Sorority sisters catch criticism for racial stereotype photo - KCTV5

Penn State sorority raises eyebrows with racially insensitive photo

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The Penn State student blog "Onward State" first reported on the photo Tuesday. (Source: Onward State) The Penn State student blog "Onward State" first reported on the photo Tuesday. (Source: Onward State)
Students showed their disapproval of the photo by posting flyers around campus, including two at the Penn State Fraternity and Sorority Life office. (Source: Onward State) Students showed their disapproval of the photo by posting flyers around campus, including two at the Penn State Fraternity and Sorority Life office. (Source: Onward State)

(RNN) - Students at Penn State have found their school caught in controversy again after members of a campus sorority posted a photo depicting Latino racial stereotypes on a social media website.

Members of the Chi Omega Sorority at Penn State are seen in the photo attending a Mexican fiesta-theme party in late October. The members wore sombreros and Mexican-style ponchos. Others also wore fake mustaches.

Two members also held two signs saying "Will mow lawn for weed + beer" and "I don't cut grass I smoke it."

The Penn State student blog Onward State first reported on the photo. Blogger Evan Ponter wrote that the women in the photo were discovered to be members of Chi Omega after the names tagged in the photo on Facebook were matched to the sorority.

The Penn State student newspaper, the Daily Collegian, received a statement from Chi Omega chapter president Jessica Riccardi soon after the incident.

"Our chapter of Chi Omega sincerely apologizes for portraying inappropriate and untrue stereotypes," Riccardi told the Daily Collegian. "The picture in question does not support any of Chi Omega's values or reflect what the organization aspires to be."

Riccardi also confirmed that her chapter was under investigation.

The Penn State Panhellenic Council, the group of students that helps manage sorority member conduct, also told the Daily Collegian that they were conducting an investigation.

"The Penn State Panhellenic Council recognizes the offensive nature of the photo and is therefore taking the matter very seriously. We are addressing the situation immediately with members of the chapter in conjunction with their national headquarters," the council told the Daily Collegian.

"The Penn State Panhellenic Council does not condone any form of derogatory behavior from any of our members. Our Council and all its members strive to hold ourselves to a high standard and are disappointed by any failure to meet these expectations."

Some students expressed their disapproval of the sorority's actions by posting flyers around the university's campus that implies that members of the sorority are racist. Two of the flyers were posted on a window at the Penn State Greek Life office.

A recent study of campus ethnic diversity among national universities conducted by US News and World Report ranked Penn State at 193rd among schools with a diversified student body.

Penn State has 82 different fraternities and sororities.

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