meals at the chapter's house.

Both Beta Theta Pi and Delta Sigma Phi have been indefinitely suspended by Auburn from holding any social events during the investigation. The two fraternity chapters, which have no black members, were suspended by Auburn for violating the school's discrimination and harassment rules.

http://Partypics.com, the professional service that photographed the parties, has pulled the photos from its Web site, where they were spotted by black students who raised questions about them.

Names of the fraternity members pictured will not be released by the university until the investigation is completed, said Interfraternity Council Advisor Jamie Mantooth.

Both fraternities have publicly apologized to black students.

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