Arizona fraternity suspended over racial tone of MLK party

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A fraternity at Arizona State University was forced to suspend operations after members hosted a party on Martin Luther King Jr. Day that was deemed distasteful by some and outright racist by others.

Partygoers to the Tau Kappa Epsilon chapter event posted pictures of themselves online dressed in basketball jerseys, flashing gang signs and drinking from cups in the shape of a watermelon, The Associated Press reported.

“We regard the behavior exhibited as completely outrageous, extraordinarily offensive and wholly unacceptable,” said James Rund, the senior vice president for Educational Outreach and Student Services at the university, in the AP article. “This kind of behavior is not tolerated by the university, and we intend to take swift and immediate action. We just don’t have room at the university to tolerate that kind of conduct.”

A spokesman for the national fraternity said the group does not condone the behavior.

“It is with embarrassment and regret when a few individuals within our organization make decisions that do not align with the values and principles of Tau Kappa Epsilon,” said Alex Baker, in a statement from the fraternity, AP reported.

The university was due to hold discussions with fraternity members about the incident.

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