SKyPAC protest

WKU junior Symone Whalin takes charge of the megaphone as she calls for WKU authorities to punish certain sororities for videos showing members using racial slurs. The protest took place Tuesday evening outside SKyPAC during the annual Kappa Delta Shenanigans event.

“Don’t be racists.”

Through a megaphone, the protesters chanted, shouting to be heard over the crowd of people arriving at SKyPAC.

“No more racists, they must go.”

About 17 people stood outside the venue on Tuesday night chanting before and during Kappa Delta’s philanthropic event Shenanigans, in response to videos released of sorority girls using a racial slur. The protest was coordinated through a Facebook group

Kelley Lingen, a sophomore from Minneapolis, voiced her concerns over the video.

“I would like to see AXiD kicked off the campus,” Lingen said. “The fact that a sorority on this campus can continually use hate speech openly and receive no punishment, just condones racism at this point.” 

Lingen said she thinks Greek students should learn not to use words like the slur in the video.

“It’s just really not that hard to not be a racist,” Lingen said. “It’s really not that hard not to say the n-word, so what is the point in even participating in such vulgar displays of hate just like that?”

Over the past month, two videos have emerged of girls from two different sororities using the same racial slur. The first video reported on came out on Twitter on August 30 and showed members of Alpha Xi Delta sorority using the racial slur in a song. The second video from Chi Omega bid day showed one member using the same racial slur in a different song. 

Joining Lingen at the protest was Conner Hounshell, a senator in WKU’s Student Government Association. Hounshell condemned not only Alpha Xi Delta’s use of the slur, but the lack of a response from WKU and the national Alpha Xi Delta organization.

“I’d just like to see, first off, AXiD address it,” Hounshell said. “I think also some type of training or some like mandatory learning they need to do in order to realize why using this word is an issue.”

Signs at the protest included phrases like “Sisterhood of Racism” and “[Mariah] Morgan is complicit in racism” referring to AXiD’s current president. Some of the chants directly named AXiD and Chi O while other were generally about racism.

Anthony Survance, a philosophy senior from Louisville, helped coordinate the protest.

“I think that these videos were the spark that was necessary to strike a larger conversation about a consistent history of racism in sororities and fraternities on our campus,” Survance said.

Survance said people who weren’t able to make it to the protest should continue to advocate for this issue.

Political science major Bradley Wascher, from Montgomery, Alabama, expressed his displeasure over the way the issue has been handled.

“If they do choose to invoke those words, they should recognize the weight that that carries, understand the impact that it can have on students of color on campus, and then also ensure that once they realize they’ve done something wrong, at least admit to it.

“The fact that the university just hasn’t done anything about it and then ceded control of it to the national [organization] that won’t do anything either, means that they can continue to get away with this and have absolutely zero repercussions,” Wascher said.

Reporter

Jack Dobbs is an administration reporter for the College Heights Herald. He previously covered the Student Government Association.