UW-Madison Terminates Fraternity After A Hick Party, Says ‘Hick Party’ Theme Is ‘Concerning’ Cultural Appropriation

By 10.05.16

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Tis the season for fraternities and sororities to start getting in trouble with their schools. This story from UW-Madison, however, makes my eyesroll back into my skull. My head genuinely hurt after reading the headline, which caused me to do one of these:

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It’s truly a story of PC culture going completely overboard on a college campus.

The Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity at UW-Madison recently threw a “hick”-themed party. Think white trash, NASCAR references, John Deere trucker hats, jorts, Joe Dirt-style mullets, Skoal, Waterboy-era Adam Sandler references, etc. You know what a hick party is. If you’ve been to college in the last 20 years, you’ve probably been to a hick party before. I have.

This particular party got Sigma Phi Epsilon in hot water. Clearly on the school’s shit list, they violated a previous suspension, which ultimately ended up in the fraternity getting suspended. In a statement about the event, however, two UW-Madison officials raised “concern” about cultural appropriation for the hick theme of the party. via Madison.com:

“While not a policy violation, the theme of a ‘hick’ party is very concerning and would not seem to be within the standards expected of any student organization,” Ervin Cox wrote.

Dean of students Lori Berquam added her concerns in a statement Wednesday. “I am deeply concerned by the pattern of health, safety and legal violations that has emerged at this student organization’s events. In addition, its promotion of an event that insults people of a rural background is completely contrary to the values UW-Madison stands for and the positive, inclusive behaviors we encourage our students to engage in,” she said.

Oh my God. Chill out Dean Wormer. If the next target for the PC police on college campuses is hick parties, we’re all fucked. As a farm kids who lives in the big city, I die laughing at the idea of  some smug hipster telling me I’m “culturally appropriating rural culture” the next time I drink 12 Busch lattes with a fat lip of Grizz during a pivotal NASCAR race.<

Anyway, here's what the fraternity actually got canned for.

After a raucous so-called “hick” party that violated terms of a previous suspension, the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity chapter at UW-Madison has been terminated, campus officials announced Tuesday.

The Committee on Student Organizations on Monday handed down its decision, based on a Madison police officer’s report of a large organized party over the summer with a country dress theme and buses hired to take revelers to “hick bars” outside the city.

Officer Shawn Kelly reported that during the incident July 23 at 237 Langdon St. he encountered numerous party-goers with fake IDs who said they easily procured alcohol at the party, including underage students who wore wristbands proclaiming them to be old enough to drink.

Kelly also reported that one fraternity member repeatedly tried to interfere as he interviewed party-goers, shouting “harassing statements” at him and his interview subjects.

The fraternity had been on suspension since December for violations including illegal consumption of alcohol and policies governing health and safety, officials said Tuesday in a statement.

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TAGScollege newsFraternitiesFratsgreek lifeUniversity of Wisconsinuw-madisonWisconsin

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