Jezebel, whose mission is to provide “Celebrity, Sex, Fashion for Women. Without Airbrushing” called the party “incredibly racist, incredibly sexist and incredibly unoriginal all at the same time.” They cited quotes from a survey conducted by Mustang News and claimed “an idiotically vocal portion of Cal Poly students have said since that they don’t see anything wrong with the theme.”

Hannah Croft
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Cal Poly found itself in the national spotlight this week after university officials launched an investigation into a fraternity and sorority party that was deemed “offensive” to Native Americans and women.

Associated Press, Indian Country Today Media Network, Death and Taxes, Huffington Post and Jezebel have all posted stories referencing the “Colonial Bros and Nava-hos” party, which occurred this past weekend.

Associated Press’ news brief has been picked up across the country and cited by various California news outlets, including the San Jose Mercury News and Sacramento Bee.

“Similar parties with titles such as ‘Colonial Bros and Navajos’ have been held by fraternities at other universities, including Harvard, for years — and have drawn similar criticism,” it reads.

Death and Taxes’ Brian Abrams cited the San Luis Obispo Tribune’s report of the party and embellishes President Armstrong’s email to the student body.

“The party in question, a ‘Colonial Bros and Nava-Hos’ soiree thrown by the frat Phi Sigma Kappa, was depicted in an email, written by Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong, as an event that had women wearing sexually explicit outfits in the Pocahontas vein. Men at the party dressed like Benjamin Franklin, which is getting off light in the slutty costume party universe,” Abrams writes.

However, Armstrong’s email to the university didn’t name Phi Sigma Kappa, nor did he comment on the nature of costumes for the event.

Indian Country Today Media Network, which is the largest Native American newspaper in the United States, issued a statement about the party from Jennifer Rose Denetdale, an associate professor at the University of New Mexico, which was read at the beginning of Friday’s community forum in Chumash Auditorium.

“To invoke ‘Colonial Bros,’ then, is to refer to one of the most darkest moments in American history and certainly for the Navajo people, it is a reference to one of the most brutal, humiliating, and devastating experiences under American colonialism,” it reads.

Huffington Post’s story can be found on their “Fraternity and Sorority Hazing” sub-page in a story that references various fraternity parties which were criticized this past weekend for cultural appropriation and insensitivity. The Kappa Alpha chapter at Randolph-Macon College in Virginia hosted a “USA v. Mexico” party last weekend. In the story, Huffington Post references The Tribune, calling an anonymous source a member of Phi Sigma Kappa, but The Tribune’s original story said their source’s fraternity was not associated with the party.

Jezebel, whose mission is to provide “Celebrity, Sex, Fashion for Women. Without Airbrushing” called the party “incredibly racist, incredibly sexist and incredibly unoriginal all at the same time.” They cited quotes from a survey conducted by Mustang News and claimed “an idiotically vocal portion of Cal Poly students have said since that they don’t see anything wrong with the theme.”

Upon learning of the national coverage, Cal Poly issued a statement that reaffirms the disapproval of the party. The investigation of is still ongoing, according to the statement.