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Theme party causes controversy at NC State

Posted October 26, 2015
Updated October 27, 2015

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— A controversial party, held on the heels of "Diversity Week," is causing a stir among students at North Carolina State University.

The party, held off campus Thursday night, involved a theme - CMT v. BET. Party goers were urged to attend dressed to parody country music culture and black culture.

"It is definitely a little bit disrespectful to act that way," said junior Kristen Hommel.

At Monday's monthly meeting of the school's Diversity Advisory Committee, the incident sparked new conversation.

"This is giving us an example of how we might look at things a bit differently and how we might talk with our community," said Amy Circosta, interim vice provost for institutional equity and diversity.

Officials say there will now be new roundtable discussions on diversity, in additional to new panels, programs and town halls on campus.

"It is disheartening to hear the message you're overreacting or being too sensitive because I think people with marginalized groups would turn around and say, 'You're not reacting enough,'" said Karli Moore, liaison for the Student Government Association.

In light of the party, committee members said many of the planned programs will target a different audience.

"We have a whole university of folks who don't entertain these conversations, that don't participate in diversity week, so this challenges us to really think about how we can engage those students that are not interested in diversity programming," said Roshunda Breeden, diversity coordinator for the Poole College of Management.

University officials said there is no evidence that Thursday's party was hosted by a campus organization, but the investigation is ongoing.


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  • David Collins Oct 27, 2015
    user avatar

    What is the purpose of the Office for Institutional Equity and Diversity? What does it cost the tax payers and the students to pay for that department? If given a choice would the tax payers and the students vote to fund such a department?

  • Lynn Wilhelm Oct 27, 2015
    user avatar

    Many commenters really don't understand why diversity training is so important (as a staff member at NCSU, I recently attended a great workshop on campus) and why a party with this theme is such a slap in the face to many.

    It's not about "political correctness"-a term that needs to die--it's about respecting people for being fellow human beings. This party theme, like wearing black-face or having some kind of hillbilly day, is insulting. The students that participated need to learn be sensitive to why it's in very poor taste. Not because such sensitivity is politically correct, but because it's the right thing to do.
    So, they included a country music theme (to "contrast" the BET part?). Imagine that being part of country music meant you were considered "less than" in our country's culture, that you get profiled in ways that harm people of country music. That you must prove yourself more worthy just to get what others get automatically. That's why the party was badly done.

  • Amanda Jones Oct 27, 2015
    user avatar

    View quoted thread

    Very well said! Thanks SA!!

  • Randy Smith Oct 27, 2015
    user avatar

    Welcome to the United States of the Offended!

  • Tom Laurence Oct 27, 2015
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    It was a Halloween party for Gosh Sakes! And "Harm"

    And Ms. Breeden - when you mention "diversity Programming" - that sounds to me like a cult-like brain washing? Before anyone bashes me.....that's how it makes me feel. What's the difference? Maybe because I'm not back? And maybe some people don't appreciate having "diversity" crammed down their throats....versus "offering" the choice. Just saying.

  • Brian Lancaster Oct 27, 2015
    user avatar

    Maybe because those people have a brain and choose not to be part of your 'fairness' coalition. Its quite OK for people to joke about others however they see fit, especially in a PRIVATE event!

  • Marcy Lyn Oct 27, 2015
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    Totally Hilarious that you are upset about Dress up ! What is Halloween :)

  • Lauren Lovette Oct 27, 2015
    user avatar

    I agree, not an issue. There is such a double standard when it comes to racism against whites. I saw a girl wearing a shirt that said "the blacker the college the sweeter the knowledge" if a white person wore a "the whiter the college" shirt it would be front page news and everyone would be calling foul. So sick of the double standard and the media perpetuating it.

  • mcraineycrazies Oct 27, 2015

    It's so funny how people are sooo offended. Get off the pacifier people, get in the real world. My GOD These PEOPLE ARE Going To Live On DEPENDABLE Pills When THEY Hit "The Real world. Thank god 2017 us around the corner, we definitely need some changes in this good old USA

  • mcraineycrazies Oct 27, 2015

    PC police..this is ridiculous. Soo when white chick's came out as a movies and black people dressed up as us crackas we all laughed. Seriously what is the big deal. This is what's wrong with our nati9n