The USC administration has opened an investigation into a Delta Tau Delta fraternity party held last Friday following a Daily Trojan report which included photos and testimonies from students at the party, who indicated that some found the theme racially insensitive.
In a statement to the Daily Trojan, Vice President of Student Affairs Ainsley Carry said that the decision to investigate the fraternity came after seeing the photos of the “Black Friday” party published in the newspaper.
“I was disheartened by the photos that I’ve seen reportedly taken last week at a fraternity party,” Carry said in a statement to the Daily Trojan. “USC takes these matters very seriously and we have opened an investigation.”
The photos obtained by the Daily Trojan depict a poster from the party bearing the phrase “For the Culture” written on it, and the name “Jemimah” spray-painted on the side of a table. Multiple sources also said they saw graffiti on the walls at the party, and that many of the fraternity’s members were wearing basketball jerseys.
In a statement to the Daily Trojan sent prior to Carry’s statement, Delta Tau Delta treasurer Mario Blanco said the fraternity did not intend to offend anyone.
“If any elements were interpreted as being offensive, it was not our intent and we certainly apologize,” Blanco said in the statement. “Our fraternity places great value on cultural diversity and respect.”
Carry, in his statement, referenced the USC Principles of Community, which say that “ignorance or ‘it was just a joke’ will not be excuses for insensitive behavior.”
“Even if the organizers did not start out meaning to offend, the result is offensive,” Carry said.
Multiple sources who spoke to the Daily Trojan after attending the party, however, said they saw nothing unusual while they were there.
Though some attendees said they remember posters, they could not remember the exact phrases on them. Others indicated that they interpreted the theme as referring to black lights present in the house for the party.
Delta Tau Delta did not respond to multiple requests for comment regarding USC’s newly announced investigation.
The Interfraternity Council also did not immediately respond to multiple requests for comment regarding the investigation.