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School Sanctions Over Costumes

November 16, 2001|Associated Press

AUBURN, Ala. — Auburn University said Thursday that it has indefinitely suspended 15 students who wore Ku Klux Klan costumes and blackface to fraternity Halloween parties.

The school said the students violated its harassment and discrimination rules. They could be expelled.

"The continued presence of these students in the university community poses an immediate threat to the well-being of the university, and we're taking that action," Auburn President William Walker said.

The suspended students include five from Delta Sigma Phi fraternity--one who wore blackface with a noose around his neck, another dressed as a policeman and three more who dressed as hunters.

They appeared in a photo with a fraternity member dressed as a Klansman who was pointing a gun at the man in blackface. The school said the student dressed as a Klansman has dropped out of school.

"They just did something stupid," said Delta Sigma Phi President Matt Furin.

The other 10 suspended students were members of Beta Theta Pi who wore blackface and afro wigs at a separate party.

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