QUINCEAÑERA PARTY AT DELTA CHI
A Bill Condemning the Negligence of Cultural Awareness within the Inter-Fraternity Council (IFC)
Recently Delta Chi Fraternity at UC Berkeley has thrown a “Quinceañera” themed party where members and guests appropriated Xican@/Latin@ culture by wearing “sombreros, fake mustaches, blown up cacti, and dress that was reflective of cholos.” In response to this incident, ASUC Raza Endorsed Senator Wendy Pacheco will be introducing a bill entitled “A Bill to Censure the Inter-Fraternity Council (IFC) for the Appropriation of Latin@/Xican@ CultureA Bill Condemning the Negligence of Cultural Awareness within the Inter-Fraternity Council (IFC).” This bill will be presented at the External Committee Meeting this Monday at Anna Head Alumnae Hall which will then be moved to the Senate Meeting this Wednesday at Anna Head Alumnae Hall if approved.
This isn’t the first time we have seen offensive behaviour from IFC Greek Houses. On October 31st, 2012, the Theta Delta Chi (TDX) Fraternity at UC Berkeley hosted a haunted house and placed a zombie hung by a noose outside of their window right across from the African American themed floor in Unit 1. “I felt disrespected by TDX’s insensitivity,” said CalSERVE Chair Devonte Jackson. In response, “A Bill Recognizing the History and Presence of Lynching and Anti-Black Sentiment in the United States of America, State of California, and UC Berkeley” was introduced and passed last year. Jackson continued, “I expected the Bill that addressed the TDX incident would help prevent incidents like the racist Quinceañera Party Delta Chi recently hosted.” However, we see that this type of activity is a trend at UC Berkeley.
Before the event, Delta Chi sent out an email invitation that said:
“Delta Quinceneara at delta chi. fiesta themed. we’re going to have a mariachi band, 2000 Jell-O shot, and multiple piñatas. Doors open at 11! Love delta chi. Adios”
Pictures were taken at the event which included people wearing sombreros, mustaches, and dressed as “cholos.”
The “Quinceañera” themed party is disrespectful because it appropriates the culture of a people which in turn reduces the historical significance of Quinceañeras to the Xican@/Latin@ community. A Quinceañera “is the celebration of a girl’s fifteenth birthday in parts of Latin America and elsewhere in communities of people from Latin America. This birthday is celebrated differently from any other birthday, as it marks the transition from childhood to young womanhood.”
“When I heard about the ‘Delta Quinceañera’/fiesta themed party I was outraged,” said Pacheco, “Because this isn’t the first time members of the Greek community have hosted offensive parties or participated in other inappropriate acts.”
“This bill [A Bill Condemning the Negligence of Cultural Awareness within the Inter-Fraternity Council (IFC)] will outline concrete steps that can be taken to continue this conversation,” said Pacheco, “The TDX bill offered an idea that I hope this bill can follow up on.”
“I believe that the spirit of SB16 is one that aims to create widespread institutional changes in the area of cultural inclusivity and awareness by shedding light on the fact that these are recurring issues on our campus” said ASUC EAVP Valerie Jameson, “As a member of the Greek community I firmly believe that this conversation must be reframed from an us [Greek] vs. you [non-Greek] conversation, as well as elevated to address larger structural/societal issues that are at play rather than an individual ‘difference of opinion’ discussion when analyzing the bill.”
Pacheco echoes Jameson and says, “This bill is not about communities of color versus the greek community. Instead this is the start of a conversation and hopefully a partnership between both communities to not only address the issue at hand but also to create a safe campus environment for everyone.”
The Bill Condemning the Negligence of Cultural Awareness within the Inter-Fraternity Council (IFC) will be introduced, discussed in External Committee on Monday at Annahead Alumni Hall and voted on at the Senate Meeting this Wednesday at Annahead Alumni Hall.
For more information, please contact:
Jordeen Chang and Becky Lee
CalSERVE Communications Coordinators