On July 26, Alpha Delta—the Dartmouth fraternity made famous by Animal House—threw an enormous gang-themed party on July 26: "Midnight. Bloods & Crips party," the social chairman emailed a collection of summer school students. "Choose [your colors] wisely." Over 200 kids showed up, and the Delta Delta Delta sorority reportedly pitched in with party favors.
Then, two things happened: The campus blog Dartblog got hold of the invitation and blasted it, saying, "Aside from being oblivious to the political firestorm that such an event is bound to ignite, what kind of student comes up with an idea for a party like this?... After years of sensitivity training and work on cultural competence, is there no other way for students to have fun at Dartmouth College? We can certainly talk about shame here, but embarrassment is the more accurate emotion." And the head of the local NAACP chapter expressed his concern, too, zeroing in on how the kegger ultimately devolved into a "ghetto party, with racialized language, speech and dress."
Now, the Alpha Delts are crip-walking back over the line they crossed, issuing a lengthy and comprehensive apology for their actions:
Alpha Delta hosted a “Bloods and Crips Party” on the night of Friday, July 26th. The idea was never meant to be derogatory to any group, and was intended to introduce a costume theme to the party. While there was never any ill intent in the party’s theme, the brothers of Alpha Delta now realize that it was insensitive and thoughtless to make light of a very serious issue that affects many people nationwide, particularly young people. Gang violence is obviously an incredibly serious problem across America, and while we as a house failed to preemptively recognize the offensive nature of the party’s theme, the gravity of our oversight is now apparent to us.
We also realize that our event was not just offensive to a few people who attended the party, but that the party was objectively offensive. We want to issue a public apology for our oversight, insensitivity, and thoughtlessness.
You kind of have to wonder how none of the white guys involved, all dressed as black gang members, thought this wouldn't come back to bite them in the ass. Not only is the school still dealing with the ramifications of Andrew Lohse's revelations—who sparked a furor in Rolling Stone with tales of pledges swimming through puke and eating "vommelettes," which are exactly what they sound like—but new president Phillip Hanlon is himself a Dartmouth Alpha Delt. He probably doesn't care to be associated with a Blood & Crips party that's "objectively offensive." (Alpha Delt's words.)
This kind of stuff doesn't work out for anyone. Except for, I guess, local Halloween shop owners.