A Clemson University fraternity suspended all activity after a gang-themed “Cripmas” holiday party led to criticism on campus and over social media, television station WYFF reported on Monday.
Images of party goers, which were posted to social media, reportedly showed people dressed as gang members and making hand signals, according to television station WSPA.
Other students protested the party, which took place on Saturday night, by demonstrating in front of the university president’s house, WSPA reported.
Clemson President Jim Clements responded to the protest in an email to students, according to the station:
At a time of year when our thoughts are turning to family, holidays and the start of a new year – all the things that unite us and bring us joy — it is discouraging that so many events and issues are causing division and hurt, and making many students feel unwanted at this great university. It hurts to read disrespectful and just plain mean comments in social media. Last night’s “Cripmas” party, which the university did not sanction, raised more concerns about the campus climate. Clemson is better than this.
Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion about events in Ferguson, Staten Island and the protest rallies that those events have spawned. Great universities are built on the free expression and exploration of ideas. But the free expression of opinion must not cross the line and become harassment or intimidation, just as rallies and protest marches must not cross the line to lawlessness.
Our core values – honesty, integrity and respect – must be more than just words. I plan to host a series of events in early 2015 to foster productive discussion and unity that includes a broad segment of the campus – and I hope that I can count on your active participation.
In the meantime, please be supportive of each other during this busy and sometimes stressful season.
WYFF spoke to university officials who said most of the officers of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity had resigned from their positions and were suspended from the organization. Furthermore, officials told the station that anyone in attendance may also face suspension.
Images via WSPA
Ahiza Garcia is a newswriter based in New York City. Before joining TPM, Ahiza interned and freelanced for Nightline, Fox Sports, and ESPN the Magazine. She holds a B.A. in psychology from Columbia University and an M.S. in digital journalism from Syracuse University. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.